If you haven’t yet heard of Ello, it’s the latest social network that’s taking the internet by storm. The catch with Ello, however, is that it’s designed to be a kind of anti-Facebook. Ello specifically markets itself as an alternative to social media sites that invade your privacy and share your information with advertisers. Ello is going to the opposite extreme by not accepting advertising at all.
Given the apparently noncommercial message of Ello, it might seem to be an unlikely site to conduct any type of marketing or commercial activity. Keep in mind that Ello is brand new, so it’s difficult to make any accurate guesses about the future. If the history of other social media networks is any indication, though, several possibilities exist.
- Ello will fizzle out, run out of funding or not attract enough members to survive.
- Ello will eventually “sell out” and accept certain types of advertising in order to remain competitive.
- Ello will remain true to its original vision and remain free of advertising.
No matter which of these three scenarios unfold, there is no harm in joining the site. The question is, can it be used for branding and marketing purposes? Assuming that Ello does indeed survive and perhaps even pose a genuine challenge to leading social media sites, it may prove to be a great opportunity for businesses.
Ello: The Ideal Place For Relationship Marketing?
Relationship marketing is a phrase that is thrown around fairly frequently in marketing circles, sometimes to the point that it doesn’t mean anything concrete. With Ello, however, this is the only type of marketing that is feasible. Unless its business model changes, you will not be able to advertise on Ello. That doesn’t mean, however, that your business can’t have a presence on this new social site.
When you interact on Ello, you must not forget that people have joined this site in order to escape the blatant commercialism of sites like Facebook. This means that trying to be openly promotional here would be counterproductive. At worst, it may get you banned; at best, you will alienate your customers and prospects.
The key to utilizing a site like Ello is to make your content purely social and educational. Some business owners view education as informing people about their products. There is a place for this, but Ello is probably not that place. You are better off keeping your information very general. This doesn’t mean that you won’t attract business. In fact, many people find it more appealing when they can pitch-free information on a topic. They can always look you up and contact you if they want to find out what you’re offering.
To use one example, suppose you are a chiropractor with an Ello account. You could share general tips on health, exercise and preventing back injuries. Even if you never talk about your practice, people in your area who appreciate what you’ve shared are likely to think of you when they need a chiropractor. You can use a similar approach for just about any business.
In conclusion, if you want to use Ello for branding and marketing purposes, you will have to do it in a very low key way. You will have to follow the principles of relationship marketing to the letter.
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