If you’ve been away from the Internet for the last couple of weeks, you might have missed the news that there’s a hot new social network in town. While it has been live for a few months, Ello just recently began extending invitations to join its ranks. Tech industry insiders, design gurus, and drag queens are among the first to be let inside the ‘walled garden’ that is Ello. What an interesting combination of characters, right?
Ello’s sudden rise to fame has been a combination of factors.
Facebook’s recent position on only real names for drag queens combined with Ello’s position on never selling its users’ data to advertisers has sent hordes of ‘let me in’ users clamouring to Ello’s front gate. The only problem is Ello is still an invite-only social network. Unless you know someone willing to offer you an early invitation inside, you’ll have to resign yourself to submitting your email address to the site’s owners. If you do manage to secure an invitation, you’ll have to first consider whether posting content on Ello will benefit your brand. Since Ello is currently in the invite-only stage, the audience you seek might not yet have been granted access to the platform. Becoming an early adopter might mean you’ll have to be patient and wait for your audience to grow.
While Ello is currently enjoying a meteoric rise in popularity (and plenty of press attention), brands need to carefully examine their ultimate goals before jumping into marketing on the site. The fact that Ello positions itself as an ‘anti-Facebook’ network might actually work against brands attempting to market themselves on the platform. Users might attempt to defend the site against mainstream marketers, preferring instead to keep their super-exclusive platform to themselves. Ello already offers a friends/noise segmenting option; companies might find themselves increasingly segregated to the noise department.
If you’re attempting to grow your brand on Ello, you might have a tough time maximizing your ROI.
Ello has already rolled out inline commenting and @ mentions in the profiles of early adopters. Planned future features include inline emojis, follow/un-follow options, image compression, and Google Analytics opt-out options.
Brands securing an invitation to Ello might want to approach the platform with caution. While early-adopter brands might initially receive press attention for their ‘out-of-the-box thinking’, that spotlight might lose its lustre when brands realize their return on investment is going to be a tough sell to the accounting department. Unless a company’s target market is tech industry elite and disgruntled drag queens, there may not be a corresponding up-tick in sales following a jump onto the bandwagon that is Ello. As with any new social networking platform, brand marketers need to carefully consider their investment of time. Ello just might be an intriguing option for personal usage, but a must-miss for those interested in growing their brand.
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