Monday, October 20, 2014

Say Hello to Ello - the new social media

Screenshot of Ello PMQ page
Ello emerged as the new social media contender and anti-Facebook which quickly drew attention in late summer. In September, the numbers continue to grow even though the new social media site remains in beta and is an invite-only site.

PMQ decided to plunge in to the site to learn more about whether your pizzeria should submerge into the new culture or swim clear.

The sharks are circling on whether Ello will drown and new numbers indicate it may not be the success many hope for as requests dropped from all all-time high in September to an all-time low in early October.

The Ello manifesto promises a new way for social media
According to the Guardian, Ello launched on Aug.7 as a simple social network with the promise that you are a person. Their manifesto promises no ads with a freemium program in the future to help them thrive. Some media have already given up on it and many are saying engagement on the site is low. But others hold out hope that the new site with promises of simplicity and no ads will thrive once it comes out of Beta.

But the question is, can brands make an impact on a site that is reaching those sick of ads? 

The answer is: maybe.

There are positives to Ello for brands, according to another article in The Guardian, such as  the ability to help improve search engine rankings, becoming an early-adopter so you are still cool for being in there now instead of waiting to jump on the bandwagon, and the chance to grow a different type of marketing strategy that is not about being forced to buy ads like Facebook, Yelp and others are quickly becoming. It can be a place to really just interact and enjoy your fans.

But the downside could be that after the initial hype, the limited interactivity of the site and simplicity of design could bore people (google+ anyone?) and the lack of ads could mean that this site never really gets off the ground. (To be fair: we did send a request and numerous questions to Ello before posting but have not yet heard back from them). Certain niche markets have been early adopters of Ello with designers and artists embracing the site as well as the LGBT community with Facebook's recent snafu over forcing real names (which impacted many drag queens). Facebook later removed the request but the damage was done. And honestly, as people are signing up to get away from ads, liking your brand could just not happen.

To be clear, Ello promises no ads but it will be collecting data in terms of how long you use it, when you log in and more to improve the site. But they won't be giving your information to third-parties. They also don't say no to brands, just no to paid advertising.

A great blog on the ups and downs of Ello  for brands is here and should be read before you decide to search for an invite to get on the site. Social Media Today gave a list of types of businesses that could succeed (entrepreneurs are top of the list and pizza guys definitely are that).

And be careful, as there are already trolls and spammers on the site pretending to be brands that haven't bothered adopting the site yet. I wonder if the Domino's social media team even knows they have an issue?

Domino's likely wouldn't spell their own name wrong in their description.

Tips for those of you who may want to wade into Ello
1. Don't treat it like the other social networks. Ello is going for unique, so find a unique way to post fun things on the site.
2. Don't sell. People will likely be aggressive about marking spam on this site. So this is your chance to strike an informal fun tone with folks about your shared passion: Pizza. This is not about posting daily specials. Use Facebook and twitter for that.
3. You can combine the fun of Instagram or Tumblr with fun pizza art and delicious photos on this site as they pop out easily in the (is it a timeline? a wall? We aren't sure).
4. You might stick with the Facebook rules of 1 or 2 posts a day for now but Ello, in time, will show whether people are using it and expecting more posts or less. Right now, it is a land grab for cool names and people just figuring out the landscape. Get in there and help shape it's future!

Not sure if you want to join Ello? It is a dilemma that many are currently going through and Jimmy Fallon has your pros and cons below! But if you are on there, join us by commenting below or adding us at

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