Today, there are in excess of 200 major active social media and networking sites. Most people would be familiar with the big six networks – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+ – and many will use these for marketing purposes.
However, these platforms have become so saturated with brands, it can be hard to gain in-roads and for your content to seen by your followers.
In our new blog series, we take an in depth look at so-called “fringe” social platforms, with Ello the focus for this article. We explain what Ello is, who’s using it, and give you an idea whether it’s worth your while building a presence for your brand.
What is Ello?
Ello is an ad-free social network that was launched in September 2014. It has many of the same functions of Twitter and Facebook, but with strictly no advertising, manipulation or exploitation. Specifically, Ello promises to:
- Never sell user data to advertisers or third parties
- Never show advertisements
- Not enforce a real-name policy
Just on the last point, when Facebook began enforcing a real-name policy, Ello was perfectly placed to attract disgruntled users who were locked out of their profiles and those who were concerned about Facebook’s use of their personal information.
Initially, it was invite-only but now it’s purely open. In keeping with its ad-free style, it has a simple, uncluttered design mainly consisting of black and white.
Are my customers using Ello?
There are about 1 million total users as at May 2015, so not a significant amount when you consider platforms like Instagram have in excess of 150 million. As information is fiercely protected, it’s difficult to determine specific user demographics like age, sex etc that makes up the 1 million users.
What all these things do tell you is that users like their privacy and an absence of ads. We could also surmise that given the surge in popularity around the time Facebook began enforcing the real-name policy, many in the LGBT community moved over to Ello. And, of course, we know that tech savvy early-adopters are always keen to check out new platforms. So, if those are your demographics, Ello could be useful to extend your brand’s reach.
Is it an effective use of my time?
Let’s face it, Ello is not exactly the most business-friendly social platform out there at the moment, and so would probably not be an effective use of your marketing time. It’s still a new platform with a relatively low number of users. That said, as there don’t appear to be many business profiles, you may have a competitive edge.
At the end of the day, you need to consider whether you have the time needed to learn the platform, create regular content, and experiment with what works. You don’t have to be on every social channel – just the ones that matter to you and your target audience.
What other fringe social channels should I be using?
If, like us, you think it’s best to hold off on Ello right now, it’s worth being aware of other social media platforms suited to your brand and market. As part of our latest blog series, we are examining several so-called “fringe” social channels. Like us on Facebook or follow iFactory on Twitter to find out more on: