If you haven’t yet heard of Ello, let’s get you up to speed. It’s the new social network that has exploded in popularity over the last couple of weeks, gaining a reported 27,000 new users per hour. Their manifesto sums up what they’re all about:
Sounds a little harsh. But given Ello’s level of growth, it tells us that social media users want privacy and freedom from the slew of ads each time they log onto their favorite social platform. They want the 2004 version of Facebook back; raw, fun, and free from ads.
Marketers everywhere are taking note, and taking a step back to look at their approach to social in case the “anti-advertising” trend continues. No, this doesn’t mean that your brand should stop using social altogether. It simply means that customers want to interact with a brand on social media, not see ads plastered everywhere or company accounts used as billboards. Users don’t want to be another piece of data to be used by a social network however they please.
This shouldn’t be a surprise, and if you’re on top of your game, it won’t greatly affect your strategy. Wasn’t engagement and relationship building the reason you got involved in social media in the first place? Go beyond the pitch and create meaningful dialogue with your customers. Give them the information they want, start a conversation, make them feel warm and fuzzy. Your customers are why you’re in business, so show them some love. There is no better platform to do this than on social media.
Time will tell how Ello will evolve. Whatever happens, rest assured that you won’t see any ads and your privacy will remain intact. Brands, if your social strategy focuses on paid advertising, it may be time to re-examine your approach.