Ello, the anti-Facebook

Over the past year, or so, there has been a lot of buzz, then lull, the buzz again about the social network, Ello.  If you know much about it, you are familiar with their manifesto:

ello manifesto

This is the crux of social media right now, in order to participate on most platforms — there seems to be an extra bit of animosity towards Facebook for this — you are giving up your privacy rights and at the mercy of data collection.  Not so with Ello.  They have even bound themselves legally to never make money from selling either ads or user data.

The real question for Ello, though, isn’t necessarily their reasoning, although there are some who question why they’ve taking funding from corporate donors.  The real question is whether users will go there and stay there and be social there.  After all, without an audience, a social network is doomed to fail.  Let’s all take a moment of silence for Google+.

Just a few weeks ago Ello’s founder, Paul Budnitz, didn’t show up to SXSW.  You’d think there would’ve been more of a concern about this, but according to International Business Times, some folks responded with praise for Ello’s concept of ad-free, data mining-free social space saying things like, “I think there’s a slow realization that if you don’t pay for the product then you are the product — understandably, because people have to monetize.” And, “I hate Zuckerberg and all his minions. I use Ello.” 

So, while it’s clear that Ello definitely has an audience, what are they going to do with it?  Well, just a few days ago, they secured another $5 Million in additional funding.  Which means that they most certainly do not intend to go gently into that good night.

If Ello were to catch on on a wider scale, their sort of mentality could change the face of social media, and indeed the internet altogether.  Think about it: what would we do, as digital marketers, if a majority of users suddenly became self-aware of all the data that is being collected about them, and they weren’t happy about it?  Now, I don’t see this happening any time soon, but Ello does stand poised to take away some of Facebook’s audience.  Will they?  Only time will tell.

A year from now we’ll either all be on Ello, or starting conversations with, “Remember Ello?”

What do you think?  Will Ello rise up and be a big player in social media, or remain a niche network?  Please share your experiences with Ello in the comments.

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My Introduction to Social Media Ethics

holding hands

Greetings!  Thank you for visiting my blog.  My name is AnnMarie.   I’m a wife, mom, avid reader and sometimes writer, and I have a secret desire to someday be a polyglot.  When not online (and often in conjunction with being) you can find me cheering on my favorite sports teams.  Currently, I work directly with non-profit organizations, helping them tell their story in this digital world.   This blog is, primarily, a reflection of my curiosity about how to help brands and organizations form lasting relationships with customers, volunteers, and donors via social and digital media platforms.

While I was not an early adopter of the social media phenomenon like folks like Gary Vaynerchuk, once I joined the social media party, I became one of the most enthusiastic participants.  Now I’m the host!  As a professional, I think it’s always important to keep learning in this field.  The landscape is always changing, but many key concepts are lasting.  Recently, I’ve become more interested in the ethics involved in social media and digital publishing, so for the next several months that will also be one of the focuses of this blog.  What’s okay to publish, tweet, share, etc, and what’s not?   How do those choices effect people, brands, and the world around us?  I am fascinated by the the legal ramifications of ethical social media choices, but also how they effect things like brand loyalty.

Since I currently work with a viewer-supported television station and also a private school, things like privacy and copy write issues are usually my biggest ethical challenges.  What are the biggest social media ethical challenges with your clients?

Push & Pull Marketing — getting folks to your website

Push and pull marketing each serve their purposes, but, like most things we’re discovering with integrated marketing, they often work best when they’re working together.

Some of the benefits to push marketing are:

  • A small brand is able to reach a broader audience when using a television or radio ad.
  • Brands are also able to use push marketing when a particular time-table is important, like sending an email blast about an upcoming sale.
  • Push marketing is also essential when you’re a new business or a business rebranding yourself, making use of services like direct-mail.

Pull marketing allows a business to:

  • Develop brand loyalty through social media platforms such as Yelp and FourSquare, having customers find you and check-in.  You can even offer a coupon or discount.
  • Market without a big budget.  Many pull marketing techniques can be done through free social media posts, blogs, YouTube videos, etc.
  • Showcase you as being an expert through publishing blogs or offering white papers about specific topics that will help you gain an audience.

Push and pull marketing can work together in really compelling ways.  When someone searches for a YouTube video on a particular subject and ends up subscribing to a channel, or when the use of good SEO and Google AdWords leads to a Google search with your company’s website at the top of it are both examples of having a good balanced marketing approach.

Push marketing is also more expensive than pull marketing.  However, pull marketing often takes more effort to develop and maintain.  Push marketing can better for creating brand awareness, and pull marketing is great for maintaining brand loyalty.  The best scenario is having both together in a hybrid method.

When thinking about push and pull marketing, it’s important to remember that social media, a favorite marketing tool, is not the place you want your customers to stay.  Using a combination of both push and pull marketing, the goal is to get people to your website where you can, again, offer a combination of push and pull methods to gain them as a customer.  The trouble is many people have seemingly abandoned their websites in favor of social media when they should be using them as a hubs instead.  After all, companies do not own what they do on a social media site, whereas on their website, they do.

I really enjoy acknowledging and reviewing local brands who effectively use a hybrid of push and pull marketing right here in Central Florida.  One such brand in the Central Florida YMCA.

The Central FL YMCA shows great brand consistency through the use of their logo and design.  They use their website, mobile, and social media to inform and educate.  They have social media buttons on their homepage.

As summer begins, they are also using consistent messaging and visuals, all highlighting their swimming programs.

On their website, they also direct visitors to donate online or become a member.  You can even download an application right from their website.

I recently saw a segment on Good Life 45‘s “Welcome Home” where they were promoting “Safe Start.” (start at 33:10 to see the segment)

 Another local brand that is leveraging savvy marketing is Real Life Church.

While some people may not think of a church as a brand, they are still trying to attract folks to enter their doors.

Real Life Church shows great branding and consistency across various platforms and sites.  Here they are showcasing their current series, “Transformed: A Study In Romans.”

They are definitely trying to get folks to their website where they can find out more information, find a location, watch videos of messages, or even give to their ministry.

I know some folks who don’t appreciate this sort of integrated marketing from an organization like a church, but really they’re just using smart methods to interest people enough to visit and then continue their engagement.

The pastors from Real Life also have a television show on a local Christian station called “Real Talk.”  This is just another extension of them marketing their message while showing a brand personality that is approachable.