Why brands should embrace the Ello manifesto for social engagement

embrace imageEllo’s certainly made a big splash in the digitalecosystem. The threads run both ways. I have read gushing headlines about Ello toppling Facebook on the one hand, and exhortations to brands to resist joining Ello on the other. What is certain is that Ello’s growth is significant and taps into the zeitgeist. The appeal stems from the anti-advertising manifesto. In committing to be advertising free and allowing the users to opt-out of Google analytics it’s taken an audacious stance… and it seems to be working. I cannot foretell whether Ello will soar or fail or if it will plod along as a niche forum for hobbyists. I am certain though that elements of its manifesto have appeal beyond Ello – and will be embraced by brands for all social channels. Here’s why.

It’s good for business

“We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership”- the Ello manifesto

Social channels have always been about facilitating connection and conversation. In that respect advertising has been the aberration. Ello’s a wake-up call to brand marketers, and perhaps to Facebook as well. The barrage of ads and follow-me display advertising leaves consumers disenchanted. It isn’t surprising that an alternative no-ad channel has mass appeal.

The kicker is that the aggressive push is not needed. Social channels are a great place to build brand affinity and marketing needs to focus on building a relationship with consumers organically through engaging content.

Monetize the experience, not eyeballs

Facebook is still the 500 lb gorilla in the ecosystem. Displacing it is no mean feat. Ditto for Youtube. The learning however is that content is king. Rich, engaging content means the consumer keeps coming back to your brand. And that’s the best kind of relationship.

There has been a shift in marketing to “monetizing the eyeballs”. That has led to ever more intrusive technologies for consumer tracking. Last click attribution has its own problems.

I can understand that marketers need to quantify the revenue impact of their initiatives to upper management. There are other ways to do it than by chasing the consumer to the cash register.

The case study linked below is with a consumer brand where the marketer quantified the revenue impact of the consumers’ engagement on Facebook. The pleasant discovery was that the social manager can now actually measure the impact of her work to the top-line as well as forecast the impact of content categories.

What's social engagement worth? A Case Study in Revenue Attribution

If you are a brand marketer do you see a role for the no-ad manifesto in your social strategy? Please share your thoughts below.

Embrace sculpture image by Eric Kilby used with permission under creative commons license.

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