Recently launched social media network “Ello” is currently receiving upto 31,000 requests by the hour. (numbers vary based on sources) Placed as an anti-facebook, anti-commercial network dedicated to users, Ello, or the phenomenon of Ello can only be seen as a rebellion towards structured commercialized social networks. It could potentially damage Facebook. Or it may just disappear as another Arab Spring. The awareness is growing that Users are fed up being a product and having their data sold to companies. Networks are no longer organic, currently I would say “synthetic” after all the algorithmical cosmetic treatments. Yet users have also remained complacent and tethered to familiarity and peer pressure. But it could be that this is the beginning of more challenges yet to come. As it has been foreseen, all the existing social networks will be challenged. We are on the edge of a paradigm shift to Social Networks 2.0., the emergence of a plethora of smaller networks and a true plurality. Should museums be worried about this?

Is Ello a wake-up call for social media managers in museums? I would assume so. Museums cannot and should not depend upon placing their digital assets solely on proprietary social networks forever. Or if they do they should strategically plan to initiate fast redeployment to other “open” platforms. This Ello rebellion or should I call this a “movement” has the potential to derail all the carefully crafted content-placement and strategies undertaken by many museums. The captive audience fostered as “Friends” by museums on the networks are as much likely to abandon ship. Of course museums will follow you to “Ello”. And, then you will move to “Jello” and so forth. What all this would mean is that museums have to be always ready for this change. Not to hijack trends but to be ready with a small suitcase. Be ready to avoid the 7 deadly sins of Social Media Marketing.  A set of simple instructions that would outline the strategies. Responsive content that could scale for any channel, be it photo-intensive, micro-blogging-themed, location-based and or video-focused. It would be important to analyze who the network is generally targeted to. What is the algorithm policy of the network? What data they grab? Analytics could be useful if they are available. The main thing to remember is to keep your social network strategy maddeningly simple and flexible. And the best would be to place your precious assets on an “Open” social platform.

What platforms are your audience currently using? Do they really want you to be there?(curious grandma on Facebook example) Do they even care to read your posts? Why should you assign so much resources on a ghost ship? How could we situate a smaller footprint on the social networks so we don’t get blown away by emerging “Ello” revolutions? So, be minimal. Go for a smaller web presence. Don’t try to jump on all bandwagons.

References

Baldwin R (2014) Everything you need to know about Ello, the latest trendy social network, 25 September 2014. Available from: http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2014/09/25/everything-need-know-ello-latest-trendy-social-network/

Dawson F (2014) How To Create a Social Network That Makes Money Forbes 30 September 2014. Availbale from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/freddiedawson/2014/09/30/how-to-create-a-social-network-that-makes-money/

Fishburne T (2014) 7 deadly sins of social media marketing 28 September 2014. Available from: http://tomfishburne.com/2014/09/socialmedia.html

Kleinman Z (2014) Anti-Facebook’ platform Ello attracts thousands BBC News, 29 September 2014. Available from: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-29409541

Lee K (2014) A Day in the Life: Social Media Manager 28 September 2014. Available from: http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2014/09/28/day-life-social-media-manager-spend-time-social-media/