facebook

Oh Boy Surprisingly Helpful Insight To Using Facebook For Your Law Firm

How to Get Started Using Facebook for your Law Firm

The majority of social media users are merely consumers of these platforms. However, it’s a lucrative medium for generating more awareness, buzz and even new customers for your business.

With millions of users logging onto apps including Facebook every day, it makes sense for many advertisers to leverage these platforms for marketing purposes.

In this article, we’re going to go over how you can get started using Facebook for your law firm - especially if you’re a small, local-based practice.

The Value of Marketing on Facebook

First off, why is Facebook arguably the best social network to use?

While younger people are flocking to alternative platforms like Instagram, SnapChat and TikTok, older Millennials, Gen X and baby boomers make up a significant portion of engaged Facebook daily, active users. Furthermore, Facebook owns Instagram. As a result, it offers a seamless way to plug your content into Instagram should you desire to incorporate its network into your social media strategy.

So how can you go about implementing a marketing strategy for your law firm?

It’s all based around a Facebook page for your business. If you don’t already have one, then the first thing to do is create a page for your firm.

 

What Content You Should Post to Drive Engagements

The next step is to come up with a content strategy. This will entail outlining what you are going to post on your page and share with your audience. Not everything that you post on social media should be directly tied to your firm or the law. Remember that people are on social media to hang out.

That means it’s crucial to offer content for that type of audience. When you start marketing on Facebook, one of your primary objectives is generating engagements (reactions, comments and shares) on your posts.

Katapult Marketing found that 71% of the most shared content on Facebook can be classified into 4 categories:

  • Awe-Inspiring

  • Laughter

  • Amusement

  • Joyful

This should give you a strong indication that a good amount of your content needs to connect with your audience, instead of trying to force your audience to connect with you. When it comes to laughter and comical posts, try to find jokes, memes and other forms of visual humor related to the law.

There is no shortage of this type of shareable content out there.

You can get ideas by searching on Pinterest for lawyer jokes, stats and inspirational quotes. You can also look at other law firms’ Facebook business pages - in and outside of your local market - to see what they’re posting. Just try not to focus too closely on mimicking your competitors.

Develop your own, unique approach. If you’re using their content and/or ideas and re-posting it, there’s a good chance a portion of your audience has already seen it before.

The top category for shareable content is awe-inspiring.

These can be videos with an incredible moving story or an image with an inspirational quote. While unrelated to your business, they get a lot of attention and engagement in the form of likes, comments and shares.

Every time someone sees your post in the News Feed, it serves as a micro-impression for your business as you’ll get credit as the “user” posting it.

If you have difficulty coming up with ideas and content to post on Facebook, you can always hire a freelancer to manage the content creation and curation process for you.

 

Market Your Business by Engaging Interest in Relevant Topics

When it comes to connecting with a subset of your audience or your target clients, you want to create a deeper awareness of your brand and offerings. This is more of the information you’re eager to share with your audience, rather than what you may consider the layer of engagement fluff we discussed earlier.

At this point, you may be tempted to plug your services or offers. It’s ok to do this once in a while, but it won’t perform well on social networks unless you’re investing a significant ad budget into it and running it as an ad rather than a post.

Instead, build a list of topics related to your areas of law.

For instance, if you’re a family lawyer you can share content on ways to manage and minimize the impact of a divorce or separation on children, tips to deal with your ex civilly in a public manner, the reasons to settle a divorce rather than go to trial etc.

As you can imagine, we’re barely scratching the surface on the useful content you can serve up to your target audience, from which some may convert into clients.

Another good tactic for building a list of topics and post ideas is to think of your ideal client’s frequently asked questions. You should then proceed to answer each question in a post.

You have flexibility on the format and you can give short or long form answers. Long form answers are recommended, but the length is ultimately a function of serving the reader with as much value as possible.

 

An Opportunity to Promote Your Law Firm’s Blog

If you have a blog on your website, you can address the question there and link to it in a Facebook post. It’s powerful driving a targeted audience from Facebook, that is geographically near you and interested in legal topics you write about to your law firm’s website.

Talk about your perfect, target audience for potential new leads and clients!

The objective is to develop a connection between your business and relevant topics. Use this as a way to become the known authority in your industry or specialization in your target market and area.

Targeting & Building Your Ideal Audience

Since we’re dealing with Facebook for law firms, there are 2 methods you can use - either together or independently - to reach your target audience.

The first method involves building your audience through page likes.

Page likes allow you to have your page liked and followed (by default) by fans.

As a result, your future posts will have a better chance of organically reaching your fans and therefore have a steady stream of people who will most likely see your content perpetually as you continue to post and share new content through your business page.

You can accumulate page likes and fans organically or paid.

You should start with organic and squeeze as much potential as you can out of your existing friends list. Once you have exhausted it, you can start promoting your page on Facebook to attract page likes.

Keep in mind that this is a paid method of growing your page’s fan base.

The second method you can use is by boosting your posts.

Boosting posts allows you to add an advertising budget to your posts to boost its position in your audience’s news feed. For a relatively small budget (less than $10 per post), you can significantly increase your reach and engagement. What’s more is that when you boost a post, you can select an audience to promote it to.

While it’s beyond the scope of this article, you can build audiences on Facebook that laser target the areas and demographics of your target audience. This will ensure that your boosted posts will reach people who live in areas where your practice desires to attract more clients from.

When it comes to choosing between boosting (paying) posts and sharing posts organically with your page fans, I tend to find that the best strategy is a combination of the two.

You can grow your page audience by promoting your page for more likes on Facebook and then also boost posts afterwards. You would ideally want to do this if you are committed to using your Facebook page as a long term marketing channel and investment. Just as with posting, you can target geo-locations and demographics around your firm to promote your page to when you’re paying for page likes.

Promoting your page and growing your page likes won’t likely be a long term activity, as it can be expensive to grow your page likes. However, after several weeks or months of promoting your page, you’ll have a solid audience of fans and followers who are more likely to see your future posts.

Post Regularly

Posting regularly is the most important component of a successful Facebook page marketing strategy. Many businesses set up Facebook pages and then abandon the strategy soon after.

Don’t let this be you.

You don’t have to post everyday if you’re going the DIY route. Posting 2-3 times per week or about 12 times per month is a good start.

This is a very manageable amount, yet still enough that you can create a content strategy of several different types of content to keep things fresh and engaging. Even several times per week may sound like too much of an investment for you, as both a lawyer and business owner to personally put into the platform.

Not to worry.

If you know how to use the platform as a business page admin, you only have to spend several hours per month managing it yourself. This includes putting your posts together and then you can let it work on autopilot for you. You can create, schedule and boost your posts all at once. Then over the course of the month, Facebook will automatically post your content on your behalf.

If you end up contracting an agency or freelancer to curate and create your monthly post content, then I would encourage you to take advantage of their time and consider posting north of 15 posts per month. This will give you enough opportunities to share engagement-driven posts as well as targeted, legal-specific content.

Conclusion

When it comes to marketing your firm on social media, there are few other forms of DIY online marketing as simple as Facebook. Once you have your content strategy, growth and promotion strategy (page likes vs boosting or both) and your target number of monthly posts, you’re ready to start planning your first month of content. If you plan to do everything yourself, it should only take a few hours per month. When we outsource the content creation to freelancers, it takes us less than an hour per month to review the content, schedule it and boost it ourselves.

Whatever you decide, Facebook page marketing is a simple and cost-effective way to promote and build awareness for your legal practice.

Author’s Bio

Jared Kimball is a programmer and digital marketing consultant. He is the owner and lead strategist at Zahavian Legal Marketing, an agency that works with small law firms and solo practitioners - handling all of their SEO, Web and PPC Ad needs.

Tripledown Meltdown Facebook Search

Facebook Search Groups Photos Friends By Location

Source

We’ve gone over many ways to do a Facebook search, but in this last installment there’s a bit more to discover in order to complete your Facebook search training.

Just to recap:

In part one we covered how to search Facebook by a phone number, doing a typical people search in order to find friends, completing a Facebook search by hashtag and searching by post.

In part two we covered how to do a Facebook search without logging in and we talked about the advanced search feature that is now known as Facebook graph search.

Needless to say there’s been a lot that I’ve disclosed on how to search Facebook with a fine tooth comb and as hard as it may be to believe.. there’s even more to tell you about in this post too.

Search Facebook groups

The first method is learning how to search Facebook groups.

Using the graph search that we talked about in the last post, the idea here is that you want to find people that are connected to the niche that you’re looking for.

For instance if I wanted to look for other bloggers, what would I search for ?

In the graph search I would type in a general search term. I’m going to type in “bloggers”. No quotes needed for the search.

Now after typing it in, we’ll wait and see what the search function brings back in terms of results for me.

As you can see in the image, I’ve typed in bloggers and there are several results even though you can only see the first five that were generated.

Facebook Search Groups

Source

Additionally, you’ll notice that I have navigated to the “groups” tab to show what groups are there that are associated with that keyword that I have used for the search. You can also further modify this search by indicating whether you want to see only the public groups or the closed groups too using the panel to the left of the search page.

Nevertheless, the really nice thing about this is that it helps us to figure out where people are hanging out that are connected to the niche that we want to target and focus on. Now for me as a blogger, to find other bloggers, aspiring bloggers or people that like to follow other bloggers, this would be a very targeted way for me to locate individuals connected to this niche.

Granted “bloggers” is very broad, but you get the point as to where I’m going with this.

Even if you want to narrow down your search the end reality is still the same in terms of what this search can do for you either from an informational standpoint or if you’re trying to find people that may be interested in a product or service that you’re trying to sell.

Search Facebook photos

In order to search Facebook photos, we’ll continue to use the Facebook graph search. As with other searches that we have done in this Facebook series, let’s start with a keyword.

I did a post on motivational quotes to help inspire and elevate bloggers when they feel like quitting or giving up so for the purposes of this search we’re going to use this keyword phrase, “motivational quotes for work”.

Once we complete this search, the tab that we want to navigate to is going to be the photos tab.

As you can see in the image below, the photos are a byproduct of the successful completion of the search and this search can be done for any photos that you’re seeking connected to your niche. Some may say that you need to search starting with the keyword: photos, but I would disagree.

Facebook Search Photos

Source

Granted the search that I did was on motivational quotes, but you can do a search within any niche + the keyword phrase to generate any “public photos” associated with that search.

Search for friends on Facebook by location

The next and final search that we’ll do is going to target finding people by location.

While location might not be the biggest thing since sliced bread, what I can tell you is that it’s not just a basic location search.

In the example that I will show you as illustrated in the photo, you’ll see that I targeted 2 different search criteria while searching by location.

The criteria that I targeted was hometown and college attended. This search was also completed by the “find friends” option at the top of your Facebook search dashboard.

Upon clicking “find friends” you’ll see a subset of criteria that will appear on the right of the screen. The screen options include being able to search:

  • Name
  • Mutual friends
  • Hometown
  • Current city
  • High school
  • College or university
  • Employer
  • Graduate school

All of these are self-explanatory, but again as I mentioned before you can search these location type criteria simultaneously and you’re not just limited to only choosing one and proceeding with your search.

In the image below you’ll see that I’ve chosen two criteria.

Facebook Search Find Friends Location

Source

 

I’ve done this randomly just to show you for the sake of demonstration what the search would generate. I chose a hometown city of Columbus, Ohio and a College as Miami University because I wanted to see what the results would be for individuals who grew up in that city but attended Miami U.

Facebook generated several results which was a great representation of the power of that search.

With that said, there are many more options that can be chosen to help you narrow and fine tune your search even further beyond a location that you can combine with other aspects of this type of search.

Imagine that you’re doing work on behalf of a local business to help them find leads.

Search with this capability may be very helpful in providing such a service and this is just one of many possibilities that may be at your disposal through Facebook search.

Needless to say, as this is the third and final installment of the Facebook search series, surely you’ll be able to find any information that you need for blogging, for business or personal use using the methods that have been disclosed in the series of posts on this topic.

Additionally, before I end this post you may also want to try Search Is Back as an alternative to expediting your Facebook search as well.

Thanks for reading. If you liked the post, please use the share buttons below.

#candidwriter #facebook #search

Facebook Login Problems -facebooklogin- The Social Media Crash And Burn Detector

Social Media Connections And Facebooklogin Problems Down Detector

Source

So here’s a question.. considering that we rely so heavily on the use of connectivity to work online and reach the masses through social media, what happens when you have Facebook login problems or worse yet, can’t even use the network. What happens when your social media outlets just take a dive and they are out of commission ? Does it strike fear in your heart ? That sense of panic just sets in and you have no real idea about what’s going on other than you just want it to work. There’s nothing worse than that sense of helplessness when the outlets that you are counting on to always be up and running suddenly aren’t working anymore.

So with that said, this post is a little off the beaten path for me, but I started thinking about all the marketers, bloggers and website owners and everyday people that use Facebook and social media and thought about our reliance on these networks and how it impacts revenue, our businesses and audiences too and that’s not something that can be ignored.

While I’m not an avid user of Facebook for my own personal reasons, it doesn’t negate the fact that there are billions of people that use the social network and count on it persistently. Conservatively speaking hundreds of thousands of people experience Facebook login and connectivity issues every year and what does that do for you as a person that is running a business that relies on Facebook to work. Connectivity issues have been synonymous with Facebook for nearly a decade which is an uncomfortable reality for small business owners that utilize the Facebook network for the benefit of it’s massive exposure that it has been known to provide.

I Hate It Facebook Social Media Connection Problems

Source

This issue is valid one from a blogging standpoint due the fact that consistency is necessary. There have been instances where Facebook has been down for five hours or more. From a business standpoint, that down time potentially results in huge losses of revenue and there is no real accountability for the company since it’s user base is opt in. These connectivity issues are not just limited to people that are logging in through desktop portals but through mobile applications as well. The response from such down times have notably resulted in people taking to other social networks in masses to express growing concerns about the reliability of the social network.

Now granted in fall fairness that not all connectivity issues can solely be pointed at Facebook, but the flipside is that Facebook has the largest user base of nearly any social network used for business purposes today. This is just one criticism among many that Facebook has received since it’s initial debut in 2004. When these problems do occur, Facebook takes to providing “general” responses with respect to feedback as to what has occurred which doesn’t provide much consolation to anyone anxiously awaiting for the network to return to form so that normal usage may resume. Nevertheless, in spite of it’s response when the network does go down, it’s hard to know what is the truth as well. However thankfully a newcomer to the scene has provided transparency that can be trusted when users experience Faceboook login problems or wonder the looming the question.. is Facebook down without any real answers.

I Love You You're My Hero Social Media Connections

Source

If you haven’t heard of Down Detector, this is a website that started to make a name for itself in 2013. Basically they are touted as the weathermen of the digital world as quoted in an article by Computer World in May of 2013. In the article, it goes on to state that this website can detect outages or network problems almost as soon as they happen by studying data from social networks to identify the service issues almost as soon as they take place. The goal behind the company is to provide users with better information about network problems as they occur. Clearly this is a sigh of relief for many because it means that you don’t have to rely on shrouded information from the affected networks themselves anymore. Obviously, those networks will still respond but there’s something to be said about having a third party far removed without any associated attachments that can provide information that is accurate and forthcoming because lets face it.. networks like Facebook don’t typically want you to know the truth.

This video gives you an overview of what Downdetector does as well and the type of networks they are targeting with respect to their mission and services.

Another useful aspect of this service is that it not only shows you graphs and reports of current issues with networks, but it also will report on past issues that it has detected, provide avenues for you to voice your thoughts about the network problems and view others feedback about the problems too. Clearly providing a sense of urgency for these networks to resolve the problems has been a long time in the works and there are many people that are happy that there is a company that has been constructed that is airing on the side of the user and not for the sole benefit of the companies they are reporting on.

Downdetector currently tracks several big name social networks that include the following:

  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Tumblr
  • Reddit
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Snapchat and more.

LinkedIN is even part of the social media lineup which makes Downdetector a pretty serious company in the social media scene and that’s great news for the rest of us when it comes to the reliability of social networks.

The work that we do is critically important, our customers are important and the necessity for networks to keep up their end of the bargain goes without saying. As a blogger, I also utilize social media and as small business owners these networks are synonymous with our livelihoods as they directly impact revenue, traffic and our audiences.

Downdetector has made it a priority to assist in those efforts to make large networks like Facebook and others more transparent when things go wrong that directly affect their users which means it’s a new day for social media networks and for those of us that use them too.

Thanks for reading. If you liked the post, please use the share buttons below.

#candidwriter #facebook #socialmedia

Facebook (FB) Atlas Ad Platform - Facebook Privacy - The New Creep Under The Bridge

Privacy ? What Facebook Privacy ??

Facebook Atlas No Facebook Privacy

Source

Oh boy oh boy... we can always count on Facebook to remind us of how scary the internet can be.. and Facebook Atlas is no exception. So lets start with this question. If you knew that a friend of yours was secretly reading your email so that they could ummmm "help" give you better advice would you let them ???? While I would never guess that I'd get a whopping 100% of people to say yes to this, I'd say it's pretty reasonable to think that I'd be okay in assuming that better than 90% of people would say they wouldn't be okay with this practice.

Additionally, as you read this post, I will preface that what I've written is not simply a tirade or one sided opinion. This is about their history, their unethical practices, violation of user trust and continuation of repeated acts that continue to nullify their claims that they do indeed care about privacy for users that utilize their network. So with that said, I get it that "millions" of people are on Facebook, but if you've been reading my posts for any amount of time you know the glaring concerns that I have regarding the social media behemoth. I've focused my issues solely around how they value privacy starting with this video from Youtuber Matthias.

Aside from the humor which I love by the way, the issues are real with Facebook. It's only a matter of time before this gets really bad, like "scary" bad.. wish Facebook would have never been invented bad, but so far we're not there yet. However, incrementally if you've paid attention to the history of unconscionable mistakes they've made disregarding the trust of it's fan base, one can reasonably assume that the worst is yet to come.. whatever that may be. However, there's always that off chance that FB will start to listen, respect your privacy and restore social confidence, but maybe that's just wishful thinking.. only time will tell.

Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) - The Infamous Transcript

Nevertheless, lets start with Zuckerberg's early days in Facebook. While there's no doubt that we're all supposed to get wiser with age, this was just the beginning of HUGE concerns regarding how important privacy was to Facebook and it's founder. In a leaked transcript from 2003, Mark was found mocking the very users that helped him to propel FB into the spotlight. The transcript reads:

  • Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

  • Zuck: Just ask.

  • Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

  • [Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?

  • Zuck: People just submitted it.

  • Zuck: I don't know why.

  • Zuck: They "trust me"

  • Zuck: Dumb fucks.

Mark Zuckerberg Facebook Privacy

Source

While no one verified the authenticity of this, Facebook did not deny it either. Even though we continue to hear about how "important" privacy is to Facebook, their actions consistently paint a different picture that doesn't align well with what they state openly to the public when they've been addressed on the topic of Facebook privacy.

Facebook Virtual Suicides In The Millions

It's no secret that many people left and right have been shutting their Facebook profiles down. Gizmodo did the same in 2010. They wrote an article about the top 10 reasons why you should quit Facebook. The article shared some very insightful information that I will summarize by headline, but I will provide the complete article after the bullet points are made. Among their reasons are the following:

  • The FB TOS is completely one sided

  • Mark Zuckerberg has a history of "unethical" behavior

  • FB has declared war on privacy

  • FB is pulling the bait and switch on it's users

  • FB is a bully

  • Your "private data" is being shared

  • Facebook shouldn't be trusted

  • Facebook makes it VERY hard to "completely" delete your account

  • FB does not support the open web

  • The Facebook application isn't that good

The complete article can be found here: Gizmodo Quit Facebook Article

The article is a good read so even though I've only highlighted points, there's a lot more to be said that Gizmodo elaborates on more in depth.

Delete Your Facebook Page Goodbye Facebook

Source

Interestingly enough, Facebook reportedly lost 9 million active users in the United States and another 2 million in Britain over privacy concerns in 2013. These were numbers that came from an article written by the Dailymail. The article can be found here: FB Users Committing Virtual Identity Suicide. Another bit of information worth noting is that while internet privacy (also known as online privacy) is a broad term, this is paramount to many people because there is an expectation that the forums, social media sites and other mediums that we interact with where we do share data will keep our data safe and protected and serve as a buffer from those that seek to either profit or engage in practices that may be harmful, damaging or unethical to the individual. When these things do not happen, you can reasonable suspect that there will be feelings of discontentment, anger and backlash.. all things that have been experienced by Facebook from multiple destinations online that utilize their network and from those that do not.

Facebook Undercover Tactics

Remember Deepface ? This was another creepy feature that rolled out in 2014 from Facebook that was their experimentation with facial recognition software. However, it was actually run on their website shortly after Facebook bought Face.com and implemented without user consent or knowledge which rightfully so creeped out a lot of people.

Facebook owns the largest photo database of any agency in the world. So with this new feature that FB quietly rolled out but now is stating its an "opt-in" feature which it really isn't allowed them to recognize faces with great accuracy, almost as effective as any person could simply by uploading a photo. You can't disable the facial recognition.. you can only disable who sees the auto tags. Nevertheless, what are the implications for this ?

Well consider someone that isn't your friend on FB. Someone takes your photo, uploads your photo to Facebook and is able to collect details and other information about you using their platform ? Privacy advocates have made efforts to force FB to delete it's FRS software. It is unclear just how successful those efforts have been.

Mark Zuckerberg Facebook Atlas Privacy

Source

In more egregious mistakes, who can forget the massive psychological study, dubbed "emotionally manipulative" that was done on over 700,000 Facebook users without their knowledge subjected to highly positive and negative elements through their accounts, photos, and user feeds they viewed that intentionally affected their moods. The real kicker even though people were rightfully "ticked off" is that what Facebook did was not in violation of their TOS. Again I will reiterate as Matthias did in the video referenced earlier in this post.. it is time to say goodbye to Facebook if you haven't already. If this manipulation is within acceptable bounds in their terms of service, I'd say it's fair to assume that they could probably get away with a lot more in the future. We wouldn't accept this from a friend, we wouldn't accept this from an employer and it certainly shouldn't be acceptable from a "social network", of which we are not being forced to use.

Facebook Atlas Ad Platform

Facebook has returned to the spotlight with their newest acquisition from Microsoft rebuilding it to fit their platform. Facebook Atlas is yet another amplification of how FB doesn't value your privacy for the individual.

  • Have you asked to be followed around the web ?

  • Have you asked to have ads tailored to you or your preferences ?

  • Have you asked to be tracked online ?

  • Would any of this be okay to you without your permission ?

Chances are pretty good that you haven't asked to have any of these things done to you or for you and that you wouldn't be okay with it either. It doesn't matter how anyone tries to coat this one with sugar and sweet goodies... anything related to Facebook that "follows" you around and tracks what you do is bad news. This is all primed to make the social platform even more money to make even more poor decisions with the power at it's disposal and worse yet, will allow Facebook to still impact you on other websites even if you don't use their website.. all of which can and will be done over any mobile device. As the gentleman in the video states so pointedly:

  • We know who you are...

  • We know where you live..

  • We know what you do.

This is what Facebook is becoming.. this is not okay and this is not privacy.

Dislike Facebook Atlas Facebook Privacy   Source

Dislike Facebook Atlas Facebook Privacy

Source

Facebook Alternative

Ello has become the anti Facebook alternative. My Ello Review can be found in this post: Ello Review. For those of you that are looking for an alternative to Facebook, I would encourage you to read the Ello manifesto, which again can be found in my post on the new social media platform and consider whether Ello is the right alternative for you.

Thanks for reading. If you liked the post, please use the share buttons below.

#candidwriter #blog #fb #facebook

Ello Tips Learn How To Use Ello Social Network Alternative To Facebook

How To Use Ello Tips

Source

Ello Ya That's Right

Oooohhhh, Ahhhh... Newwwww right ? Well that's Ello. The idea here is to do an Ello review on how to use Ello (features to get you up and running) and explore some Ello tips that could be useful to all the newcomers that are joining the new social network.

This new social media alternative to Facebook has been growing at a fast and furious pace. We're talking 30,000 new signups per day. Sheesh, that's some activity to make you drool right ? We should all be so lucky. Granted as the would-be challenger to Facebook, they've got a ways to go before they come remotely close to giving Facebook something to be concerned about, but they're off to a great start. Lets just say this, many have tried and many have failed to be considered a meaningful Facebook contender.

The idea that is worth some real thought in regards to this new social medium is that it give it's fans, the curious minded, people looking for a better social alternative and others a network where they are "not" considered to be the product. The anti-facebook mantra of sorts. On Facebook, "you" are the product. Surveys are done on you (remember that emotional study no one knew about ?), animal testing (well close, but not really), invasions of privacy in new features that are quietly embedded in their TOS and a host of other little sneaky things that sends the message that Facebook's interest is not about you or your privacy.. something that no matter how small or large they have grown have continued to struggle with. It has become an advertising platform, something quite a stretch from it's roots and successful beginnings.

Ello's Manifesto

Ello's founder, Paul Budnitz, has stated that his network is not about trying to be the biggest one out there or a threat to Facebook.. Ello is really not all about that, but from an outsider looking in, I'm sure they're happy being in the same conversation as the social media giant that is Facebook anyway.

With that said, lets start with how the Ello manifesto comes across to people looking for something different.. something that truly sounds sincere: Ello has a belief in being simple, being transparent and in partnerships with it's users.. truly a paradigm shift in thinking, but one that makes sense in a world of sharing information where companies benefit from who.. they benefit from you as the user. Ello ends it's manifesto in stating very simply.. "you are not a product". Talk about a no fluff way of saying, we care about you and we want you to have a place to go that is free of people trying to deceive you.

Sounds too good to be true and you know what the adage is about that.. things that sound too good to be true usually are, but for the time being, Ello really looks very promising.

Ello highlights their belief in privacy affirming that they do not sell their data to anyone else and that there are controls in place that give you control over "how much" information is shared on their network. You, as the user are encouraged to read the document in it's entirety and Ello reiterates the importance of privacy, their practices and ability to opt-out. I can affirm that I have read the entire document and it is worth your time to read it so that you know what Ello is doing with the information that is on their system as it pertains to you. Having read the document, speaking only for myself, it appears to be very transparent, very straight forward and I am hopeful that they remain this way. It is certainly a breath of fresh air to read a document of importance in straight language that everyone can reasonably understand.

My Ello Quickstart

Now while there are many aspects of Ello to talk about, lets focus on some things to get you up and running once you've received an invitation code. As you can tell, my Ello page (@CandidWriter) is brand spanking new so I've got my full allotment of invites to share. Feel free to send an email at cw@candidwriter.com if you'd like an invite code. I can share until my codes have been exhausted and once they're gone, they're gone.

The first thing you want to do is sign up. Choose a name wisely. If you're a business, your brand name is a good choice, but if you aren't, think about a name that best represents something that is important to you. Your name will also become the Ello address you'll give to others.

For example, since I chose the name: candidwriter, my Ello address will look like this: https://ello.co/candidwriter.

Choosing a name on Ello is unique in that you can change your name at any time. What you should be aware of is that once you've changed this, it can be used or taken by another user and the same applies if you were to delete your account. I haven't found that you're limited to how often you can change your name yet on Ello. Make sure that you use a valid email address as this will be used to validate your email account used during the registration process. Very simple and very barebones as far as the information you're required to enter to get access once you've completed the signup process.

Ello Profile

The next order of business is to complete your Ello profile. Once you're logged in, you will come to a welcome page (depicted in the photo below) with some information to help you get started. Whoever invited you will be your first friend, there's some brief mention about discovery, friends, noise, settings, wtf (to learn more about Ello) and favorite profiles.

How To Use Ello Tips Welcome Page

Source

The area that I was most interested in was the settings. Once you click on the settings, you will be able to complete your profile setup. You will notice to the middle of your screen a big circle where you can add your profile image. Not the most common dimensions if you ask me but they want something that is 340x340 and yes, it will get cropped and you probably won't like the result if you're a stickler for a clean perfect image so keep that in mind as you proceed with your upload. Nevertheless, I was pretty pleased that mine turned out alright though.

Additionally there's a section above if you just scroll upwards where you can upload a header image. Again not the most common of dimensions.. 1800x1013 ?? but it is what it is. Either find an image that fits perfectly or just come to grips with the cropping. My image isn't perfect, but I'm okay with the results of the upload either way. It's certainly better than having blank space there. The feature seems a little quirky to me the way it works but maybe that's the way it's supposed to. Maybe Ello will send me some feedback about that if they see this post. The profile section also allows you to enter bio details, links and the ability to view your profile the way it will be seen by others.

I did find the settings and notifications area interesting as well. With respect to settings here's what you'll see:

  • There is the public profile setting. You can decide whether you want to make your profile viewable to people outside of the Ello network.

  • There is the comments section. You can decide whether you want others to comment on your posts.

  • The is the analytics section. You can decide whether you want to allow Ello to gather anonymous information about how you're spending time on the site. Apparently this helps to make Ello better. I turned this feature off, but that's just my personal preference. I may feel differently about this in the future.

How To Use Ello Tips Settings And Notifications

Source

In the way of notifications, here's what you'll see:

  • On comments, you can decide whether you want to receive an email when other users comment on your posts.

  • On mentions, yes very similar to Twitter, you can tell Ello whether you'd like to receive an email when others mention you in a post.

  • On new followers, you can elect to receive an email when someone decides to follow you.

  • On invitations, you can decide whether to be notified when someone accepts your invitation.

The last section of the profile area is on account deletion. I do like that you are in control of deleting your own account. With the click of a button your account can be deleted, but as with any network online, don't be fooled into thinking that your information has not been stored "somewhere". Backups are commonplace for any entity online. What I do not know is how long Ello hangs on to your data even if it is not publicly accessible to you or anyone else. Nevertheless, once you've deleted the account, you will no longer have access to it.

Ello Posting, Commenting And Searching

The next area to explore is how to post on Ello. With it's minimalistic design, there are a few things that you're sure to be unfamiliar with that may lead to some confusion, but the layout does take a little bit to get used to, but once you know what you're doing, it's really very simple.

How To Use Ello Say Ello Posting

Source

Assuming you've uploaded your 340x340 profile image, you should see a little dialogue box that says "say ello" as seen in the photo above. Once you click on that box it will expand. You can drag and drop images into it and post text and video links in there as well. Additionally, for all the Emoji fanatics out there, visit this Ello page for all the emoji you can handle. Like Twitter, if you want to mention someone else in your post just use the "@" symbol and their name within the body of your post. I'd also like to mention an observation while posting a few posts of my own on my account. I noticed that you don't get confirmations when you edit or delete posts such as: are you sure you want to edit this post or are you sure you want to delete this post. I would guess that this is something they will take a look at in the near future, but for now be sure when you take action on your post that you're sure you want to do it because there's no going back if you make a mistake.

On commenting to someone's post, you will see three little dots. Just hover with your mouse at the bottom of the post and that's where you'll find the 3 little dots. Click on them and a box will show up and then click on the black box with the persons Ello name on it and you can leave a comment on that post. It's pretty simple and likely to work most of the time.

One last note and this is just how it goes when you join a system that's in beta. If you want to search, you have to go to the discovery page. On that page you will see in big letters at the top "SEARCH", but guess what ? If you type anything in the search box, the system doesn't respond. Needless to say, at this time, the search feature does not work, but since it's beta, new features will be rolling out and so will additional functionality. Search is common with most systems so I would imagine this will be up and running before it comes out of beta.

Ello Noise

So there's this strange little feature called "noise". This is Ello's unique way of following people without following them. I think it's kind of interesting. So maybe I don't necessarily want to be friends with a particular person but I'd like to keep up with their updates anyway. This is something that you would do on the discovery page. As depicted in the image below (take note of the words "discover"):

How To Use Ello Tips Discovery

Source

How To Use Ello Tips Noise

Source

Just click on the discovery icon in the upper left hand part of your Ello page and you'll be taken to the discovery page. Next to each Ello user will be two boxes side by side. One will say friend and the other will say noise. You can choose either option. Once you've chosen it, a red X will appear. You can also unchoose either option if you've made a mistake or changed your mind. Noise is highlighted in "grey" in the photo above ONLY because my mouse was hovering over it.

Well that's your quickstart to Ello. Ello is going to be releasing new features in the coming months, but if you're lucky enough to get in on this new hot ticket, I think you'll find the new social media alternative to Facebook a nice change of pace in it's simplicity. I hope you've found this quickstart review of sorts on Ello helpful and informative. As with any social platform, what you get out of it really depends on what you put into it whether it's for personal use or for your brand. While there is nothing to pay for on Ello yet, it is rumored that a paid option will be coming at some point that isn't as barebones as the beta version is. So stay tuned for that but in the meantime, Ello is pretty cool and I for one, wish them the best of luck in their seemingly very bright future. 

Thanks for reading. If you liked the post, please use the share buttons below.

#candidwriter #blog #ello