Watching people, including myself, flock to Vero en masse was a sign of what we are all tired of: Instagram’s algorithm. I spent the last three weeks testing everything I could think of to try and figure out a solid strategy around confidently know what would work – I really couldn’t figure out anything that I knew I could rely on to increase my reach on Instagram, except posting twenty times per day or running ads.
Since I rarely get business from Instagram, I decided posting more often was not something I wanted to do, and I’m not yet ready for ads (this website needed to be built). Yet, I wanted my posts to show up in the feed to the 9k following I had built over the last few years.
So I had a choice. I decided to try Vero out.
It only took 3 failed attempts to post a photo while they tried to fix their servers before I decided to dismiss the app. Plus, the UI/UX is flat, buggy, and confusing. So, like the current version of Instagram, I saw this as a waste of time.
Then, I remembered I signed up for Ello in 2014, before the age of money-hangry algorithms (this is why the algorithms are changing: Facebook wants your money). At the time, I was deep in the world of misusing John Muir quotes and taking GoPro selfies during hikes, aka an “outdoor influencer.” So, Ello didn’t make sense at the time, plus all brands looking for influencers were on Instagram, and I had a few great relationships there.
But now, as I focus more on music, photography, and creativity, Ello is the perfect answer to my Instagram woes. So I’ve started posting there more often and I am already seeing incredibly positive results, so I thought I’d share some of the other reasons I am making an official switch to Ello from Instagram (and jump on the Vero news cycle while I still can).
The newsfeed is chronological.
Isn’t is hilarious that in 2018 something we all want but don’t have is a chronological newsfeed? Good news: Ello still has one.
You can post from the desktop too!
You can technically schedule your Instagram posts from a desktop app like Buffer or HootSuite, but Ello does allow you to post natively. I also treat the “Discover,” section as a blog and browse different types of artists, mediums, and features.
No ads, no influencers, no BS.
To be clear: I do not think ads are bad. I am hired to manage Facebook Ads for several of my clients. I am a marketer. I believe ads work and are worth the money you put into them. However, it’s taken me a good chunk of time to learn how to run ads well and keep costs down and maintain good ROIs for my clients.
For the small business, blogger, photographer just starting out or even seasoned business owner, aka anyone who does not have a huge ad budget, they cannot afford to spend money while trying to figure it out. They may not be able to afford to hire someone like me, so for Instagram to prioritize paid content over organic is a problem.
And let’s talk about influencers: there are good ways and bad ways to work with influencers. If I can’t tell you’re being paid to promote a brand or product, that is a GOOD thing. If can tell, I immediately will not want to buy from the brand/company who allows influencers to write flat copy about why they use _____ for their _____ and to “visit the link in my profile to learn more.”
I actually scroll less through my Instagram newsfeed because it’s littered with ads and influencers. (Brands: use affiliate programs instead!)
I love scrolling through Ello because I’m not being marketed to with watered-down efforts. And, I actually like that there is now “Instagram Story,” or “Snapchat” feature on Ello. I don’t feel compelled to check it more than 1-2x per day, whereas I get FOMO if I don’t check my Instagram Stories every hour (yikes).
Reach is excellent.
I have posted a handful of times on Ello in the last week and have over 15k views on my content. On Instagram, I was maybe hitting a reach of 3k per week after the new algorithm changes took place. The math here is just so obvious to me: my time is worth more on Ello.
It also appears the “view,” count is weighed similarly to the “likes,” count on Instagram. I know the longer I use the app, the more I will decipher to analytics and how engagement is valued.
You can sell products without an eCommerce store.
I even got one of my clients, Brainstorm to begin posting to Ello and since they have their entire print shop on Shopify, it’s easy to share links to buy their work. Even if they didn’t have Shopify, you can still add any link you wish to encourage people to buy prints.
They pay and support artists.
This is an added bonus. I know artists were being paid on Instagram, but Ello actively hosts art giveaway, collabs, and artist invitations to help promote and support art. The entire platform is all about art and creativity.
You can post links that actually work in the caption.
Yep. So musicians can link to their Spotify pages, or as a DJ I can share a link to my mixes.
Everything is full-res!
Nothing gets compressed. THANK GOODNESS.
They have an existing user-base.
Since Ello began in 2014, the community has grown, and since it’s a niche community of creators, it’s PERFECT for someone who is an artist, photographer, musician, designer, etc., which are the communities of people I see trying to leave Instagram.
You will be inspired to create, not copy.
…because people are sharing what they are creating, and not what they are copying from others on Instagram. Samuel Zeller calls this out perfectly in his article about Ello.
I’ve already deleted my Vero account and will be sticking to Ello and Instagram for my visual social media platforms. Because Instagram is controlled by Facebook Ads, there is definitely value in using advertising the right way on Instagram right now. It’s only going to get more expensive to advertise there as more people start doing it.
Connect with me on Ello: https://ello.co/tiffinycostello