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Why Jelly Is a Headache for Marketers
Posted on January 16th 2014
Jelly, you say? As in, the stuff that tastes awesome with ice-cream, no matter what age you are? No, I'm afraid not. In fact, I mean the new app from Biz Stone that launched last week.
Their homepage states 'Let's help each other', and that's the basic premise of the app - you snap a picture that makes up part of a question and then your network (Jelly links to your Twitter and Facebook networks) answers your question. A pretty simple premise, and one that people have received pretty well. It's worth noting that Jelly isn't a social network per se; you don't have a profile, and as things stand, people can't follow you. It's merely a way of asking questions via image - people can answer them, or decide to doodle on your image. Where it goes from here I don't know (my crystal ball is in for a MOT), but I don't want to dig too deep into the workings of Jelly in this post. Their blog is worth a read.
Is Jelly an opportunity for brands and marketers?
In a word, yes, but at this stage, I don't recommend jumping on-board unless you have some serious time to spend on it. If I can give an example of a Jelly I made last night:
Within around 2 minutes, I'd received 10 answers, and when I arose from my beauty slumber this morning, it had extended to 26. Many of the answers were well-thought out and some were even amusing. This shows that people are keen to get involved. If I flip this to a marketing perspective, I see an opportunity. The Whisky is that glass is made by the mighty Laphroaig. If I had mentioned the fact that it was a dram of their finest, that would have been an opportunity to respond to my question - 'Yes Whisky is the best damn drink in the world Mike, thanks very much for drinking our famous concoction'. They also could have linked me to their site for more info, perhaps a deal, etc. The problem is, in order for Laphroaig to have discovered that tweet, they would have had to have been sitting and sifting through all of the questions their networks had posted. The thing is, you can't (currently) search within Jelly and there's no hashtag usage either, meaning that users can't zero in on questions that may be of interest to them, which means it's a very manual task to find questions that you have the ability to answer as a brand. Without being able to allocate the resource to do this, you're going to struggle to make any impact. There's also the problem of adding real value with every response - for Jelly to work, people will want to receive helpful answers to their questions (of course, there'll also be people just on there for fun), so if brands are going to play there, there needs to be a good reason for them to be answering questions, and not just getting involved for the sake of getting involved. So while apps aren't made with marketers in mind (all the time), it's clear to me that Jelly in is current state is a bit of headache and in order to be an efficient platform, will need to introduce search etc. The blog does state that this is a basic version for launch, which is often the case.
Lowes Jump on Jelly
The American DIY giant, Lowes has long been an early adopter of social media, and they're one of the first major brands to jump on Jelly for a wobble... Notice that their answer was truly helpful. Lowes will have a strong team of people operating their social, and are likely to have the resource to give Jelly a go. They missed an opportunity to link to a product that would help, but in some ways, I applaud them for just giving advice and moving on. So should you be adding Jelly to your social media marketing arsenal? Not yet, unless you have the time, and can guarantee a quality experience. That applies to all social media use by the way!
Are you using Jelly? Enjoying your experience so far? Would you be happy to have brand answering your questions, or would you prefer they left you alone? Please do let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or tweet me here.