This article first appeared on www.socialfresh.com
There are always new tools and apps that seem to pop up in social media. Many will say they are the best, others simply appear and disappear. One of my favorite new tools is called Meerkat, a live video streaming app that allows for chatting in real time.
I noticed that @CarlosGil83 had been using the app all week, streaming live coverage of him discussing social media, branding and talking about his journey from unemployment to the interview and hiring process.
I wasn’t buying in, naturally, until I did…
And so it began, 9:00 on a Saturday, I would embark upon an epic 7-hour marathon of karaoke (yes, Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” was one of those songs) that was eventually served to over 315 people!
I was hooked, but, it got me thinking: how can brands take advantage of this?
1. Free Real-Time Audience Engagement
What other platform offers you real time engagement with your audience? If you said Twitter, you would be correct, except for the fact that you don’t know, with 100% certainty, that that person has seen your tweet.
With Meerkat, the game changes significantly. How?
First, and extremely important, you now own a coveted spot in your audiences’ notifications in iOS. Email used to be the coveted method of capturing the attention of someone, and that has quickly been passed by the almighty phone notification.
Secondly, The Twitter integration makes it feel so native and natural. If someone retweets a stream and you get a glimpse on Twitter, you can jump right in via the link, even if you’re on a desktop. (Right now, you cannot engage through the desktop viewer)
Lastly, not only are you able to see who is in your feed, but, they can interact with you, chat room style, allowing a brand to listen to questions being asked, engage with comments being made and more!
Never before has a brand had the opportunity to know exactly who is watching, listening and engaging. Better yet, a brand has the opportunity to schedule a stream, which alerts all the followers instantly on Twitter. Side note: it seems that scheduled streams tend to have more viewers.
2. Live Events
Event video is a powerful marketing tool (especially life and without script) because it’s inherently more trustworthy than a well-written promo. While no product is being “marketed”, event video content that highlights the best parts of a given evening can convey a depth of information about your brand.
For the time being, Meerkat is being used by, what seems to be, a well represented segment of techies. With a launch just a week ahead of SXSW, brands like Mastercard saw the value of live video at events.
3. Product Launches/Reviews
This is where Meerkat can really shine. Imagine Apple live streaming the Apple Events direct to millions of people’s iPhones instantly with the push of a button!
Every industry has different events. The fashion industry will have major fashion weeks or shows in exotic cities. Tech will have major conferences showing off the latest and greatest.
Any brand can now have an Apple Event-like product release by utilizing the Twitter integration and live streaming of Meerkat.
It won’t stop at just live product launches, brands can demo their products with live product demo sessions to many more individuals than they would with in person events. The fact is, when something is urgent and “one time only” people will come running.
- Musicians can drop live “concerts” and utilize their large twitter followings to create a firestorm of engagement.
- Up-coming artists and athletes have a way to crowd source fandom and build up a following.
- Chefs/restaurants can utilize this to give live cooking classes to a larger base of people.
It’s clear that video is the way of the future. As the world shrinks through social media, humans will increasingly crave the face to face interaction.
Video is the natural progression.
Personally, I find that live video streaming has real staying power in the social media and marketing worlds. There will be more apps that pop up, there will be apps that fade away, however, the app that stays flexible will be the app to stay on the scene the longest.
I’m #TeamMeerkat all the way, and brands should listen.
Like what you’ve read? Please take the time to share with your LinkedIN contacts, Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Follow and join in the conversation with me on Twitter at @VincenzoLandino.