I could have wrapped up this week’s 2 Minute Marketing series on social media for small businesses with an article about tumblr. Or an article about LinkedIn. Or an article about Google+. All of them have great applications for businesses, but let’s do something newer, something more exciting:
Right now, two services – Meerkat and Periscope – are dominating the live streaming craze.
They basically work like this:
- You turn on your stream.
- Your phone or tablet camera activates.
- The world sees you, or whatever your camera is showing.
Both platforms have grown rapidly in 2015, and this is likely a social media form that is just getting started. Because of this, competition for eyes and ears is much lower than other platforms.
That means your business should become an early adopter and jump on as soon as possible.
I see huge potential in companies using regular live streams to build an audience and increase brand awareness, sales, and more.
You could teach lessons about your industry, host a realtime Q&A, live-auction off an exciting product, or pretty much anything your imagination can come up with that would be engaging for your target audience.
The platform allows for easy broadcasting about your stream to other social media platforms and built-in livechat on both platforms allow you to easily answer questions and interact with viewers.
A few pointers for businesses using live streaming, before I wrap things up:
- Be consistent, you might only get one or two viewers on your first stream, but people will follow those who consistently grow, improve, and host regular shows.
- Use both platforms! The battle for marketshare is still raging on, and as recently as a month ago surveys were clocking the services as neck and neck. Periscope and Meerkat are largely untested, so set up two devices and stream to both services when you go live. Over time, you may find that one service helps you build more of an audience in your particular market and can focus your efforts there.
- Have a plan. When you go live, don’t just ramble. Think about structuring an actual show (consider your backdrop, your talking points, etc.). An easy format for businesses starting out is to open the stream, introduce yourself (or yourselves), talk through a lesson you think will be helpful to your audience, leave a few minutes for a Q&A, then close things out.
- Your streams can be stored for a short time after you’ve posted them, so you can promote your stream to those who missed it or joined halfway through on your website, social media channels, etc.
And there you have it, a super condensed guide to live streaming socially as a business.
The most important thing at this point is for companies to get out there and experiment; go do something and you’ll learn much faster than only reading theories (even mine!) on platforms that are still relatively unproven.
To your success,
Brandon & The Responster Team