5 Quick Tips for Using New Live Video Streaming Apps Like Periscope and Meerkat
The big surge in live video broadcasting, streaming, meerkating, and scoping is exploding. Thanks to smartphone apps like Periscope and Meerkat, users become ‘broadcasters’ that can record live video streams and share them with their network. For example, this week I shared a daily live broadcast from my home in Miami. The show topics changed each day, and were scheduled out so people could subscribe to them in advance, for free. The schedule went like this:
Mon: The Difference Between Budgets and Financial Plans
Tue: Real Estate Investing
Wed: 1 hour on Negotiating Strategies
Thu: 1.5 hours of Q&A on Social Media Branding
On Wednesday I gave away a free coaching call, priceless to any entrepreneur, to one of the 7,000 viewers watching. On Thursday I’m delivering this Q&A to an estimated 10,000 viewers; and all of this was done from my cell phone.
Periscope and Meerkat, depending on which app you download from iTunes or Google, will allow you to follow me. Which will give you notifications of my live broadcasts and when I schedule them in advance. This is important for Periscope because commenting is only allowed for the first people in the stream, and it fills up within seconds—so make sure you get in first, because if you’re not first, you’re last.
It is so simple to use it will blow your mind, and you can also become a broadcaster yourself. Currently these broadcasting platforms are being used for silly, mindless moments, but for me, it is a way to deliver substantial content to entrepreneurs. Since March I went from #66 on the Meerkat leaderboard to being in the top 10 in the world and one of the top Periscope broadcasters because of my serial content. These new tools that have a lot of potential uses for those that want to get their brand known. I believe they are game changers in the world today for those that understand how to use them correctly.
Twitter bought Periscope in February 2015. What is amazing is that the competitor, Meerkat, does a better job of helping broadcasters promote, share streams, retweet, post comments and track stats. While Periscope clearly has a bigger audience, the support I get from Meerkat is amazing and they appear to be more interested in how I am doing with building an audience. Here is a perfect example of Meerkat helping promote me with retweets of a live stream last night.
— Meerkat Retweets (@nlmeerkat) May 27, 2015
Understand that streaming is not just another video or short clip like Snapchat, Vine or Instagram. This is LIVE streaming a broadcast with immediate interaction from comments and direct engagement from your audience. Users, known as broadcasters, can post live video streams of what they are doing in real time. “It may sound crazy, but we wanted to build the closest thing to teleportation,” said Periscope’s founders. For instance, today I am going to the unveiling of Rolls Royce new Dawn and yes, I will stream it live and you can be there when you follow me on the Periscope app.
5 Quick Tips for Using Live Streaming
1. Deliver Engaging Content
Once you create an account, the next thing to do is get busy delivering quality content. The more engaging the content is for your audience, the better chances you have of building a larger audience. Make a list of things you can give to people that will add value to their life or simply get their attention. Keep in mind that because Periscope is connected to Twitter, that’s where you will be promoting your broadcasts primarily.
2. Know Your Audience
Do some research on your Twitter audience and find out what gets the most engagement and stick to those themes. We all have an area of expertise and specialties, so at the beginning of building an audience you might want to stick to those things. My friend @MegLee is an artist and streams on Meerkat as she is painting a piece. Radio show host and friend @JennyHutt streams daily on Periscope (must follow). She does a treadmill routine every day and takes questions from her audience that adores her. My audience is made up of entrepreneurs, business-minded success seekers, and go-getters; so I keep that in mind when broadcasting.
3. Create Compelling Titles
Two things will get people’s attention; 1) your name, once you are known, and 2) the title of your stream. It’s as important as a title to an article or a show. The explosion of content in this space is a monster and the competition for eyeballs is immense. You need to come up with catchy titles so when people scroll through it will cause someone to check you out. If your name is Ellen DeGeneres your title probably doesn’t matter, but if you aren’t on her level yet you better come up with something catchy. Below, I ran a little test on the same day: one stream named ‘Untitled’, one with a catchy title and one without. The untitled stream had 342 views and the one titled, “Who’s Got My Money” with bags of cash emoji I got 1451 views.
One way to build an audience is to work on delivering a stream at the same time each day. Each morning I deliver a short motivational message around 7 AM EST to start the day. Each night I do a more strategic, and typically much longer, stream at 7 PM EST. This has proven very useful in building an audience of people that are like-minded, which makes the interactions more cohesive during streams. In just one month, I made #8 in the world on Meerkat because of regularly scheduled content. The people at Meerkat reached out to me because they love that I deliver regular streams of content, as that makes their network even more substantial. Microsoft also reached out to me to ask how and why I do the live streams I do.
5. Private or Public
When you use Periscope, you’ll have the option to do a private broadcast to a specific group of followers, or share the broadcast on Twitter to anyone and everyone. To get the most views, I’d recommend sharing your broadcasts on Twitter and making sure the location tagging option is turned on. This way you will reach a bigger audience and having your video on your Twitter feed gives it a longer tail strategy. When you share a tweet from Periscope, for example, it will follow this formula: LIVE on #Periscope: [Video Title] [Link to Video]
Bonus 1. To Save or Not Save
The broadcast will expire after 24 hours on Periscope and anyone who clicks on the link will be redirected to a page that encourages them to follow your future broadcasts and download the app. On Meerkat there is a group called #Katch that has an automation service that allows your audience to ask that you save the broadcast by tweeting back #katch during the stream and they will store it for you on YouTube. I don’t save my broadcast now as I want my audience to come and experience it live so I can engage them directly. This very well could be a mistake as it doesn’t allow people to find me later, but it is what I am doing currently.
Bonus 2. Location Tagging
Location tagging was a major privacy concern for many people when both Periscope and Meerkat started because it pinpointed the specific location you posted from. Thankfully Periscope updated their app since then so your location is recorded as a larger geographic region, rather than a specific one. This lets you feel free to share your location to provide context for your viewers.
Bonus 3. Engagement
One of the coolest features on Periscope is that people who are watching your stream in real time can comment and “like” the broadcast, which shows up as animated floating hearts. This is a great user experience and I love my hearts, even though I am a big tough businessman, there is something about them that is quite irresistible. Take the time to engage and inspire your audience to comment and discover what they really want from you and what they value. On Periscope, your audience might tap the screen and give you hearts, and on Meerkat you can ask them to like and re-stream; both of which will show up on Twitter.
Hearts help you get your username ranked in Periscope’s app under, “Popular People to Follow.” However, on Periscope you are competing with mass celebrities who have multiple millions of followers on Twitter. To get engagement, you need to figure out creative ways to get your audience to share. Here you will see a follower posting a screenshot of notes he took at a live stream during my Negotiating Strategies broadcast. It was a prerequisite for a free drawing I did at the end of the broadcast to win a prize.
— Michael Woolf (@WoolfRealTGroup) May 28, 2015
Bonus 4. Blocking
You need to know how to block people because you will see a small percentage of your audience, no matter what you are talking about, that will act inappropriately. I have a zero tolerance, immediate blocking policy for anyone that has any hate for race, religion or being on a path for success. I encourage you not to warn the trolls and don’t feed into their idiocy by commenting back—simply block them and move on to dominating your space and become the top in your industry.
I hope you’ve found my initial observations and tips helpful. I’d love to hear how you’re using these new technologies. When you download Periscope and/or Meerkat make sure you make me one of the first people you follow and I assure you it will be worth it.
Here is a free guidebook from HubSpot on more tips to live streaming.