February 22, 2016
Social media channels, social media channels everywhere.
It seems every month or so we have more news of new social channels that are picking up steam. Some turn out to be flops, but others end up showing some strong potential.
In the latest social media news, there seems to be an uptick when it comes to live-streaming channels, connecting users with each other in new ways.
What is this live-stream fad? And is it a fad or something your business can use?
I am going to take a look at the latest channels, as well as help you learn just when you should dive into a new channel, no matter what it is.
Is the Live-Stream Movement Vital to Social Media or Just a Fad?
The first order of business is discussing this live-stream movement.
Live-streaming has long been a way to connect people with each other for events such as big games (Super Bowl, World Series) and concerts.
However, it is picking up steam in the social media world and businesses are starting to see if it is something that can benefit them.
Social Media Examiner takes a look at live-streaming for business, showing that it is more than just a fad.
It is a great way to connect with your clients when it comes to events, hosting live interviews, going “behind the scenes,” and more.
Regular users use these channels to connect with larger groups and create awesome communities. While this particular channel might not be for your business, things such as Twitch have brought gamers together to watch each other play through various games.
Again, unless you’re in the gaming world, Twitch isn’t something your business can use. However, there are some new, awesome live-stream channels out there and I want to take a look at them for you.
3 Awesome Live-stream Social Channels
What are the latest and greatest social channels? How can you use them and just how do you know whether or not to use them?
Let’s take a look.
1. What is Periscope and What is all the Buzz About?
Periscope is one of those channels that people weren’t and aren’t too sure about. Some, including Ryan Hanley, felt it was just a fad and would fade away.
However, delving deeper into the channel shows that it is actually incredibly worthwhile and something that will immensely benefit social channels.
This app is great because you can use it on your phone instead of being tied down to your computer. This means you can live stream no matter where you are.
You can use this app to maximize your social media strategy by incorporating it for great events and promotion.
In fact, Cas McCullough from Social Media Examiner shares some excellent ways you can use Periscope to benefit your business. These include showing live product demos, sharing industry news and connecting with influencers in your industry.
Periscope could be a great benefit to a number of companies, no matter what the company does or sells.
2. Meerkat – Is It Exactly Like Periscope, And Which is Better?
Another major up and comer in the social media live-stream world is Meerkat.
It was a huge hit the past summer when it came to the music festival South by Southwest where thousands of music fans could stream concerts they couldn’t attend.
Meerkat provided them with the ability to watch shows and feel as if they were at SXSW without leaving their homes.
Since then, the social media channel has only grown, with more than 40,000 new users after SXSW ended. It is still growing incredibly, making people take notice.
It became a stand-out social channel simply due to the timing of its release, giving people something they craved without even realizing they were craving it.
Since it is similar to Periscope, you might be wondering which one to use. Really, it comes down to which one you think will suit your business.
A great way to find out is to look at both in-depth and read reviews from others within your industry.
Once you’ve chosen which one will be the best for you, simply learn how to use a streaming social channel to benefit your business. Kristi Hines from Social Media Examiner takes an in-depth look at both channels and gives a great rundown on how to use them.
3. Blab to Your Group Via a New Social Channel.
Are you looking to host live videoconferences in an easy manner? Then Blab might just be the channel for you.
While it has the live streaming capabilities of Periscope and Meerkat, Blab offers a unique take on it for businesses.
This can allow for easy meetings, but it is also an incredible way to host a virtual conference that you can invite your clients to. This means no one has to travel, and you can end up with even more participants.
It is currently in the beta stages, which means that there are still kinks and creases to smooth out, but it is well on its way to social media success.
I joined one recently and loved the exposure! I actually got to talk to Mark Traphagan (an esteemed SEO advisor, from Stone Temple) like we were in the same room. It was a fan girl moment, yes. And I know—I’m a major nerd. (Unfortunately, my camera wasn’t working at the time…)
Always be sure to watch a few Blab videos before you start so that you can see just how to use it. And once you’re ready, there are already some excellent tips out there to use it well.
Another great thing about this particular program is that you can have it on both your desktop and mobile. If you aren’t entirely sure going strictly mobile will work for you via Periscope or Meerkat, then Blab is a great program to look into.
There Are Many New Social Channels Out There – Which Do You Use?
“Goodness, that’s a lot of new social media channels. Which do I choose?”
Glad you asked!
Choosing to use a new social media channel can be daunting, and when you get into it, you might realize the channel isn’t for you.
What are you to do? Should you just dive into any new channel before researching and learn to swim right away?
It is always best to first make sure the channel will really benefit you, and I want to help you learn how to figure that out easily.
3 Ways to Know Which Channel to Dive Into
How can you know which channel is right for you to dive into? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Do You Know Who Your Audience is and Where They Are?
A major thing many marketers seem to overlook is marketing to their audience. It seems very straightforward and basic but oftentimes is ignored.
In an interview with SHIFT Marketing, Tamsen Webster points out that knowing your audience, where they’re at, and how to market to them is integral when it comes to new channels.
For example, if you’re a company that markets to new moms with healthy, safe, all-natural products, you aren’t going to want to use Twitch.
However, Periscope or Meerkat might be perfect to help you demonstrate the safety of your products, taking people behind the scenes in a real-world, real-life, candid demonstration.
This basically means you shouldn’t be playing Call of Duty when moms are actually feeling the call of doody.
2. Can You Stay True to Your Brand?
When you use a new social channel, you need to make sure that you can use it well while also staying true to your brand.
If you’re unable to keep cohesion in your message with the same voice you use across all channels, then the new channel might not be a good fit.
However, don’t worry when you start out. Play around with it a bit to see how well you can stay true to yourself while reaching out in a completely new way. It is possible.
3. What Content Types are Missing in Your Strategy?
As you approach a new social media channel, you need to take a look at what content types you’re missing.
The great thing with something like Periscope, Meerkat, or Blab is that it is such a new approach to social media that you are likely missing a content format like it.
These channels give every business a unique chance to have something new and stand out amongst the typical social media crowd.
In the End, Don’t “Surf” Through Channels
It can be easy to create a social channel on each and every new platform to test it out. But if you end up not using it, you’ll have a blank, boring channel that could reflect poorly on you.
Instead don’t channel surf but do adequate research into each one you want to use. If you realize it isn’t something that will work for your brand, skip it and move on to the next.
Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She's earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.