10 ways brands can use Meerkat and other social video streaming apps

10 ways brands can use Meerkat and other social video streaming apps

meerkat Live video streaming, a relatively new genre of social media, is sizzling.

At Ketchum we’ve been exploring the potential of this technology as a means of storytelling for communication, marketing and public relations.

At the moment it’s the apps that are getting the attention but that will be short lived as people find creative ways to put them to use.

There are two apps: Meerkat and Periscope.

Meerkat launched in February but hit the mainstream this week at SxSW. Periscope has been acquired by Twitter and is being integrated into the Twitter platform.

How it works: Meerkat

The premise is simple: open the app and press a button to stream video live to your Twitter network.

“That’s no longer a mobile phone in your back pocket it’s a broadcast satellite truck equipped to share video,” said Ketchum Europe boss David Gallagher.

A counter ticks up and Twitter avatars are added to your screen as people in your network follow your stream. Comments appear at the bottom of the screen and are replayed via Twitter.

This isn’t broadcast; it’s a conversation in real time around your video content.

The implications for transparency are clear. A live event anywhere in the world can be streamed and replayed via the Internet, anywhere.

There are potentially issues for privacy for people or organisations that don’t want to be streamed live the Internet; and piracy for events that are protected by copyright.

Inevitably views are polarised. It’s either the "hottest social media thing since the last hot thing", or "it’ll never catch on".

Tech curious: new means of engagement

Personally I’ve never understood people that shun new technology. We should be naturally curious and explore new applications.

Marketing, public relations and social media enthusiasts that dismiss new technologies potentially close the door on new forms of engagement.

We’ve experienced some wobbles with bandwidth using Meerkat but a 3G or 4G connection (check the limits of your data package) should suffice.

People increasingly look for authenticity over production polish in video content but do think about the quality of your video stream.

Point your mobile phone microphone at the audio source and consider the orientation of your phone. A tripod or selfie stick maybe useful.

You can stream instantly, or schedule a stream to start at a pre-selected time.

Your stream will show up in your follower’s Twitter feeds, and anyone that has the app has the option of receiving a push notification.

Once you’re done you hit a stop button to end the stream and can either delete it or save it for your network to replay.

Opportunity for communication, marketing and public relations

Here are ten possible brand applications for social video streaming apps such as Meerkat.

#1 Demonstrations – show off your products, or services. Think car test drives, cookery demonstrations, house viewings, and auctions.

#2 Gigs – share content from a cultural or musical event, reaching a potential audience as large as the Internet itself. High school plays, red carpets and rock concerts will never be the same again.

#3 News events – this is another tool in the armoury of bloggers and journalists. Video from an announcement can be shared immediately. Broadcasters will be quick to jump on the technology.

#4 Interviews – video streaming will inevitably catch out a politician saying something daft during the forthcoming UK elections. It’s a powerful tool for live interviews and discussions.

#5 Conferences – open up an event to an audience beyond the conference hall, and involve people beyond your hashtag in real time.

#6 Events – you now have your own video crew to share news and announcements with your community.

#7 Behind the scenes – live video streaming will likely launch a new genre of fly-on-the-wall or behind the scenes reporting enabling organisations to share back stories.

#8 Listening and engagement – social engagement has been underplayed so far but social video streaming enables organisations to truly hold a conversation.

#9 Customer service – it’s only a matter of time before someone records a customer service rant using a video streaming app and a brand is forced onto the platform to respond.

#10 First person video – everyone has a story to tell. Brave celebrities, sports people, politician and business people will use the app to tell their own stories.

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