Spot.IM is now known as OpenWeb.
Unlike most articles you will see this past week about Meerkat and Periscope, this one is not about to compare the two, or reclaim the lost honor of Meerkat, or talk about how Periscope is the best thing to come out in the application market since like last Sunday. This one is actually for the audience that is actually interested in utilizing these amazing apps for their community benefit.
For those of you who didn’t open a web browser in the past week, Meerkat and Periscope are live video streaming apps – Meerkat launched end of February, and Periscope launched this past Thursday. Both present similar features, where you can capture and share a live event with friends, with no editing and #nofilter. Both are really easy to use, and both are based on Twitter for registration and participation. If you really want to know, Periscope allows you to save a live streamed event, so people can see it later, that is their main strength over Meerkat (and also the fact that they are owned by Twitter doesn’t hurt).
Video is definitely one of the hottest methods of communication and marketing this year. Meerkat and Periscope allow you to use that method in one of its simplest forms, and most popular form. As a website owner or media manager, you can use Meerkat or Periscope in a few ways which will definitely benefit your community building and growth.
Up Close & Personal
Both apps allow you to connect with your community on a personal level, whether you are online or offline. No need to interact or engage directly via your website, you can show yourself to your community through live streaming apps. Live stream your business and your capabilities to your community. Interesting things happen when you stream live, and your viewers are likely to be intrigued. Your community will also be able to talk about your event as you stream it, adding comments, interacting, talking to you and one another, and liking other people comments or your event. This creates a direct personal connection with your community, that will be hard to achieve in any other social format. Specifically with Periscope (at least until Meerkat come out with this feature) – you can even save your live streamed event and have people watch it when you’re really offline. So the engagement can continue beyond the constraints of live streaming.
What’s Your Opinion
The cool thing about both apps is the ability of the viewers to change the sequence of events as they appear. Let’s say you’re showing your community how to use a product – they can ask questions as you present the product, and you can answer in real time. They can also tell you things that might change your activity, and you will do it on the spot. This is not like a Hangout, or something that is pre-planned and set in stone, it’s all on your mobile app – which makes it so cool, and so available. People can join constantly, and give you their remarks or feedback. This is an amazing use of the application for community growth and for honest product feedback. You get a real time understanding of your community and it creates a strong connection between you as a website, business or brand and your community.
One of the craziest things about these apps is how people started using them to show you the most mundane things – a popular Periscope stream shows people what is inside your fridge. As business owners, I think we can use Meerkat and Periscope slightly better – showing what’s in our office, what’s in our company, and what is the coolest new game we’re presenting. This real time community engagement is key to building a strong community.
Some say Meerkat and Periscope will vanish as fast as they came. Perhaps that’s true. As business owners, you need to ride the wave and use as much as you can from the popularity of the new apps, and let them fight their own battles, while you make the most of your online exposure. Meerkat has been around a month longer than Periscope – in the online world, that is a substantial amount of time. They gathered a lot of fans, including some very influential celebrities, that are not likely to jump ship to Periscope that quickly. But Periscope does have features that Meerkat is currently not offering. Regardless, choose the app of your choice, and use it for your community. It’s easy, its fun and it can benefit you greatly.
If you want to try another method of community building, try Spot.IM, it’s free.