Top 3 Live Streaming Apps to Humanize Your Organization [Part I]

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Feeling overwhelmed with all this talk about the “next big things” in marketing and social media? First Facebook, then Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat popped up. Lately BigData and the Internet of Things has created a lot of buzz for marketers. But nothing has taken off with as much speed and intensity as Live Streaming apps.

Recently, I’ve been watching recordings from sessions at Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Success Summit, and loved the talks from Social Media gurus Mari Smith and Peg Fitzpatrick. But no one broke it down better than Brian Fanzo.

In his session, “How to Create Live Broadcasts on Periscope, Meerkat, Blab.im and More” Brian picks out the top features that separate each Live Streaming App from the other. While he also highlights Facebook Mentions, given its exclusivity to only Verified Pages, I decided to leave this off MY list.

Since Meerkat came onto the market, 20+ Live Streaming apps have followed. From Periscope to Ustream, Blab to Facebook Mentions, there are more apps than you can imagine, or should even consider engaging on.

With all these options, you’re probably asking yourself:
1) How do I choose which platform to even get started on?
2) Where are most of my members going to be so I don’t waste my time?
3) How do I even advocate to my board why my organization should even BE live streaming?

To keep things simple for you, we’re going to answer your first question by highlighting the Top 3 Live Streaming Apps on the market today, the pros and cons of each and how your organization can leverage their capabilities to enhance your member engagement. Stay tuned for Part II where I will list 10 Tips for Associations to Leverage Live Streaming Apps to help answer questions 2 and 3.

Meerkat

A San Francisco Startup two-years in the making, Meerkat hit the streets of Austin, TX at South by Southwest (SXSW) in March 2015. The core of Meerkat’s brand is their community. Consequently, they swiftly embraced change as the needs of their audience adapts, requiring the technology to morph and change with them.

Pros:
Scheduling Live Streams:
◦ Provides host a link which you can email out to your newsletter list,
◦ Post on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to boost traffic, and
◦ Push an announcement to Twitter as soon as the feed goes live
Calls to Action:
◦ Encourage your audience to visit your website,
◦ Send you an email with feedback and comments, or
◦ Check out your blog for a related article
High Conversion Rate:
◦ Engaging with your audience live, and
◦ Providing them with more value

Cons:
• Live Comment Stream:
◦ Keeping the Conversation Focused
◦ Keeping up with Comments
• Cameo:
◦ Each participant has only 60 seconds to communicate idea
◦ There’s no mute, so be aware
• Connectivity:
◦ Depending on the Host or Guest WiFi strength or video equipment quality, sound and/or visual feeds can lag or quit

Tip: Have a backup available should this problem arise.

Periscope

Owned by Twitter, also based in San Fran, released its product in late March 2015, just after its competitor, Meerkat. This app seamlessly integrates with Twitter and offers users a unique view of the world through someone else’s eyes. With over 10 million downloads and over 2 million daily users, you can see why this app is leading the live streaming trend.

Pros:
• Picking up what the broadcaster’s putting down? Give them a heart. In fact, give them 20!
◦ Show the broadcaster that you agree with or support their view by clicking the heart icon
• Landscape vs Portrait:
◦ Landscape mode takes off the comments feed from view and
◦ Expands the video to a full-screen experience
Cons:
• Replay Feature:
◦ Only archives streams for 24 hours
◦ Replays don’t allow viewers to engage live
• Connectivity:
◦ Like Meerkat, sound and/or visual feeds can lag or quit

Again: Have a backup anytime you’re internet connectivity could become an issue.

Tip: Brian Fanzo (@iSocialFanz) suggested at #SMSS15 that broadcasters repost the link to their Periscope replay several times over the course of the next 24 hours to encourage followers to tune-in later or rewatch and engage.

Blab.im

After a 2014 effort to relaunch Bebo, a text message app with attitude, the blab  team went back to the drawing board and hashed out their ideas over a couple beers! What? That’s right. They called it a “Barside Brainstorm”, and the rest was history.

Pros:
• Phone and Webcam Capability:
◦ The only live streaming app allowing video broadcasts from both mobile OR desktop
◦ Similar to running a Webinar
• 2-4 Host Seats:
◦ “Goodbye Google Hangouts. Hello Blab.” – Brian Fanzo
◦ Live Streaming Meets Brady Bunch
▪ Blab allows more than 1 host to broadcast from separate locations,
▪ Eliminates problem of siloed conversations

Cons:
• Guest Seats:
◦ Like Meerkat’s Cameo, decorum needs to be established
◦ Unlike Cameo, participants can hold the seat as long as they want
• Connectivity:
◦ Unfortunately, all Live Streaming Apps have this potential issue
◦ Have a hotspot set-up or additional device just in case

Recap

As noted above, there are pros and cons to each app; the question is: How do I choose? At Sliceworks we always advise our clients to consider their WHY, before ever making a decision.

Ask yourself these 4 questions:
1. WHY do I want to live stream?
2. WHAT am I planning on sharing with my audience?
3. WHO is my target audience?
4. WHAT value will I be providing to them?

If you can answer these questions, you can find the best tool suited to fulfill your needs!

Did you find these suggestions helpful? Tune in next time for Part II of this series, providing 10 Tips for Associations to Leverage Live Streaming Apps.

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