Live Streaming with Meerkat and Periscope: What You Need to Know to Start Using These New Apps

live streaming apps Meerkat Periscope

I’m sure you were just saying, “I wish I had another app that I had to use in my marketing mix!” HA! 

Just when you think you can’t add another tool to your marketing toolbox, along comes not one, but two new live-streaming apps, Meerkat and Periscope. While these new live streaming apps may not be for everyone, if you are ready to add a little fun into your marketing, you might want to take a look at how you can incorporate one of these new tools. 

You definitely don’t need both of them; that would be like having two calendar apps on your phone. So lets talk about the differences and how you can use them. Before clicking that live stream button, you should first ask yourself how this fits into your marketing strategy and brand image. What kind of content will you share that is interesting and helpful to your targeted audience? I’ll give you some ideas below to get your creative juices flowing.

Think of it as Instagram video or Vine, but LIVE and interactive. Instagram or Vine videos allow you to record and share right away and then people can comment on the video. This is LIVE. LIVE means there is no editing, and when a random heckler throws a curveball question out, everyone sees it. You must be prepared to handle these with speed and with grace. Being quick on your feet is an important skill. Like taking questions during a live webinar or web streaming event. You need to know which responses to simply ignore and which ones to highlight.

How are Meerkat and Periscope the Same?

Both of these services are for live broadcasting only. (Have I mentioned you are LIVE?) On Meerkat, once you are finished, the stream is over. It is not automatically saved anywhere. Periscope allows you to replay for 24 hours. If you want to archive your event, try using something like Google Hangouts on Air. Your recording is automatically loaded to YouTube for eternal viewing…or as long as you have a YouTube account! Because of this short lifespan, you will want to promote your broadcast beforehand to attract the audience you want to attend. Currently both of these apps are for iOS only (iPhone users, or of course, iPad users can download them if you look under iPhone apps), and I’m sure it won’t be long for the Android stepchildren to get the app. 

How are Meerkat and Periscope Different?

While Meerkat came out first and got lots of techie love at SXSW this year, Periscope is owned by Twitter and incorporates into your Twitter account, letting you easily connect with anyone you are already connected with on Twitter. Meerkat takes a bit more work to build your following.  Meerkat lets you schedule your event and Periscope is more spontaneous…currently. Meerkat is over when it’s over. Periscope lives for 24 hours to replay before it vanishes. We will probably see this expand as the services get more subscribers and they get more  

Currently both have notification settings that are all or nothing. Annoying for sure. You hear bells and whistles when someone you are following goes live. I believe this will quickly change as we all start live streaming to the teams at Meerkat and Periscope with our feedback!

As with most new toys…I mean tools, we will see these evolve and as users get creative with the many uses of them, we will see an unlimited number of ways we can use live streaming in our business.  Here are a few “idea-starters” but I would love for you to throw a few more into the comments. Let’s see how many we can come up with. 

How can you use Meerkat or Periscope for your business?

  1. Bring your followers on a tour of your office.
  2. Introduce your followers to your team members. an expert, or even your doorman! 
  3. Bring your followers on a walk through your neighborhood.
  4. Bring your followers shopping with you and get their input on what you should buy.  Hmmm could be great for indecisive shoppers. 
  5. Bring your followers to an event you are attending.
  6. Show your followers a behind the scene peek of something you are working on before it is ready to reveal to the rest of the world- Great for building anticipation.
  7. Share new inventory with your followers before the doors open. 
  8. Take your followers on a tour of your favorite store and show them items you recommend.
  9. Teach your followers how to cook your favorite meal or prepare your healthy morning shake.
  10. Review a product that you are taking out of the box and sharing your thoughts on.
  11. Teach your followers how to organize a space. 
  12. If you create podcasts or video products, share with your followers how you set up.
  13. Share with your followers your writing process and show your favorite writing spots. While you’re at it, get blogging ideas from your followers.
  14. Let your followers decide what which product you should run a special on for the month. You show and let THEM tell.
  15. Do a book review. Think show and tell or 4th grade book report.
  16. Do a BIG REVEAL! Are you ready to announce something big? Live stream your reveal.
  17. Q&A session. Perhaps you select an evening each week or month to answer questions about your products or services.
  18. Take your followers with you around the world. When you are traveling, be a tour guide and share a bit of your experiences with your followers.
  19. Show your followers what is in your bag! What are your “must-have” travel accessories or tips for packing effectively.
  20. Show your followers how you apply makeup or do a new hairstyle (this is for the very brave).
  21. Take your followers to an amusement park and let them decide which ride you should go on and then if you are really brave and have a killer grip on your phone, take your followers on the ride. I just don’t know if your followers will want to stand in line with you!
  22. Take your followers on a field trip to see how donuts are made or how coffee is roasted (I saw this on Meerkat and it was very therapeutic 



social media marketing small business, hotels, social business

Don’t Let Blogging Scare You: 4 Tips to Get You Blogging NOW

tips to start blogging, how to start blog

For some reason, the word BLOG is a scary four-letter word for many people. There’s the writing part that can bring back those memories of a 4th grade grammar teacher and her evil red pen and then there’s the technical part of loading a post behind the walls of a website, which many feel is a place they never want to go.

With content marketing becoming more important to the success of your business, blogging is the central hub of this content. With that pressure, we need to demystify blogging. Sometimes scary things aren’t so scary once we shed some light and information on them. Let’s look at 4 things that will have you blogging TODAY.

  1. Just Sit Down and Write. Don’t Edit. Don’t Obsess. Just Write.

    If you are a perfectionist, this will be your hardest part. You will have a very hard time getting a sentence down without going back and editing it and then editing it some more before just deleting the whole thing and starting over. Hitting that “publish” button after you finally have words on the page that made the cut, will still seem so … FINAL.

    In a great book I read years ago, Writing Down the Bones, the author, Natalie Goldberg, tells us to put a pen to paper and write without stopping for 45 minutes. No editing. Let the writer write and then the editor can do their work. When blogging, I like to picture sitting across from someone who has asked a question, and I am just typing the answer I would share with him.

  2. Start Slow and Keep It Short.

    Blogging is not writing an OpEd paper. It’s not an ebook. You don’t have to have 7 pages, single-spaced. Your blog is a place for you to have conversations with your target audience. Chat. Don’t lecture for hours. Give us your two cents worth on a topic. Two to three minutes of spoken words equate to 300-450 words of typed text. Start there. Pick a topic that you get asked about in your business and write down what you would say if you had two minutes to talk about it. Now get it out there.

    Blogging is filled with grace. You can add more to your post even after it is published, you can write another post to elaborate or give a counter point, and you fix that typo you just can’t believe you missed, even though you read over it 48 times. The one thing I know about blogging, and any writing for that matter, is that the more you write the better you will get. The more clear your voice is heard in your writing style. [Tweet “You can never get better if you don’t get started! via @GinaSchreck”] 

  3. Let’s Get Technical.

    Alt tags, meta-tags, logging into the back end of your website. It can feel as if you were asked to open the hood of your car and rebuild an engine. If you want a blogging platform with training-wheels, to get you started without even needing to set up your own blog, log into your LinkedIn profile and  start writing POSTS on your profile. Just like writing on a blogging platform that you own, LinkedIn offers a place for you to share your expertise and wisdom with the world and it is showcased, read and shared from your profile. The only reason I would suggest that you use this as training-wheels before starting your own blog, is that you don’t own your LinkedIn profile. Sure it has your name and information on it, but LinkedIn owns the platform and if they cut the last link on their LinkedIn doors and went out of business (think MySpace), you could possibly lose all the content you wrote.

    Once you are ready to remove the training-wheels and start writing on your own site (check out WordPress, Weebly, SquareSpace and others for easy templated blogs), you can take each of your posts from LinkedIn and load them onto your site. I use WordPress and love that it is as easy as writing in a Word document. You do not need to know HTML coding language to blog. You type write into the platform (or write in Word and then copy and paste so you have a backup copy). You can add photos to your posts to create more visual interest and BAM…you’ve got a blog post.

    If your website is built on a WordPress platform (many sites are today), you simply login with your username and password, click on the POSTS link in your left navigation bar and add a NEW POST.  Typically on the right navigational side of your blog is where you will find those scary words like, TAGS, META-DESCRIPTION and more. Anything that has the word TAGS, is simply a way to incorporate your search keywords that you feel best describe what you post is about. Google, and other search engines, use the keywords to match your content with the words people are searching for. Add a few TAGS and even tag your photo when loading it. What is the photo representing? Those few words are ALT TAGS. A Meta-description is the small amount of text that shows up under your blog title in a Google search.
    What is a meta description
    When you search for something online, you will get the page of results and the text under the title will either entice you to click on that selection or keep scrolling down the page to find the choice that best matches your need. Look how techie you are now. Try throwing a few of those words out tonight at dinner just to impress someone!

  4. Keep learning to improve your blogging.

    Remember you won’t get better if you don’t get started. Start writing. Start posting what you’ve written, then make a point to visit YouTube, or Google, and look for blogging tips and tutorials to continue improving.

What to read next:

How Busy Entrepreneurs Make Time for Blogging

10 Tips for Better Blogging

I love hearing your questions, comments, and especially, your success stories! Share them with us below in the comments.


social media marketing small business, hotels, social business