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

Why Oprah Can Sell Anything and 5 Things You Can Learn From Her for Successful Social Media

Oprah’s network, OWN, launched yesterday (1-1-11) with high expectations. After all, anything Oprah touches turns to gold. Best selling books are made when she mentions them. Makeup and shoes fly off shelves if she shows them in her “Favorite things.” I think people would buy vats of lard if Oprah said eating it would be good for us. She can sell anything.

Oprah Winfrey, OWN, Oprah's network, Social Media for business, social marketing, Gina Schreck

Oprah- The Queen of Social

How does she do it, and more importantly, what can we learn from her and apply to our social marketing strategy?

  1. Oprah is a CONVERSATIONALIST. The Oprah show is all about conversations with her guests and the audience. Are you having conversations on your social sites or are you just throwing out cold facts and pieces of your content hoping people will buy more from you?  Invite people to sit on your virtual couch for conversations about THEM.  Even though her show is named after her and every issue of her magazine features a picture of ….her, she does make her shows all about her guests.
  2. Oprah LISTENS. There are many shows out today that are almost humorous, because of the way the host asks questions and then, without listening, either throws out another question or worse, interrupts the guest with a counter-point.  In the social media arena, listening and responding to what is being said, is more important than flapping your lips all the time, assuming everyone will find your every word fascinating (although I’m sure you are!).  If you are not interested in listening to those in your community, why should they be interested in what you have to say?
  3. Oprah is LIKABLE. This one is a little harder to put your finger on, except to say when you listen and show interest in others, they will like you more.  Being likable in social media circles first starts with being in the right circles.  Obviously not everyone LIKES Oprah (I’m sure there are one or two out there), but those who are her target demographic (99.7% of the world) find her very likable.  Find “your peeps” and then be yourself (unless you are a jerk…then perhaps be someone else until you learn how to be likable).  Being likable has to do with being comfortable being yourself, all while you are making others feel important.  Mary Kay Ash (of Mary Kay Cosmetics) once said that she pictures a sign above everyone’s head as she talks to them that reads, “Make me feel important.”  This is a great philosophy to live by.
  4. Oprah doesn’t SELL.  I know this one is hard for any marketer to swallow, but if people know you and like you they will more likely buy from you without you really having to sell.  After all, people hate to be SOLD, but they LOVE TO BUY!  Does Oprah get kick-backs or free “stuff” for pimping them on her show?  Most likely.  But all she has to do is talk about the product or service and the world rushes out to try it.  In social media, if you are providing interesting conversation, helpful tips and loads of value, when you do mention your product or service, people will rush out to try it.  Well, they are more likely to rush out and try it.  And the good news is, if they like it, they come back to the community and tell others…more sales without selling!
  5. Oprah is VULNERABLE.  Let’s admit it, anyone who can work in the public and have photos of themselves bulging out of bathing suits, showing up in the grocery store without make up, and having horrors of your childhood atrocities discussed in detail, is VULNERABLE! Now I am not saying you have to allow this type of publicness, but if you only allow people to see the perfect side of you, they cannot relate.  When you try to appear perfect, people want to see you fail–I know, we are a sick people!  Share your struggles and how you overcome them.  Share your failures and what you are doing to improve.  Oprah’s weight has been a public joke for years, and yet “her peeps” identify with her struggle and they love her more for sharing it!    There are many people who enter the social media scene but want to keep every aspect of their life private.  They might do better by finding a career path that does not require social interaction.

So whether your goal for 2011 includes building your business by 20% using social media or building an Oprah-sized empire, these tips will get you on your way.  I’d love to hear what other qualities you feel make Oprah and her empire so successful…especially if we can all use the tips to be more successful this year!  Happy New Year and as always if we can help you connect to your community (or help you not be a jerk) just hollar!

Gina and her team help organizations use today’s technology tools to build their business and manage their brand.  Follow Gina on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

Tech Trends for 2010: What Had Us All Talkin’?

In the world of social media and technology this year, there were many tools that stood out, or commanded lots of our attention, but we took on the top 5 that we felt really impacted business or had many of us trying to figure out how to be more strategic and effective with them.

Donna Gilliland, of MOST Training, and I managed to keep our chat under an hour.  (Hard to do if you know either one of us)  We broke it down into 5 segments with each under 10 minutes.


Sometimes referred to as the THIRD SCREEN, our mobile phones, and now tablets and other mobile devices, have made it easier than ever to work from ANYWHERE.



Facebook made headlines, it seems like, every day!  From ever-changing privacy settings, to the movie, The Social Network, Facebook became more than simply a virtual high-school reunion.  From the annoying Farmville gamers to every news station and retail store telling us to connect with them on Facebook.  We end the year with a move that just may be the end of email as we know it.



While most people still do not know what this term actually means, cloud computing and the apps that many of us use without realizing they are cloud based, have begun to change the way we do business.  From storing our photos and slideshows, to sharing and collaborating on documents in the cloud, these tools are saving us time, money and lots of frustration.



The pocket video camera and the 5-year-anniversary of the launch of YouTube have changed the way we search for and share information.  We no longer need expensive video production crews to create and share content.  This trend is great for business!



2010 was truly the year of the iPad, but overall, the readers & tablets have changed the way, and the frequency in which we consume content.  Business is being done on the go and consumers want content they can take with them with ease.  We will continue to see these “Magical” devices appear in our work environments for years to come!


What do you think were the top tech trends of 2010?  What did we leave out or put in that you don’t agree with?  Share your thoughts and predictions with us!  Did you notice that the word “Twitter” was not mentioned?  It’s still going strong and growing faster than ever, but nothing of great note happened in Twitter Town in 2010 (In my not-so-humble-opinion!).

Gina Schreck

Gina is a Social Media and Technology FREAK!  Her and the team at SynapseConnecting can help you make sense of today’s technology and use it to build your business and manage your brand! Give us a hollar if we can help- 877-978-0887 or of course on Twitter @GinaSchreck

LEFT BEHIND: The Painful Price of Not Keeping Up With Technology

My 75-year-old in-laws came to visit for Thanksgiving and by the end of the weekend, I was feeling, both guilty for not helping them immigrate into the foreign land of technology earlier, and inspired to learn even more about technology trends and new tech tools as I…. get older.

Technology Social Media Expert, Gina Schreck, Technology Trends

Seniors and Technology

My mother-in-law was complaining about the fact her bank was starting to charge her $8 a month for not using their online banking features.  Online banking was both scary for her to consider doing and sad for her to think of not being able to go in and visit Kim and Diane, her favorite tellers.  She doesn’t like talking to the tellers through the drive through window and would never consider trusting the ATM to deposit checks or withdraw money.  How would she be sure it posted to her account correctly?  Who would answer her questions she might have on her statement?

She said the other day the clerk at the department store where she regularly shops, asked her if she downloaded the coupon that was offered on their Facebook Page.  I can just imagine the blank stare my mother-in-law gave that 16-year-old, who probably could not fathom anyone NOT being on Facebook.  My father-in-law chimed in with his disdain for the word “apps.”  “I’m tired of hearing about this app and that app.  Everyone acts like we understand what that means!”

Imagine waking up one morning in a foreign country.  You do not speak the language and cannot read the signs posted around town.  You have currency that no one accepts and you own tools that don’t seem to work any longer.  This is the feeling many seniors have today.  They are digital immigrants.  They may have immigrated voluntarily or perhaps they were sent over kicking and screaming, but they are foreigners in a foreign land.  Although a Nielson study showed that those 65 years and older pick Facebook as one of their top internet destinations, I believe it is because they are trying desperately to access their family that left them in this foreign land so they can slap them!

With one boomer turning 65 every 8 seconds starting this January 2011, there are some things we can do to ensure we are not leaving anyone behind feeling isolated and lost.  As a business owner, I also want to make sure I am not throwing around lingo and techno-jargon that makes digital-immigrants more confused and isolated.

Here are 4 steps we can all take to help others and stay relevant ourselves so we are not LEFT BEHIND:

1. Commit to learning one new technology tool this month.  Whether it is sending text messages to your family or taking a class (even via YouTube) on a new video editing software or starting your own blog.

2. Commit to teaching someone one new technology tool this month.  Show your parents how to download a photo from an email or better yet how to sign onto FLICKR and browse your family albums.  Download a sudoku or crossword puzzle app on their phone or iPad (you might not want to call it an app!)

3. Browse through the TECHNOLOGY category in the iTunes library or on YouTube to find a podcast you enjoy that discusses technology trends, and subscribe to it.  Commit to listening to one podcast per week to stay up on the latest lingo and tech terms…like APP or CLOUD COMPUTING!  (Some of my favorites are from the TWIT Network-This Week In Technology- just search for TWIT in iTunes Podcasts)

4. Find and subscribe to one technology blog.  Go to Technorati and browse a category that interests you and then send that particular blog to your eReader or receive it as an email (if you wouldn’t get overwhelmed by one more email).  I like getting them sent to my Google Reader which ends up being a customized newspaper for me.  If you own an iPad, download the free and OH-SO-AMAZING app, FLIPBOARD and “flip” through the pages of your favorite blog posts and magazine sources each day.

Share some of your tips to stay relevant and keep that GREY MATTER  from getting too GRAY!

If you are working with seniors or want more resources, info, and products with senior-friendly features, check out this great site: ElderGadget

If your organization needs help bringing folks across that digital divide, give me a hollar, I am your Digital Immigration Officer! @GinaSchreck

Don’t Make Me UNFRIEND You!

Unfriend, Facebook, Social Media for Business, Gina Schreck, Technology Speaker

Don’t Make Me UNFRIEND You

In most relationships there is a honeymoon phase, where we learn about each other, we are more tolerant of idiosyncrasies and we even see the best in each other…until you get on Facebook!   We are hyperconnected through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites with so many people that we don’t have time or patience to go through this honeymoon phase in so many relationships.

Plus people tend to expose their bad behaviors on social sites perhaps more than they would in person. They post inappropriate pictures, spray paint farm animals all over our walls, tell the world things that only a close friend should know and talk non-stop without coming up for air to allow others to chime in.

“Researchers spend a lot of time examining how people form friendships online but little is known about how these relationships end,” said a PhD student at CU Denver’s Business School, Christopher Sibona, who used Twitter to survey more than 1500 Facebook members.  He found that 57% of people will UNFRIEND because of poor online behavior, while almost 27% of folks get UNFRIENDED due to offline behavior.

His study revealed these top 3 reasons people get UNFRIENDED:

1. Frequent UNINTERESTING posts
2. Polarizing POLITICAL or RELIGIOUS views posted
3. Inappropriate, CRUDE or RACIST posts

While this study was about so-called friends calling it quits, what does it teach those of us using these tools for business?

1. You are always “ON.”  Your behavior online and off is part of your brand 24/7, so BEHAVE and play nice out there.

2. Be strategic with what you post.  Am I posting content my community would be interested in?  Is it helpful or is it just me entertaining myself? (I am guilty of engaging in a clever-fest occasionally and it is darn entertaining to me!)

3. Use LISTS on Facebook to send specific posts that may be more personal or politically slanted, to those that would be interested in that information.  Always keep your community in mind.

What are some of the reasons YOU have UNFRIENDED someone?  How are you keeping your personal and professional worlds from colliding?

Let us help you set those social goals, clarify your online strategy and be FRIENDED more often!


A 12-Second Lesson on Why You Should Start Your Own Blog

Gina Schreck, social media for business, facebook for business, technology speaker

Don’t Get Caught with Your Goods Inside

Today I got a notice that was shutting down.  If you had never used this service, it was basically Twitter on video.  You created a short (well, 12-second) video message using your webcam or mobile phone and it went out to your friends.  There were many people who spent a lot of time crafting and creating thousands of these short diddies and many people who created at least a few of them, and now… bye bye.  They are allowing folks to download or pull their videos off of the site until October 22.  I had signed up for their service when they first launched 3 years ago but never actually used it (that’s probably what did them in! They would have had WAY more traffic had I just gotten on board!)

It is sad to see an innovative company close their doors but it is a good reminder to all of us who post great juicy nuggets of our content on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and any other site other than our own… that your content is not your own unless it is on your own site.  Sure you can post to Facebook and Twitter and every other social site in the universe, but let it also have a home on your blog.  How many people thought there would never come a day when MySpace wasn’t king?  Who can imagine a time when we wouldn’t be loading all of our treasured memories and content on Facebook? Your photos…your videos…your content.  Be sure you have a back up plan just in case Mark Zuckerberg decides to pack it all up and move to Farmville!

Farewell may you REST IN PEACE!