You could be forgiven for thinking humanity has reached a new narcissistic low (or high depending on your perspective) in 2015, with that all-encompassing term “social media” conjuring images of banal, self-centred status updates on Facebook, countless “selfies” (probably the most annoying word in the English language at the moment) plastered across personal Instagram accounts and fragile ego’s engaging in vicious war of words over trivial matter through Twitter hashtags.
Against this background enter the relatively new phenomenon of Social Video Broadcasting that continues to gather pace and recognition as the next frontier in our “always-on” connected 21st century lives. And it’s not all bad at all.
Share Your World, With the World
So what is this new phenomenon of Social Video Broadcasting you may ask?
At its simplest, Social Video Broadcasting (SVB) are desktop and smartphone applications which allow a user to broadcast live video and sound from their phone to anyone else using the same app, anywhere in the world. The two most popular SVB apps Meerkat and Periscope stream live video through a users Twitter account, thus adding a much more tangible real-world element to the predominantly text and image based world of social media.
Both Meerkat and Periscope also allow viewers to interact directly with the person broadcasting in real-time, by tapping on the video screen and sending text messages or “hearts”, which are the equivalent of Facebook “likes”. Naturally the potential benefits and downsides of such technology are impressive and if SVB takes-off in the same way traditional social media platforms have then everyone could effectively become their “own broadcaster”. Instead of sharing our lives with acquaintances and complete strangers through the static mediums of images and words, we could be doing so through the much richer qualities of sight, sound and live motion.
An Opportunity for the Risk-Taking Business
This brings us to the many business applications of SVB technology, which if used with care and clear purpose can deliver real benefits to any customer-facing brand seeking to strengthen the relationship with their audience or a service-based business seeking new ways to demonstrate products and communicate advice with their clientele.
For example, a foreign language school could open a Meerkat or Periscope account and offer free “sample lessons” to prospective students through a live video stream. Or a popular chef might offer a live cooking class where she can plug her latest cookbook release and answer viewer questions directly in real-time, enhancing her reputation as an authority in her niche whilst building a more intimate relationship with followers and possibly converting viewers into future followers who are willing to buy her cookbook and promote her to their own friends.
Don’t Forget the Basics
If you’re a media or broadcasting business yourself then expect to face significant disruption in what is already an ever-changing industry at the coalface of rapid technological change. Whatever your industry or business circumstances, Social Video Broadcasting offers the opportunity to get closer to your audience, converting prospects into paying customers whilst strengthening your value proposition to existing customers.
But like all media platforms (social and otherwise) the most important thing is to ensure you have a compelling product or service worth selling in the first place and the customer service to back it up. With a great product or service to sell and customer service to keep your customers delighted, Social Video Broadcasting becomes a very powerful channel to tell your story.
We’d love to hear from you. Have you tried Periscope or Meerkat? What did you think?