Note: Originally posted at http://wipster.io/blog/meerkat-periscope-part-1

The past few months have seen a surge in video streaming thanks to the introduction of mobile-based apps Periscope and Meerkat. While both are fairly new, they have seen explosive growth and are well on their way to becoming part of social engagement for brands and businesses. Periscope and Meerkat each have their strengths – but which one is the best fit for your social engagement strategy? How do you get started? and how do you get maximum value for your brand? Tara, Wipster’s Community Manager blogs about which platform might be best for you, and how to get started with live video streaming.

Why should you care?

With increased mobile data speeds and accessibility, the surge in streaming video content is both a powerful opportunity to reach new users, as well as really exciting way to showcase the more in-the-moment, human elements of your business!

While live video streaming will not replace professional video content, it can be a great addition to your community and social media-oriented strategy. Being able to create a content strategy which leverages both professionally curated content such as your showreel, and more personal, in-the-moment streaming sessions is a great way to ensure you look great to potential customers, and create more personal, genuine connections with those you already have.

Which platform should you use?

Both Periscope and Meerkat have their strengths, and at this point it’s more about what you want to get out of them and how they fit into your existing social strategy.

If you have a large Twitter following, Periscope may be the better option, as it allows for seamless notification to your followers upon starting a new broadcast.

If Facebook is your primary platform, or you intend to embed your stream in an external website so everyone can view it, then Meerkat is likely the better option. Both platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, and the best advice I can give is to try both via your personal accounts, before making a commitment from a brand or strategic level. A quick overview of the pros & cons:

Periscope Pros:

  • Easy integration with Twitter
  • Private, Friends-only streaming
  • Friend-only chat options
  • Map overview & stream discovery by location
  • Watch finished streams up to 24 hours after stream has ended
  • High profile users: Michael Bloomberg, Tyra Banks, Edward Norton

Periscope Cons:

  • No Facebook integration
  • No scheduling options
  • Vertical video only

Meerkat Pros:

  • Scheduled streaming options
  • Facebook fan page integration
  • Cameo feature allows guest streams
  • Embeddable video options
  • GoPro integration
  • Vertical and Horizontal video options
  • High profile users: Madonna, Tony Hawk, Jimmy Fallon

Meerkat Cons:

  • Poor Twitter integration
  • UI can get cluttered while streaming
  • Discovery can be difficult

Of course you can utilize both, but beware of fragmenting your audience too much if you’re not equipped to deal with the demands of creating content for both platform.

How to get started with live streaming?

Part two of this series is all about how to get started and plan your first live streaming session.

Solid planning can go a long way to ensuring you not only have an engaging session, but also protect against damaging your brand and/or customers, so the next first step, and ‘homework’ from this blogpost is to ask yourself and your team these questions:

  • What do we want our viewers to get out of a live streaming session?
  • What do we expect to get out of this session? (Views, Feedback, Followers, etc)
  • How can we align the content so that both needs will be met?
  • How do we respond to negative comments (if at all)?
  • What ‘rating’ is our stream? Are we an ‘all ages’ stream, or are we okay with a bit of swearing and/or off color language? If all ages, have we prepped all participants with that expectation in mind?

Resources

Questions & Comments?

Have a question about video streaming and which platform might be best for you? A great stream of your own you’d like to share with us? Or maybe just a general comment? Drop us a line in the comments below, or via our Twitter account @wipsters!

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