What I learned about #Meerkat at #SXSW Might Surprise You! #iSocialTalks by Brian Fanzo @iSocialFanz
I had the luxury of using the newest Fear Of Missing Out App creating buzz online called Meerkat these last two weeks in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress and this week at South By SouthWest in Austin Texas. The engagement and value i’ve found using this app is something that has even shocked me and I’m an early adopter and fully embrace that I suffer from FOMO.
As someone who has co-hosted a weekly Video Hangout Chat for over a year and done video blogging for just as long the power of video has been something I’ve enjoyed and embraced. How does this differ from Meerkat? Meerkat is a raw real-time stream that allows you to go live from your mobile device with the click of a button and it doesn’t require you to build a new community as it shares your links and comments with your twitter stream. My friend Dustin W. Stout wrote a great detailed blog highlighting the features and benefits of Meerkat here.
How did I use the app at these events?
- Live streaming sessions at both MWC & SXSW including Biz Stone and Gary Vaynerchuk.
- Walking the Expo Hall floors getting Demo’s live to the audience and allowing my Meerkat community and audience to comment with what they wanted to see and where I should walk.
- Daily recaps and previews walking the streets of Austin sharing takeaways and insights from the live event for my digital community.
- Open Mic Q & A’s from the Meerkat audience
- Live Stream from Stage using my tripod for the “IBM and Twitter: Digital Engagement Panel” that I was on at SXSW.
Because I tested the app in Barcelona and was an early adopter I was able to leverage the days leading up to SXSW to create a strategy for leveraging Meerkat which combined with an awesome community helped me find great value and be on the Meerkat Leaderboard. Not everyone is using this app for live streaming events or face to face engagement, my friend and new MCEOtalk host Vincenzo Landino has blown up singing Karaoke and social friend and newest Linkedin hire Carlos Gill has give us an inside view of his first week at linkedin, including walking the streets and interviewing street performers!
I was also surprised how many people found me on the meerkat app that weren’t following me on twitter. When I found this out I decided to ask every watch to comment or ask questions so I could follow them on twitter. I also took all of these new followers and added them to a private twitter list so I could research who and where these people engage as it was apparently I had a new audience that hadn’t engaged with me before meerkat. I also loved how Gary Vaynerchuk was using the app, even having one of the guys on his team on stage while he was presenting at SXSW to give the digital audience an even better view of the speaking event than us in the crowd.
Since arriving home I’ve tried multiple different types of meerkating including putting my iPhone on a tripod pointed at my computer monitor while I was on a google+ hangout, giving the meerkat audience a chance to hear more than just my one person view and insights.
The live streaming and community feel of this app is impressive but beyond that I’ve been documenting numerous lessons that we can learn from the design to the go to market strategy of the app. Here are some of those below:
Beyond just the Live Streaming App that We Can Learn from Meerkat:
- We’re living in a world that craves AUTHENTICITY and Meerkat has the Voyeur + Reality TV + Raw Video Blog Combo
- How to launch an app before a major event like SXSW and get big names using it early like GaryVee and Ashton Kutcher
- Gamification is very important during the early stages of an app release as it encourages and motivates early adopters which helps drive buzz and conversation.
- Cell Networks in major cities like Barcelona and Austin are strong enough to handle live streaming but sadly many wifi networks are causing meerkat outage issues!
- Meerkat violated the Twitter policy and got penalized for it which is understandable. But I’d argue that also validated the app was being noticed by Twitter which helped launched the word of mouth buzz ultimately only increasing the new user sign-ups!
- Meerkat isn’t a competitor for Snapchat or YouTube or Ustream, The real-time, one click, mobile to mobile, peer to peer aspect IMO make it one of a kind. (Until Periscope Releases Beta of course)
You can subscribe and follow my Meerkats here: http://meerkatapp.co/isocialfanz
If you want to hear more about it on video, here is my most recent episode of my video blog series called #iSocialTalks, where I did a live meerkat while also recording this video on QuickTime so that I could upload it to YouTube. I share more details about these lessons learned and some more takeaways from SXSW.
Additional Fun Pictures while on Meerkat!