Meerkat & Periscope: The Newest Social Media Platforms

First there was Meerkat, now there is Periscope. You might not have heard of either one since they are the newest social media platforms to hit the internet. Both are available as an app for your iPhone. Android apps are in the works.

So what are these exactly? In a nutshell they are apps that let you live stream video.

Meerkat launched on February 27, 2015 and quickly became an internet sensation. The platform started out letting you live stream video directly on Twitter and your followers could comment in real time. It was hailed as a fantastic new media for influencers, but shortly after it began, it started to loose steam. Twitter had something up it’s sleeve: Periscope. Periscope had been in development for a year when Twitter acquired it in January 2015. Once that happened, Twitter limited the access that Meerkat had. You could no longer view Meerkat activity directly in your Twitter stream. You had to open another browser to see it. Periscope was built as a separate app to begin with, so it acts on it’s own accord.

So, what are the differences?

Meerkat is piggy-backed on the Twitter platform, meaning when you sign up for Meerkat, you will in essence still be connected to all your twitter followers. Although the app runs from your phone, you can see the live streaming on your computer screen… although you won’t be able to comment or like the stream from there. Your best bet is to stick with the mobile app for your viewing. Meerkat lets you immediately stream video OR schedule a live stream and the notification pops up on your Twitter feed. It’s pretty simple to use. When you tap on the STREAM button, everyone you are connected to will be notified and can watch you live. What Meerkat doesn’t do is save your video on the app for others to view later on. Your only option to save it is to download it immediately to your cell phone: not a fabulous idea since video takes up tons of memory. You’d have to download it from your phone to your computer pretty quickly. Unless you specifically want to use that saved video somewhere else, your followers won’t be able to see it again.

Periscope is owned by Twitter, but it really acts as a separate entity. When you sign up, you will be notified of your Twitter followers who are also signed up with Periscope. You can follow them and they can follow you. When you live stream on

Periscope, you have a few options. You can send out a tweet to let people know to come watch… or you can keep it private. You also have the ability to choose who you want to see the live stream. Once your stream is over, Periscope will keep it saved for 24 hours so anyone can watch the playback. You also have the ability to download the stream to your iPhone in Periscope.

Problems?

Both apps have their shares of problems.  Some people have been bothered that the video doesn’t work as well with certain browsers, but if you use your iPhone exclusively then you won’t have that problem.

With Meerkat, anytime you live stream anything, it lets all of Twitter know about it. You have limited control over what that notification will say. You also don’t have the ability (at least right now) to only broadcast to a select group of followers. And, like I mentioned before, if you don’t happen to see the notification that someone is live streaming until it’s too late… you are out of luck. That video is gone.

Periscope has more of a learning curve to use and you aren’t automatically connected to all your Twitter followers: you still have to go into the app and follow them… again!

Both apps are giving each other a run for their money and will no doubt be scrambling to offer more options and become more user-friendly. While Meerkat took a huge dive after Periscope came on the scene, it’s really  just a guess as to which one will ultimately come out on top. For now, it is looking like that might be Periscope, but only time will tell.

In either case, live streaming video is the new social media fad. I would definitely recommend you jump on the bandwagon and try out both platforms.

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#Hashtags – The What, Why, When, Where and How

Have you seen the skit between Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake on #hashtags?  If not, you can catch it here. Hashtags have been around since the beginning of Twitter; you can find them used on Instagram, and they recently became popular on Facebook and other similar sites.

But what is a hashtag?

A hashtag – # – when used before a word, will become a clickable link that will retrieve all the other posts using the same keyword.  Look at the three images below.  Each ones is using a different hashtag that can be used for our local small businesses.

Instagram #SantaClaritaValley

Instagram #SCV

Instagram #SantaClarita

When searching SantaClaritaValley, SCV, and SantaClarita, a variety of photos come up.  Some are used by our local businesses to categorize their image – but others are just people around town using them to tag where they’re at.

Should you use hashtags?

On Instagram & Twitter – Yes.  On Facebook – Sometimes.  Facebook users don’t use the hashtags in nearly the same way as the users on Twitter & Instagram do.  We definitely recommend looking for local businesses through the hashtags you use and follow them to build your network, comment genuinely, and refer when possible.

Limit the number of hashtags you do use.  1-3 appropriate hashtags can help but using too many can appear spammy. They also might not be attracting the local followers you are looking for. Think about your specific business and whether attracting potential new customers outside of your geographical area would be a benefit to you. Realtors, for instance, might actually be able to network with potential clients outside of their local area. You never know when someone is going to pick up and move to a new city.

Keep in mind that although not everyone is going to turn into a paying customer,  the referrals that might come to you from a family member or friend could be golden. Word of mouth is the best marketing there is.

Twitter Handles – Where is Ours?

Social Media is a combination of a whole lot of different platforms and objectives, both personal and business. First and foremost, they don’t call it SOCIAL Media for nothing. In today’s ever-changing social media society, the social has kind of gotten lost in the shuffle.

We’re Bringing SOCIAL Back!

That is why you won’t find a Social Elements Media (SEM) Twitter handle. So stop looking. Trust us, it isn’t there. We really didn’t even give it much thought when we were first setting up our platforms. We have our Facebook page, a Pinterest page, an Instagram page… but when it came to Twitter, we made the conscious choice to be less business and more social.

We work in social media… we hope to work with you. We aren’t hiding behind a handle… we want you to get to know us. Carolyn and Melissa. We have nothing to hide and we have both been involved online for years and years. Come follow us and say Hi. Get to know what we’re about and how passionate we are for all things social media. We are online every day… more so than most businesses are. If you have a question, you can always find one of us around the web. That’s the beauty of SEM… we don’t just talk the talk… we walk the walk. How many other businesses can say that?

FOLLOW CAROLYN

FOLLOW MELISSA

Why You DO Need Social Media

SEMAfraid

Social media is confusing. Believe me, we get it. We were all new to this game at one point and we all had to learn one step at a time. The constantly changing platforms and algorithms can give you a migraine, but that’s precisely why getting some help is key to making sure your business is primed for success.

Let’s say you have a fabulous website that was designed by a professional site designer… maybe you paid thousands of dollars for it… or maybe you had your brother-in-law do it in his spare time. You have your business information, some way to contact you, possibly even some testimonials and photos of your work. Maybe you have a menu listed, or some samples of the merchandise you sell. That’s great! You are on your way. But a website is static, meaning there isn’t a lot of changes going on. One of the key factors in driving traffic to your site is the amount of content you have on it. And an even bigger factor in continuing to generate traffic (and therefore… new business) is the new content that is published.

According to a survey of 7,000 businesses conducted by hubspot.com:

  • the more content you have on a website, the more traffic you will generate. Companies with 51 – 100 pages of content generate 48% more traffic than companies with 1 – 50 pages.
  • companies that blog 15 or more times per month get 5x more traffic than companies that don’t blog.
  • the average company saw a 185% increase in traffic after crossing 1,000 Facebook Likes.

Well, that’s all well and good, but what does this all mean for YOU?

It means that you need to generate content… lots and lots of content… if you are going to ramp up your social media profile. The more content, the more page views (or Likes, or Followers) you will bring to your little corner of the world. And the more people who are viewing your content means those people are more likely to want to try your service, eat at your restaurant, or shop at your store. Can you picture the $$$$$?

More eyes on your business information = more customers = more money = more success = that tropical vacation you’ve been wanting to take.

So great… we need content. But how and what and where is it coming from? This is where a professional can be invaluable. They can analyze your specific business, compile a customer profile, and target the specific demographic that is looking for YOU. Okay, that would be us, actually.

We can help you write blog posts, Facebook posts, Twitter posts, and garner you more Likes and Followers… generate what you need to prosper. It doesn’t have to be scary. We can get the ball rolling and then teach you how to take over. We can show you what you need to know so that it’s manageable. We have options… you have options. Let us know what your biggest obstacle is.

Thank You!

We know your hours are precious and want to thank you for stopping by our site today.  We hope that you will be clicking to contact us and we can see how our business can help your business.  Our passion for all things social media can help your passion for your business.  Being residents of Santa Clarita – we know how close knit the community can be – and yet at the same time feel alone in the online world.  We want to make sure that the time you are spending on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even Pinterest is well spent and well received by the clients who support your business.