There’s no question about it, social media can be incredibly overwhelming.
Even working within the industry, it is constantly changing, evolving and moving at such a fast pace that once you feel you have got to grips with one element, it changes and you have to learn something new again.
News Flash! It is not going to slow down any time soon, so as small business owners, how can you prepare yourselves for 2016 when the pace is going to quicken even more?
It may not be perfect , but that’s OK, so long as you are fast
Gone are the days where perfectly crafted information is top of the agenda. With the huge surge in popularity of live streaming through Apps such as Periscope and Blab during 2015, content is readily available, live, at the touch of a button, in an instant. Facebook is in the process of rolling out Facebook Live to the masses and 2016 will only see the popularity of live streaming platforms grow even more. The raw, unfiltered authenticity and speed at which content is now consumed is only going to grow. It’s time to drop perfection and hit the ‘go live’ button.
What does this mean for you as a small business owner?…
Well, I’m certainly not suggesting you throw away the professionally crafted You Tube video’s just yet. But, consider this, within a matter of seconds, you can start a live broadcast and people will consume your content there and then, in real time, within seconds. For you, as a business owner, there is a very immediate and engaging space to be able to connect daily with your potential customers. This is powerful, in fact hugely powerful for you as a small business. You can make very impactful and meaningful connections through live streaming. Being able to authentically tell your story gives meaning to who you are and more importantly, who you are to your potential customers.
It’s the who, not the what that is becoming more and more important…
Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but about the stories you tell – Seth Godin
The sooner you can understand the difference between the ‘what’ and the ‘who’ the sooner you will be successful with live streaming. For years , we have been used to brands and business owners talking about ‘what’ they can do for you with their services, what the ‘brand message’ is all about. The truth is, that irrespective of what your business can offer your consumer, if they are unable to identify with you as a person and feel connected with you, then the ‘what’ you do and ‘brand message’ loses relevance. People buy people first and foremost, before they buy anything that they may eventually buy from you. It’s time to show your true colours, allow people to see who you are and share your story. You can can now connect with people in a more meaningful way than ever possible before live streaming changed the social media landscape.
Don’t overthink it…
Sometimes you have to just go where your heart tells you to go. The beauty of live streaming is it’s wonderful ability to see where it takes you. Sure, we can spend hours, days and even weeks creating the perfect piece of content to portray a message, but live streaming allows for raw, real time content that encourages questions, feedback and others’ view points to come to the surface which can change the direction in which you were going to go. The real golden nugget of all this? you are no longer talking ‘at’ people, you are talking ‘with’ them. In real time, your potential customers can talk with you, ask questions there and then. There is nothing more powerful than this, other than an actual face to face discussion. So consider it like this, live streaming provides a virtual, beautiful networking party in the palm of your hands. Forget waiting for the monthly networking meetings you have scheduled, you can network, every single day, with people that never even knew you or your business existed. What is also so wonderful is that there are no longer geographical boundaries. It may have been highly unlikely that you could place yourself in front of people in countries all over the world (unless of course you had an infinite pot of money to afford world travel) but now, you can and it costs no physical money, just your time, effort and the desire to build and grow meaningful relationships.
In the digital space, attention is a currency, we earn it, we spend it – Brian Solis
There is so much content available across the whole of the digital landscape, this is no different in the live streaming world. Your time is valuable and your communities and potential customers’ time is valuable. Attention must be earned. It is not given readily and in exchange for the attention that people are prepared to give you, you must provide them with something valuable. So think about this, the beauty of live streaming is it’s raw, unfiltered beautiful ability to show authenticity and tell stories, but make sure it is a story worth telling. When you decide to hit the ‘start broadcast’ button have your ideas in mind and a basic outline of what you are going to discuss during your live stream. Make it clear in your title what you are going to be discussing so your live stream community can know what to expect and make an informed choice to tune into your broadcast. Do not waste their time, it is valuable, so therefore provide value.
Don’t forget to interact and engage with those who take the time to share their time with you, questions and viewpoints will arise. Let your community have a voice too. Allow them to speak freely and involve them in your broadcasts. Without this, there is little point to live streaming at all. Remember, live streaming offers a unique environment to talk ‘with’ not ‘at’ your community and potential customers.
Live streaming really does offer you a huge opportunity now and going forward into 2016. If you are not familiar with it yet then it is definitely time to be doing some homework and brainstorm some ideas about how you can incorporate it into your social media strategy for the coming year.
Enjoy researching and if you are new to Periscope, you can take a look at our very basic 10 periscope tips for beginners to help you start your research!