Are you interested in live mobile broadcasting?

Have you tried Meerkat or Periscope?

To learn about mobile broadcasting apps, I interview Brian Fanzo.

More About This Show

The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

In this episode I interview Brian Fanzo, partner and chief digital strategist at Broadsuite, a company that helps businesses succeed with social and mobile marketing. Brian is one of the leading authorities on Meerkat and Periscope.

In this episode Brian Fanzo will explore the live mobile broadcasting apps Meerkat and Periscope and what they mean for your business.

You’ll discover the pros and cons of each platform, as well as how to get started.

podcast 149 brian fanzo meerkat and periscope

Listen as Brian Fanzo shares how businesses are using live video broadcasting with Meerkat and Periscope.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below.

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Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

Meerkat and Periscope

How Brian got started with mobile broadcasting

Brian, who calls himself a change evangelist, has a technology background and a love of social media. He is always looking for ways people can leverage technology to be more productive and tell their story in unique ways. Brian likes to jump on every new app: it’ll either fail fast, and he’ll uninstall it or he’ll run with it! Mobile broadcasting definitely falls into the later category.

Brian shares how he was introduced to Meerkat. He was speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, when he got a message from someone who worked at Twitter, telling him that Ashton Kutcher and Gary Vaynerchuck were on a new video app. About 35 seconds later, Brian had downloaded it and clicked the start button.

Meerkat came out February 26, 2015, and Brian was on it March 2.

Brian took to Meerkat immediately. He put his mobile device on his tripod, hit the stream button, put in the event hashtag and was live. He treated it like he does his regular YouTube videos: walking around, describing the event and sharing it with his audience.

About three minutes in, someone commented, “I see the Samsung booth, can you turn to your right.” That’s when Brian realized he didn’t just bring the experience to his audience, he was letting his viewers be a part of it. People in the United States could dictate what they saw in Spain. “It felt interactive, like having a true conversation,” he recalls.

Since Brian was about to go to South by Southwest,  he put some strategy behind his Meerkating. Brian contacted a couple of brands that were holding different events, and asked for backstory, so he could be prepared to cover them. During SXSW, Brian did a Meerkat of all the sessions he went to, as well as a preview each morning and recap every evening. About 300-800 people watched each stream, no matter what he was talking about.

Brian Fanzo meerkat

Brian had a lot of opportunities to explore Meerkat in March.

Periscope was released into the Apple store during Social Media Marketing World (the last week of March 2015), and Brian recalls using Periscope for first time during the opening keynote.

Listen to the show to hear where Brian was when he heard about Periscope at Social Media Marketing World.

How live streaming apps work

Live streaming isn’t anything new,” Brian explains. “It’s really just turning on a video and opening the portal to anyone who wants to use it.”

What’s new is the fact that we’re able to download an app, sign in with a Twitter account or phone number, click stream and post the link. Then anybody in your Twitter community can click on that link and watch whatever you’re showing on your phone. The big piece is the mobile aspect. It’s as simple as a basic tweet and hitting the “stream” button.

Listen to the show to learn how and where to watch a Meerkat or Periscope live stream.

Businesses uses for live broadcasting

Much like podcasting and social media, the people who using mobile video are doing so from a storytelling point of view. Brian recommends businesses think like a fan. There are fans of what you are doing who want to have access into your everyday life. Think about what fans would like to see (for example, behind the scenes of your life and business) and show them that.

Hootsuite did a campaign called “Follow the Sun,” using Periscope. They decided to let their employees showcase what they called #HootsuiteLife. They gave access to different people in every company office around the globe. Throughout the day, it would “Follow the Sun,” and people in different offices would log into the Hootsuite account and walk around and show off their culture, interviewing their friends, etc. Brian remembers thinking that they talk about the importance of culture and now they are proving it. The number of inbound applications drastically increased after people got that sneak peek into their company.

Brian Fanzo meerkat

Hootsuite’s #FollowtheSun campaign showcased #HootsuiteLife around the globe.

The people who watch mobile streaming video are able to comment on the screen, so the person who is showing them around can also answer questions.

Brian shares a few other use cases for this technology. A realtor can do a live stream walk-through on a Friday before a Saturday open house to drum up excitement. Anyone in a business where they want to premiere something ahead of time or need to show off something remotely, whether it’s a mobile app or a physical product, will truly benefit from this. It humanizes you and your brand, and encourages the audience to root for your success.

Brian believes there’s nobody better to share your passion, your story and your value proposition than you. Not everybody is comfortable blogging, tweeting or humble-bragging on Facebook. But if you can explain to someone the how and the why of what you do, it makes it a powerful conversation.

At Social Media Marketing World, Brian interviewed Jay Baer backstage before Jay did his first keynote on Hug your Haters. It was a real raw look into what Jay’s feelings were before he went on stage.

Listen to the show to hear the Hootsuite coffeemaker story and discover the powerful impact that unproduced story elements can have.

Recording your live streams

Both Meerkat and Periscope allow you to save video to your camera roll. At this point, comments are not part of the saved video.

When you upload the video portion to Facebook native video, Facebook adjusts it so the player view is only as wide as the video, while YouTube plays the cropped rectangle.

Both apps give users the option to hit replay.

In Periscope, anyone who is following you on that app can watch the video for 24 hours after the live stream. After that, the video is gone, unless it’s saved to your camera roll.

Because Meerkat is a startup with venture backing, and they have an open API, streamers can use a 3rd party app record the live stream. Brian uses Katchkats, and has it set up to automatically record and upload to his YouTube channel.

Listen to the show to discover how the data is saved.

Meerkat versus Periscope: the pros and cons

Brian believes both apps have strengths and weaknesses.

Since Meerkat is a startup, they are going to add features that are not fully baked and might have some glitches. They were the first ones to have an android app and they were the first ones to attempt to do a feature that automatically posts to a Facebook page. It may not be perfect from a delivery standpoint, but they are embracing what Brian calls “failing fast” and allowing their community to have input into how these features are built.

Meerkat also has scheduling ability. You can schedule a live stream 24 hours in advance, and get a permalink to share that drive traffic to your live stream.

Periscope does not have that option. However, when you go live, Periscope will automatically post the link to Twitter for you. Periscope also gives you the option to do a private stream. You select certain followers in the app, and only those followers are notified and are able to view that stream. It gives you a little exclusivity.

Another thing that Periscope has done really well is that it focuses on the user’s experience, as well as the streamer’s. It uses every aspect of the screen for the video. They have hearts, so if you are watching the video, you can tap on the screen as a watcher and the streamer will see the hearts float up from the bottom and know what they are talking about is something the audience likes.

Periscope hearts

Periscope viewers can show love by sending hearts hearts.

Brian shares some things to keep in mind when deciding which app to try first.

If you are looking to be the streamer, the one behind the camera, Periscope is a great place to start, because it has a larger community. You have the flexibility of growing your community, plus it’s more likely your feed will be found by the masses.

If you want to test the technology out, and see how others are using it and be part of the community (jump on other streams, comment, ask questions), then try Meerkat. Those who are on Meerkat have been on it a little bit longer and are likely to answer questions.

Put simply: Want to get going now? Periscope. Want to test it out and see what others are doing? Meerkat.

Listen to the show to discover why competition is a good thing.

How to start strong as a broadcaster

Your greatest opportunity to draw in viewers is the tweet that’s sent out whenever you go live. So, like in every great tweet, include hashtags, as well as a title that will capture attention and define your topic.

Also, Brian says, keep in mind, a half-baked live stream today is better than a perfect live stream tomorrow. So if you keep trying to make something like this perfect, it’s never going to happen. Just embrace it and don’t overthink it.

It’s essential to be yourself and be human. Brian shares the friendly reaction he received when he told his audience he had to jump off a live stream to eat dinner with his daughters.

Brian recommends the following for live streaming:

  • Ollo clip: a mobile phone lens; one lens is the fish eye and one is for zoom.
  • Joby tripod: a desktop tripod with magnetic feet.
  • Audio: indoors you should just be able to use your mobile device. However, if you are outside or somewhere noisy, use your iPhone headphones.

Remember, when broadcasting you need the phone close enough so you can read the comments.

Listen to the show to learn how to switch cameras back and forth on the app, as well as Brian’s tripod hacks.

What to avoid

People are not going to tune into your stream over a professional one, Brian says. They are there to see you and your unique view.

Avoid streaming things that are copyrighted, as well as events people are already paying for. It doesn’t hurt to ask who is running the event permission to stream it from your angle. It’s not replacing what someone else is doing, it’s offering another aspect.

Also, tell others around you that you are streaming, so they are aware. For more information on copyright and live mobile streaming, check out articles from Kerry Gorgone.

Listen to the show to discover Brian’s motto for what to stream.

Discovery of the Week

TripMode is a cool tool to use on your Mac laptop that will give you freedom to decide what apps are able to connect to using the data on a mobile device. So, if you don’t have wifi, and decide to sync your iPhone to your laptop and use it as a mobile hotspot, you can have fast performance.

tripmode app

TripMode helps you manage which apps can connect to your mobile device and use your data.

Install Trip Mode and an icon will appear in the menu bar. You can have it automatically connect on the mobile hotspot or turn it on manually. It will even give you data usage per app. For example, you can check or uncheck Dropbox, Google Chrome, mail, etc.

You can turn it on with any wifi.

There’s a promotional price right now. There’s also a free version which has an unlimited trial for 7 days and then it gives you 15 minutes free per day, which might be enough.

Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how TripMode works for you.

Other Show Mentions

The Social Media Marketing Society is a member community for anyone who cares about social media marketing.

There two big questions people are asking are: Is the Social Media Marketing Society for me? And how much does it cost?

If you are always trying new things with social media and feel you already keep up with all the changes, then the society is likely not for you. However, if you feel you are a little behind on what’s going on in social media, need a competitive edge for your business and want to be trained in latest proven techniques, then check it out. We built it for busy marketers who struggle to keep up with all the latest and greatest changes in social media.

Society membership includes three original, highly tactical trainings each month, which last 60 to 90 minutes. Members also get access to exclusive private forums, where they can connect with like-minded individuals, ask questions and help out others. They also get social hangouts. Every month we bring people together on a video conference to connect.

The cost is $40 per month and enrollment for the Social Media Marketing Society ends on June 30 and will not reopen until 2016. It’s not a contract, so you can cancel at any time. Check out one of those trainings for free. Just go to You can also register there.

Listen to the show!

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

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Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael Stelzner

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What do you think? What are your thoughts on live mobile broadcasting? Please leave your comments below.

how businesses are using meerkat and periscope for live mobile broadcasts

Insights from Brian Fanzo on how businesses are using Meerkat and Periscope for live mobile broadcasts.

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  • glad to see mobile live streaming is getting some traction. i’m sure similar apps that have been around for years like bambuser, flixwagon and even our own ginglelive will be glad for the boost. leveraging the live story-making capabilities for businesses will be the trick but the unique marketing events you can create (as mentioned above) could be endless and effective. a prestigious university uses our platform to live stream and record all matters of campus life and has seen direct calls to the admissions office as a result. skies the limit. thanks for sharing.

  • is Mobile broadcasting the future of social marketing? I also noticed that Meerkat is really gaining popularity fast. Awesome show as always.

  • AngeloDBallou

    ⌘⌘⌘⌘⌘—–.卐卐卐卐卐i like me examiner ….. < Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6979 this – 9 weeks past. I began this 9-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $188per hour.
    I work through this link, < w­­­w­­­w.­jo­b­­N­e­t­20­­.­­­C­­­o­­­m


  • Love this – can see lots of ideas for tourism.

  • Live streaming platforms like Periscope, Meerkat, Hangwith and Stringwire are allowing people to connect and build relationships like never before. I see these new real time interactive platforms as being game changers. Things will get 10X more interesting once comments and hearts are complimented with live audio, video, and vibration feedback. Thanks for having @iSocialFanz on the podcast. Next time maybe share Brian via a “live stream” so we can ask questions and engage 🙂

  • Loved reading this. Are there any costs involved in using either Meerkat or Periscope?

  • treb072410

    Thanks for sharing Michael.. Great post..

  • Thanks Treb!

  • Hey Jennifer,

    Only the obvious costs like your time and the possible data costs if you do the broadcast over a cell network. The apps are free.

  • Thanks Mitch – I did find it interesting that the feedback loop is kinda odd at first when doing a broadcast. I would have liked an easier way to talk or chat with others who were watching.

  • Thanks and yes that is an interesting application

  • Kathy

    I’a­m fre­ela­ncin­g a­t ho­me, doi­ng som­e bas­ic jobs which onl­y requir­ed a PC an­d in­ternet conne­ction and I am happ­ier than ev­er… Af­ter 6 mon­ths o­n th­is jo­b a­nd i ear­ned so fa­r in tot­al $36k… Ba­sic­ly i get pai­d close to 80 doll­ars/h an­d w­ork f­or 3-4 h m­ost of the da­ys.An­d the be­st part about thi­s job is tha­t you ge­t to choo­se y­ourself wh­en to wo­rk and f­or how lon­g an­d you ge­t pai­d weekly

  • Yes @GeoffGolberg on both meerkat and periscope does tours around NYC daily and does give aways and such.. a must follow if that is your space!

  • Thanks Mitch… your support and friendship is amazing.. Was honored to be on your podcast/show long ago and truly honored when Mike asked me to be on his!

  • Thank you so much for the quick response! I’ll definitely consider these options for the next fashion event I do 🙂

  • Marlene44845

    I qu­it my previous job a­nd at this moment I earn Eighty-Five Dollars per-h. …How? I freelance online from my home! My previous job wasn’t for me ,so I chose to take a chance on something different… After two years…I can say it was the best decision I ever made! Check it out, what i do…

  • Priscilla

    Start making 90 bucks each day for working an online job from your own home for several h a day… Get regular payment on a weekly basis… You’ll need a laptop or computer, connection to the web, plus a little leisure time…

  • The embed link doesn’t work. I wanted to write a blog post.

  • This was a FANTASTIC episode. I especially loved hearing Brian’s thought process. It was like a glimpse into the mind of an early adopter and how they figure out new technology through trying a ton of creative things so the rest of us can copy them later. Can’t wait to continue to learn from you Brian! Especially appreciated the tips on how you are connecting with your podcasting audience through these apps.

  • Great episode. Love periscope and thank you Brian for sharing your story! – @LiterallyAnika

  • Adrienne McCue

    … good stuff. but can we not just say iphone, because with my Android phone, I have 64g slot for my Samsung 5 phone, so you can hold a lot of videos there for a bit.

  • Bob Jones

    Hey, is there any way to stream using BOTH of these APPs at the same time?