March 21, 2015
SXSW 2015 will be remembered as the year a monster was created. Make that many monsters.
In the week prior to the annual geek-fest in Austin two words entered common usage amongst twitter users. The two words that should strike fear in to the heart of every social media professional, [LIVE NOW], followed by the short URL mrk.tv and the hashtag #meerkat
Meerkat, if you missed it, is a tool that allows video to be live-streamed directly in to a twitter feed. It briefly enabled account holders to notify twitter followers when they were live streaming using the 140-character app’s social graph so that users didn’t need to create a new audience. That changed shortly after the firm arrived at SXSW, the annual digital and interactive equivalent of spring break held in Austin, TX.
Meerkat is the perfect app for the self-publicist to broadcast every mundane moment of their uninteresting lives to the world. People streamed everything and anything but, largely, nothing of any note. Some have streamed pre-stream warm ups where the ‘main event’ was uninteresting and the pre-show stream was a nadir!
I’ve read, and heard, people saying that Meerkat is a game-changer for social and content marketers by allowing ‘brands’ to live stream video in their twitter feed. But, for all the hype around Meerkat it is just another content creation and syndication tool that requires quality content and an engaged audience. For all the hype around Meerkat these the two things that most companies struggle with most and until they fix it the app has more potential to annoy and alienate people than it has to engage them.
It’s a bit like giving a jetpack to everybody and telling them it will allow them to travel from anywhere to everywhere – unless you know how to use it it is far more of a danger than it is beneficial.
My suspicion is that, despite the hype, the appeal for twitter users will wear off quickly as audiences tire of viewing the minutia of day-to-day life.
Startup and SmallBiz PR and Marketing tip: Understand what content your audience wants and give it to them. Don’t invest time and money creating content on every platform – focus on quality.