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I’ll admit it. The first time I tried Meerkat & Periscope, I was slightly mortified. I had borrowed a friends’ IPad while I was in Rome and decided I should give the new livestreaming apps a try. Seemed like all the cool kids were doing and I was damned if I was going to miss out on a new trend, especially since it involved video. So I did a live stream from my hotel and was immediately beset upon by a few creepy trolls who insisted I show them the inside of my refrigerator (apparently this is known as #FridgePorn) and it got worse from there. Yikes, that was it for this biddy! Despite the fact that I could turn my smart phone into a broadcasting tower, I figured I’d pass on these two new apps, especially since they were not available on Android.

Alright, so fast forward to the announcement that both live streaming apps became available for Android users. I cringed. “No way”, I thought – “this is a playground I just can’t get into”. 

Well, I’m pleased to say that this biddy is now having a blast on the Periscope playground. On a side note, I have also tried Meerkat but, for some reason I seemed to get more responses, followers & interaction over on Periscope. On that note, here a few of my learning curve tips to help you find your way in the live streaming app world:

Watch and discover: This is an interactive platform so the more you explore & try out different live stream broadcasts, the more you’ll find your favorite “shows”.

Use catchy titles for your live stream broadcasts: Make sure to use key words and descriptions that are fun & get attention. You can also use emoticons in the title if it fits. I like using the little crown icon and also try to add in relevant emoticons. But don’t get too crazy. Too many emoticons make you look like you’ve had too much coffee. Or wine. 😉

Share broadcasts that you like: You can swipe on your phone during a live broadcast and share it out to specific people or to all of your followers. This is a great way to show your support for the people you like! However, share carefully. Because I’m following a lot of people right now, that means I also get notifications when people I follow decide to share out a broadcast. This notification can be turned off but I don’t want to miss out on shows that my besties think I should see. But that also means, I get a crap ton of notifications! I choose my battles with this but I do caution on sharing every single show you see. That’s a good way to get yourself unfollowed.

Test Test Test: I’ve been broadcasting at different times of the day as well as different topics. Sometimes I broadcast in the morning with a cup of coffee, bedhead, my beagle and no makeup and talk about the day coming up or what I’ve seen in the news. I’ve also started a series called #QoTDMia – aka: Question of the Day with Mia and pose different questions each day. I combine this with a Google Hangout and invite viewers to come into the filmstrip. I’ve had some fun people pop in and have gotten to know even more people! It’s more about finding out what best showcases your personality and also

Engage with your viewers: One of the most fun things is to chat with viewers as they join the livestream. I really enjoy hearing where they are from and read their comments. So, obviously you don’t want to just set up the camera and ignore comments. Unless you are Kevin Hart, Hillary Clinton, Grant Cardone or Tom Green, you really need to acknowledge the people watching. I made the mistake of setting up a Periscope during a live hangout and not only did I lose people but also didn’t realize there were trollers dropping eff bombs and b bombs. One exception would be a live stream from a conference or a presentation. However, unless it’s someone interesting, people will lose interest, especially if you have not made it very clear who the person is in the title of your Periscope.

Fill out your profile description carefully: Make sure to be very clear about what you do. At this point you cannot change your Profile Description. Since this is a quickly evolving platform, this may be resolved by the time you read this but.. just in case, make sure to be very accurate with your description!

Overall, both Periscope and Meerkat are great for live interaction and connection. In the past few weeks I’ve connected with a ton of people, made several new friends, created collaborations and discovered new business opportunities. I encourage you to give it a try and plant your flag in the livestream world. It’s getting to be a crowded place and the quicker you get in there, the quicker you’ll start marking connections and expanding your reach and your brand.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a big shout of thanks to Stephen Q. Shannon for the email nudge and to Ana Hoffman for paving the way on Periscope & Meerkat, gathering information & helping me feel comfortable in broadcasting on this nascent platform.