My Lost Weekend With Michael Vaughan in Antigua via Periscope
Before you all start getting excited and I’m getting journalists from The Sun knocking on my door, I haven’t just spent the weekend with Michael Vaughan in Antigua. But I did discover Periscope! I also discovered Meerkat, but it was Periscope that got my full attention.
If you’ve been living under a rock or not quite up to date on your social media app releases, Periscope is freakin HOT right now. And when I say hot, I mean, we are in holy smokes Batman territory as to how hot this latest app is. This is no ordinary app though, it’s the future. And that is a quote I shamelessly stole from Kevin Kilbane in one of his Periscope broadcasts. Periscopes basically allows you to live stream from your phone or iPad direct to your followers. It’s Twitter based, after they were very quick off the mark to snap up this latest Silicon Valley start up just a few weeks ago, following the launch of rivals Meerkat. So you log in, hit broadcast and it tweets out to all your followers on Twitter that you are now live on Periscope. If you’ve already downloaded the Periscope app, you get a notification directly if anyone you follow goes live.
This is the next generation of vlogging. Forget the edit, just go live and stream to your global following. Viewers can easily interact with the streamer by way on onscreen messages, and give hearts, which are the equivalent of likes. The more hearts you get the further up the most loved chart you go. And if you’re lucky you’ll be listed on the recommended global viewing list.
To the social media savy celebrity this is gold.
To the social media savy business or blogger this is huge! This is what is meant by being an early adopter of new trends. The potential is incomparable to anything we’ve seen for a long time.
So back to my weekend spent with Michael Vaughan.
I wouldn’t call myself a cricket fan. I don’t overly understand it but probably enough to kind of understand what’s going on. But don’t ask me to explain the offside rule. See wrong sport! I meant the LBW thing. I have on occasion attended a local match and watched The Ashes on tv. So how did I end up glued to Michael Vaughan’s coverage of the game against the West Indies from Antigua and then Grenada? That’s the thing, it wasn’t the cricket I was glued to, I literally don’t have a clue what happened there, it was his and Graeme Swann’s behind the scenes footage and banter that literally had me LMAO!
After getting quite a few questions about Periscope and Meerkat on Friday’s Q&A I decided to spend a bit of time getting to know them better. They actually sparked some interest in me, which is rare given the number of new networks and apps I’ve seen come and go over the years of working online. Even Snapchat still struggles to quite get me overly interested, and there’s still some marketing potential there.
My first proper Meerkat watch came via the #AskGaryVee show. The ever entertaining Gary Vaynerchuk now live streams his filming to Meerkat and he’s been plugging it for a few weeks. Great idea. I must copy that one 😉 My iPad pinged, Gary was live so I spent the next 20 minutes watching. Very cool.
But then I couldn’t really find very many people on there that I’d be that interested to watch. I followed a few but kind of felt a bit luke warm then.
So I downloaded Periscope! As it’s now owned by Twitter it directly links to your Twitter followers and finds them all for you. As new ones join up you see them in your list so you can give them a Periscope follow too. Not overly sure how or why I was following Michael Vaughan on Twitter (no offence, I now follow him on Instagram and Facebook too) but there he was so I gave him a follow. A few other sports and celeb types appeared so hey why not, if I’m researching it’s important to know all sides right. From their profiles of who they followed I found a few others of interest and quickly my follow list grew to 200. Luckily only about 10 of those are actively broadcasting so I wasn’t inundated with alerts from folk live streaming their sausage and mash dinner (or tweeting their dull as dishwater tea – see my social media etiquette post for my thoughts on that).
It wasn’t too long before my new found cricketing friend went live. I clicked and watched, and laughed! Who knew cricket was this entertaining! From what I could gather it was Geoffrey Boycott and “Aggers” recording a podcast. That was irrelevant. It was the banter from Vaughan and Swann and the comments popping up on screen that was entertaining. And then it ended.
Up next, Kevin Kilbane, a good Preston boy, footballer turned pundit doing a slot for one of the Irish tv channels (TV3 I think) streaming a bit of behind the scenes prior to go live. Great insight.
I watched a few other boring, walking down a road, driving in a car, doing nothing really other than boosting their own ego streams. They didn’t really entertain so I won’t be that bothered to watch again.
Then came a late night stream from Vaughan again. This time he was in a bar in Antigua, drinking a rum and Sprite, and I doubt it was his first, asking a barman called Troy his opinions on West Indian cricket. There was only about 50 people watching, including Graeme Swann from his hotel room, posting messages telling Vaughan to bring him a drink up. Viewers posted questions and Vaughan and the barman answered. This was the absolute essence of social media at it’s very best. For a cricket fan this was fantastic. To interact on such a personal level with someone they probably admire and look up to, in such an informal, non pretentious, totally adhoc way, would for any fan of anything or anyone, be amazing. To be sat watching a sports international chatting cricket and rum to a barman in Antigua from my sofa in Preston; it was like I was there with them.
And then they left Antigua and went to Grenada. The broadcasts have continued, just as funny, just as interactive and sometimes totally random. Suddenly I’m quite the fan. In the space of a few days I’ve sort of learnt a little bit about cricket, discovered that Michael Vaughan drinks Sprite with rum (!!!! odd combination), Graeme Swann’s tan is coming along nicely and he also has a friend who was once a footballer and now he’s a priest (even more a combination than rum and Sprite!) oh and that Geoffrey Boycott would make a great groundsman.
Hats off also to Stan Collymore who also broadcast quite a lot over the weekend whilst doing the day job of presenting on 5Live from the various football matches he attended. He gave some great behind the scenes footage, although his connection wasn’t great sometimes, but I suppose that’s just a hazard of such an app.
Oh and Chris Moyles, drunk and live from a pub in Dublin, although I don’t think he knew about the very early closing laws on Sunday they now have there.
I watched a few other celebs attempt to broadcast but it was all a bit me, me, me ego feeding. Am I interested in watching a celeb being driven around, checking their hair in the mirror and just reading out the messages from the screen of the 14 year old kids that love them because they can’t form their own opinions yet or realise when someone is just an arrogant egotistical prat? Ummmmmmmm, no, I don’t have time to watch paint dry.
So what’s this got to do with business or marketing for that matter? Everything!
Those celebs that are becoming early adopters and embracing Periscope are doing an extremely good job of marketing themselves. And in this world of the all important brand awareness, that is the most important factor. And this is what businesses need to do.
If you can demonstrate anything about your product, your brand or give some behind the scenes views that are of interest to your audience without ramming the sale down their throats, then Periscope is the place to do this. And early adopters have an amazing opportunity now to get in there quick and lead. This is a prime opportunity to get ahead of your competitors.
But for gods sake, please put some thought into it. I absolutely will turn off and unfollow if you are boring, adding nothing of any benefit or value or showing me what you’re having for your damn dinner. I don’t care about the boring and mundane details of your every day life. I can sit in my sitting room and look around me for that. But if you want to give me your insight into the Preston North End game because you was there and you’re now on your way home; brilliant, I want to see it. If you are in The Ritz having afternoon tea, which by the way you have to book about 6 months in advance and it cost about £60, then yes I would love to see that, because I like posh afternoon teas in swanky places. If you are somewhere or doing something that is different, unique, breathtaking, interesting, popular then broadcast it.
And, don’t forget the commentary. That bit is key. Good commentary can actually make dull more interesting. So put some personality into it as well.
I watched a lovely girl put her make up on the other day (@g_beauty_blog). Yes, ok so I’m taking make up tips from girls young enough to be my daughter, but her commentary was brilliant. She attracted some lunatic making stupid comments but her come backs and put down’s were brilliant. She could never have rehearsed for that but she just worked with it. Brilliant!
Have I suddenly become a massive cricket fan? Well no, but I’ve certainly warmed to it. And that is great marketing.
We haven’t had an opportunity to get ahead of the game like this in a long time. Probably since the early days of Twitter, which was actually amazingly great fun back in 2007 before spam and crap marketers took over.
And Mr’s Vaughan and Swann, if you just so happen to be reading this – loving your work! However, I did a bit of online stalking of you both and there are a few improvements that I’d suggest, mainly just on your overall online management, and keeping the nasty spammers off your Facebook pages, oh and My Vaughan your website needs a makeover and a kick up the arse. And obviously I am more than happy to help you with this – even if I do have to fly out to the next test match in Barbados to discuss the details 🙂
What?!?!? A girl can try can’t she! If you don’t ask you don’t get. Ok sales pitch over, now go and download Periscope!
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