Periscope and Meerkat are currently the new digital darlings. The live-streaming apps that are taking social media by storm. Meerkat, which saw its long-awaited release after it wowed tech journalists at SXSW earlier this year is facing off against Twitter’s homegrown competitor, Periscope, in what tech media is billing a battle for the ages.
But let’s be a little more realistic. These are just two of the millions of apps published every day. Let’s not get it twisted, they’re pretty decent and with the press backing them, they have every chance of succeeding. In fact, it seems like Periscope has already won the battle for Twitter, with Meerkat moving it’s service onto Facebook.
Right now though, nobody really knows what to do with either app. Citizen journalists are salivating at the chance to live-stream breaking news, and celebrities’ PR managers are gearing up to show the ‘real’ side of their clients. The rest of us though, we’re just sat here showing people the inside of our fridges… #showusyourfridge
The early days of a technology are often the most fun though, when people are still trying to get to grips with the concept, innovators are free to try out their most crazy ideas. There are no set conventions or best practices, and it’s often these early adopters who define the technology itself.
Take, for example, Snapchat. When it rose to popularity in 2012, public perception was so negative that the co-founder had to announce that the app was not solely for sexting and in fact had a range of other uses. Brands and companies, as well as innovative individuals, agreed and started using Snapchat in new ways. Fast forward to 2015 and Snapchat has become a respected marketing tool.
So while today we’re puzzling over Periscope and musing over Meerkat, in a few years we might see them as an integral tool for increasing transparency and connecting with supporters by using it for…
Engaging with your donors is crucial and Periscope gives the perfect opportunity to do this. Not only does it offer you an easy way to broadcast live to your followers, but it also enables people to tweet questions to you. This can turn any occasion into an impromptu Q&A.
If you can create a connection with your supporters on a personal level you’ll not only show people that you are confident in being clear and transparent, but you’ll also likely increase trust. Be wary though, unlike journalists, the internet demands the truth. If you go into a Q&A purely as a marketing exercise, you’ll get found out. Be genuine, be personable and most importantly be ready to answer questions about the bad stuff as well as the good. People will appreciate the honesty and transparency. But let’s stay on topic and talk about Rampart here.
A day in the life
When it comes to things we don’t know about, we make a lot of assumptions. To some, being a charity manager may sound like an easy job, but without having the knowledge of what actually goes on they don’t know if that’s true or not. Simply put they don’t do your job, they don’t know how it works. So why not educate people?
Show people what goes on behind the scenes. It might sound boring to you, but that’s because you do it everyday. To someone else, it can be fascinating to see how things work. We’re used to seeing the results of charitable actions, but not the hard work that goes into them. Even better, it’ll also give people a greater understanding of the importance of charity.
Often supporting someone who is fundraising can be quite a passive activity. for example let’s take one of the most well-know fundraisers, the marathon run. As a sponsor all you do is write your name down on a form. Then, a few weeks later, someone tells you they ran a marathon, and you give them the money for it. From the fundraiser’s point of view it’s completely different though.
After they get those donation pledges – the real work begins, the hours of training, the practice runs, and the big race itself. In the time between taking pledges and actually collecting them, the fundraiser may have ran hundreds of miles without anyone knowing. Periscope allows a fundraiser to show all the work they’re putting in though. Each run could be streamed to an audience and instead of one big event, it becomes many.
Live-streamed events have become increasingly successful with Twitch.tv and YouTube allowing users to stream events from their desktop. In 2015, gamers managed to raise $1,575,000 with a week-long event called Awesome Games Done Quick, where people competed to complete video game as quickly as possible. What Periscope does though is unshackle these events from desks and allows them to be done anywhere and anyhow.
Behind the scenes
No matter what you do, there’s going to be moments in your job that make you really appreciate what you do. If you get to meet a celebrity, or a respected expert; whether you get to ride in an air ambulance or you get to hold just the cutest puppy; these are the experiences that audiences would love to live vicariously through you. Indulge people, let them get to see firsthand things that you have the privilege to do.
Prove that you’re doing stuff
Just be transparent, if you’re doing good stuff then show it off. Scared of showing off what you do? That’s fair enough, the internet can be a scary place. But if you’re doing a good job, you’ll see the effects, and if you’re not, then you’ll get some constructive criticism.
Periscope’s greatest use is as a tool of transparency. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that charities aren’t just businesses, they’re made up of many passionate individuals who are fighting for a cause. Used as a window to show this, Periscope has a power far greater than just any another app.
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