I’ve tried rafting a couple of times. You jump into a raft with some strangers and go screaming down the river (loads of fun, BTW). You start at the top and your goal is to arrive somewhere down the river. How you actually get to that point is nearly impossible to plan in advance. There are so many waves, rocks and obstacles that you have to go with the flow and your instincts in order to reach your destination.
My friend Jan-Ove and I were playing around with Meerkat (more about Meerkat here) versus Periscope the other day. These two competing live mobile streaming apps are exploding in popularity these days.
We were just goofing around really, with no real plan. First we tested Periscope while we were buying smoothies – 8 people from my audience jumped on. I guess they saw it on Twitter when we went live. We spoke Norwegian (our native tongue) and told them that we were testing stuff out. After a while we said goodbye and we went on Meerkat and did the same thing – nobody showed up to watch us.
Then we jumped back to Periscope, this time we wrote an English title (with no deep thoughts as to why, it just said “Beautiful day in Oslo”) on our stream and suddenly (in addition to my Norwegian audience) around 60 random people from the Periscope stream jumped in. Wow, this thing is really cool.
All the people watching were now actively chatting with us, and they started asking us questions in English. We switched to English only – and the audience kept on growing. Suddenly there were more than 80 people on our stream.
They were asking about Oslo, the city we were in, and we started showing them around. We ended up walking down to the Opera House and letting them decide where to go, and what to show them.
All in all, a really fun hour of interacting with a new and engaged audience.
Now. What’s the lesson here, why am I sharing this?
You need to constantly adjust your content to who your audience is, how it responds and what platform you’re communicating on.
Just like when your rafting down a stream, screaming like you’re going to die (I sure did). You need to go with the flow, you need to constantly react to what’s in front of you.
We could have sticked to Norwegian, and we could have kept stuck with the “just talk about smoothies and live-streaming” focus on our content, but we pivoted (more about this here) and reacted — based on who our audience was and what our followers responded best to.
It gave us, and our audience an interesting experience which had value for us all.
So, remember to adjust your performance to your audience, go with the flow. You’ll never know where you end up anyways – you might as well have some fun!