How To Use Blab To Grow Your Business - and Why Live Streaming May Be The Future Of The Media
Blab. It’s the new platform that’s taking the social media world by storm. And if you’re holding off on getting on board because you think it’s just a fad, you’d better change your thinking. Fast.
In this article, we’re going to dive in with an overview of how to utilize the platform – and what you should be using it for.
Let’s get started with what Blab is all about.
We’re talking about a cutting-edge video chat app where four people can engage simultaneously as an audience watches, comments and jumps in live on the video chat.
It’s Periscope and Meerkat meets Twitter and Facebook….fused with YouTube and Podcasting.
Before we really dive in, I think it’s important to recognize WHY this platform is growing so quickly…and why it will continue to explode.
If you’ve followed any of my writing, you know that I believe we’re facing a massively disruptive change in advertising, fueled largely by social media. Traditional advertising just isn’t worth what it used to be. Why? Because the attention isn’t there. People consume content when it’s convenient for them. The 6pm newscast? No thanks – I’ll catch up on what I need to learn about the news on my time.
Following that logic, many have argued that Blab is doomed for the same reasons. But I’d argue just the opposing. By fusing a replay functionality that allows for customization…and a deep level of audience engagement…we’re looking at the future of broadcasting. Just wait until this arena merges with true 360 degree video.
It’s a content marketers dream – but you need to first understand it.
One final thought before I leave you with the details of how it works. We’re launching a brand new show for The Silent Partner Marketing – The Entrepreneur Show – that will stream weekly. So make sure to follow us by clicking here. We’ll be sharing tips and tricks, interviews with CEO’s, entrepreneurs and marketers from all over the world, and may just interview YOU in a future episode. One more company you’ll want to follow – Alison May Public Relations. They’re about to roll out some VERY cool new shows that every entrepreneur will want to catch.
So sign up…check it out…and let us know what you think!
Step One – Sign Up
Blab was designed to allow you to sign up with your Twitter account. From an ease of access perspective, it’s spectacular – it pulls your information from your Twitter profile. Note: it will NOT pull your website over. That’s on you.
Step Two – Customization
Before you start blabbing, make sure to head over to your profile. You’ll want to customize it so that it’s different from your Twitter profile and talks to those who are following you on Blab. You’ve also got less space…with only 140 characters to work with.
Step Three - Research
The platform is incredibly intuitive and easy to use, but you’ll want to watch some shows on both desktop and mobile devices. You can join blabs currently underway by navigating through topics using the tabs in the left sidebar of the homepage. The first Blabs you’ll see are those on air – but you can also review scheduled blabs and replays.
If you’re looking for anonymity, be cautious on this platform. All blabs are public, so when you’re logged in using your Twitter and enter into a Blab, it gets announced. If you want to be a lurker and watch anonymously, log out and then go back into the Blab. You won’t be able to engage or interact, but you can still watch.
As part of your research, you should play around as an audience member. Learn how to give props, tweet out the show and ask questions. It’ll help you form stronger calls-to-action when you’re running your own Blab and asking people to do it.
Step Four - Begin Experimenting
To start your own Blab, click on the Start A New Blab button at the top right of the screen.
Choose the Title, tags for categorization and the start date and time. For your first test Blab, I’d recommend choosing the “test-zone” tag and letting people know it’s your first. Because it’s public, you don’t want to look like a complete fool by not letting people know that you’re trying this out for the first time.
Step Five – Record Your Blab
Want a replay of your Blab? Want to be able to use it for a Podcast and your website? This platform allows you to record a Blab for up to six hours. You can also go “off the record”. It’s a great way for you to provide tremendous value to those watching live and to “tease” people watching the playback to get them to subscribe to future episodes. Try something like this:
“For those of you watching the playback or listening to the podcast recording, we’re going to go ‘off the record’ now. Want to catch EVERYTHING in the future? Make sure to ‘subscribe’ today. And for those of you watching ‘live’ – you’re about to enjoy some exclusive content.”
Step Six – Bring On The Guests
You can plan out guests in advance…or invite viewers to join you live. Whenever someone wants to join the Blab on video, they’ll send you a message requesting to join an open seat (up to four people can be live at once). You can either click the Accept button to bring them on, or you can kill their request and allow others to call in. You can also “lock seats” when you have everyone on the Blab that you’ll want on there – this prevents others from calling in.
If you decide you want to open the seat back up, you can simply click the “unlock seat” button.
Note – you can also mute on air guests or yourself with the volume icon on the bottom left of a seat.
To take a guest off the air, you just have to click the “X” at the top right of their seat, which will allow you to cycle through more guests on the show or kick someone out who is bringing you off topic. If it turns out they are real trolls, you can block the person by clicking on their profile image in the top of the screen and then clicking on the triangle icon at the top of their profile.
Take note that this will only stop them from participating in terms of calling in, using the chat and sending props in THIS Blab – it won’t affect future Blabs.
So how do you use Blab to market your business or your brand? Here’s a handful of tips that will help you really stand out.
Tip 1 – Make sure you’re properly optimized.
You’ll want to make sure to have a strong and relevant title. Not only will this help let people know what the topic is all about, but it will also be the URL of the Blab.
Make sure to pick appropriate tabs to help in the discovery process when people are looking for content to view.
Tip 2 – Schedule and Tease Your Blab
Do a little homework to find out when other popular industry Blabs are being held. It will help you find a time that works well. Then take the URL and promote it in advance through your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, blog, email newsletter, etc.
Make sure to give people plenty of lead time and help walk them through the process of how to sign up and how to watch it. Perhaps send them a link to the make site so they can become familiar with it first.
Tip 3 – Ask For the Share
Both in advance and once you’re live, ask followers to share it. Do it a few times throughout the Blab in the notes. During a live broadcast, people can tweet it and FB it right from the Blab itself. And make sure to ask people to “follow” you to start building your regular viewership.
Tip 4 – High Production Value
Invest in a decent microphone (we like Snowball and it’s not going to cost you a small fortune). Make sure your background isn’t distracting and that your lighting is strong. We’re also big fans of wearing headphones so you don’t miss any part of the conversation or get distracted by everything else in the world around you. Have notes in front of you to keep you on track, including notes reminding yourself to ask for the shares and the follows.
Tip 5 – Don’t Lose Focus
When bringing on live guests, you introduce an element of risk. Make sure that the topic stays true, because that’s how you promoted it. The worst thing you can do is alienate those who followed your Blab by going off topic and not delivering on the value people were expecting.
Tip 6 – Engage, Engage, Engage
This goes beyond accepting guests. Talk to follows. Answer questions. Say hi to people as they join. Encourage people to asks questions, and actually answer them – whether it be live or in the comments.
Now the ball is in your court, friends. Follow us and we'll show you a thing or two. But we look forward to seeing how you are marketing on the new social media power house...and maybe even interviewing you.
Kyle Reyes is President and CEO of The Silent Partner Marketing. He's also an acclaimed Keynote Speaker on entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing and social media. You can find him on Facebook and Twitter.