How to Not Suck at Meerkat


Every few years, we get to watch the very predictable childhood of a newly-born social network. Its first words, first steps, first day of school, horribly awkward puberty, and finally maturity.

Right now, we’re getting to see it all before our eyes with the adorable baby Meerkat.

D’awwwww!

Wait, that’s not right, this Meerkat:

New social networks typically follow a pretty predictable maturing process:

First steps: Early adopters use it way too much, not knowing quite how to utilize it, and end up making a bunch of shit. Just like babies.

First words: Early adopters start to get the hang of things and start making good, creative stuff.

First day of school: Others start to join, and everything becomes a big party.

Horribly awkward puberty: More and more people start to join and the market gets flooded with more crap. Quality users and lurkers start to thin. Hormones rage.

Adulthood: If the network can make it past puberty, it finally settles into a nice, stable adulthood. A healthy user base, quality content, and lots of engagement.

Right now, Meekat is saying its first words. And that means it’s saying a lot of nonsense. A lot of…shit.

And that’s okay! It’s a perfectly normal part of growing up.

But in case you want to speed things up a bit, here’s how to stand out from the crowd and not make…shit.

1. Properly title your broadcast.

It’s been frustrating to get excited about someone I admire doing a broadcast only to find out that they’re doing another Q&A or showing somebody what the hell Meerkat is. If you probably label your broadcast, I can decide if I want to tune in or not.

2. Use hashtags to label your broadcast

The hashtag is relevant again! Rejoice!

In crippling Meercat’s ability to use Social Graph, Twitter has actually made hashtags useful once more. You can’t browse through a feed of broadcasts on Meerkat, but you can browse the #Meerkat hashtag in twitter to see what’s on. Tag your broadcast (accurately, please), and you can enjoy an engaged audience.

3. Be ready to go when you hit stream

There’s nothing enjoyable or engaging about watching someone fumble with the phone, squinting at the screen commenting on how many people are watching. Let’s get going people, I’m burning battery here!

4. Use a tripod.

Lest you make your audience seasick.

5. Less hot takes please.

Lots of talking about Meerkat on Meerkat. Very meta. But it’s probably time to find something else to talk about.

6. Consider talking less and showing more.

It would seem that so far, the only use we’ve found for Meerkat is a lot of self service and talking about ourselves. But the real beauty in a social network happens when we talk less about ourselves and start showing more of our world. I’m ready to see some broadcasts of a beautiful sunset somewhere in the world I’m unable to travel to. Or a view of a sporting event from the bleachers. Or a live stream of a bicycle messenger in NYC (Seriously, how cool would that be?!).

We’ll get there. Right now, everyone is just trying to figure this whole thing out. We’re babbling, drooling on ourselves, and possibly uttering obscenities on accident.

Hang in there. The best streams are on the way.

Andrew Littlefield is a newly initiated Brooklynite and Inbound Marketer for WeDidIt.

Image credit: flickr user John5199