When I was growing up “to blab” was to “talk too much”. And I’m sure you can guess I might have been accused of that once or twice myself. Since those early days of “Kissing the Blarney Stone” I’ve been able to turn that tendency into an asset as a marketer and added “listening” to the mix aswell.
And now “Blab” has entered the social media arena creating a tool that allows anyone to have their own show. More than that, they’ve created a conversation platform or even better a “participation network” as one blabber put it recently.
There are 4 chairs in any one Blab – one is held by the host and the other 3 are open to whoever the host(s) allow(s) to sit there. Chairs can be occupied by someone you work with, are interviewing or even more interesting someone who decided to join your show.
Think Brady Bunch here with the 4 seats visible on everyone’s screen. But this is not the only way people can interact. There’s a chat screen to the right where you can post comments, ask questions etc. The concept of “audience” has fundamentally changed now as we / they get a chance to really participate and frame where the conversation is going.
Just imagine joining a blab where your top two inspirational speakers are speaking on a topic that you are passionate about. You can jump right in and interact with them via the chat screen or take a seat yourself. Now the historical boundaries of location and access are completely dissolved. We don’t have to get in a car, get on a plane or even a get an introduction. We can connect with anyone anywhere if we really want to. We are more fully connected now as a species than we have ever been before.
SHOULD YOU? – WOULD YOU? – HOW DO YOU BLAB?
Answering these questions is really intertwined. “Should you” is really about if it’s a fit and if you have the capability. “Would you” is about if it’s a fit, whether you have the inclination and if you have the capability. “How do you” is where we get practical. Let’s address it all in this section and walk you through some of the steps that’ll help you answer those questions.
- Start by Signing Up to Blab
You’re not going to know until you give it a go! Getting started is easy. Just visit blab.im and sign up using your twitter account. 30 seconds tops!
- Check Your Profile
You’ve got to be yourself so check yourself ! Your profile for Blab will default to your Twitter profile so check it fits and you’re happy with it.Do take note that Blab profile bios are shorter than Twitter profiles at only 140 characters. If you like the way your Blab profile looks with your Twitter information, don’t edit it or you’ll lose the additional 20 characters. Hat Tip to Kristi Hines for that insight.
- “Walk the Show”
This is something I say to all my clients before they look at exhibiting at trade shows or embarking on something new. Now let’s apply it to Blab.
- Watch What Works
Take the time you need to understand the medium. There are certain blabs that seem a little frenetic and others that don’t move fast enough. What you’re looking for is engagement and flow.
- Is it a conversation that flows between the seats and the viewers?
- Does it stay on topic?
- Do hosts welcome the engagement?
- Are the hosts able to multi-task between facilitating a live conversation and yet keep on top of the incoming messages in the chat stream?
- Do the hosts engage with the chat stream?
- Are the people in the seats interesting? Note what makes them interesting.
- Are the people in the seats interested in each other? I’ve seen some blabs where the people in the seats are not even looking at the screen or they look distinctly bored. If you’re guests are bored so too are your audience.
- Will the blab keep your attention?
- How long did you stay?
- Now what will you take away and apply to your Blab Show?
- Before you Create your Show
Ask yourself, is this something your customers could / would want? Remember this is a new communication channel and so this may or may not fit with your target customers. It could be something that they never knew they wanted and fall in love with immediately. Alternatively they might hate it or it might be something that you are bringing to the table too soon.
- So What Do Your Customers Want?
So you’ve decided it’s right for your target market. Ask yourself or even better ask them:
- What would they love to hear you speak about.
- Who would they love to hear you interview or talk to?
- What’s your format? Do you have one?
- How will you manage the flow of information aswell as the conversation.
- What will you do when it goes off topic.
- What’s your objective here and how will you know you’ve achieved it?
- Consider the Why
I always like to know why I should invest in something or go a certain way. Here’s my tuppence worth on the why’s of Blab so far in it’s emergence as a social media channel.
- Video is surpassing every other medium online right now.
- Blab adds interaction and engagement to the video phenomenon.
- Blab is an equal opportunities medium in that you don’t have to be pre-qualified to get on. You don’t need to know the right people or have a big budget. You just need to hop on.
- It’s an opportunity to directly access the top people in your industry (if they’re there).
- It’s a great way to showcase your brand, your thought leadership and yourself.
- It’s a very Human Channel and hence a great Networking Medium. You see people’s faces. There’s no need for emoticons. You’ll be able to see it in their faces and hear it in their voices. Remember people do business with people and when they can see you and engage with you they get to know you.
- You can Repurpose the Content. All Blab’s can be replayed. In addition to having the replay, you’ll get the audio and video files emailed to you. This makes Blab much better than other live-streaming platforms, as your content isn’t lost once it’s over and it isn’t just accessible on only one network.
- It’s Free!
- Get to the “How”.
There are some great posts out there that tell you the How to of Blab. There’s no need for me to rehash them. Check these out to get started:
My Thoughts on This.
It’s early days yet but I believe this could be a very exciting channel and it has ticked a lot of boxes for me. So I decided to give it a go and launched two blabs recently on the topics of virtual community and using your voice.
Upon reviewing the shows I wasn’t happy with a number of things so I decided to hold off for now until Blab gets more established. Here’s why:
- So much is changing all the time and it hasn’t stabilised yet in terms of offering, audience or content.
- You need to be on Twitter to get access to Blab.
- Tweeters haven’t jumped yet so you’d have to build an audience based on early adopters. This is not a fit for me.
As a platform I wish it well and I look forward to becoming active again when things stabilise.
Have you tried Blab? What were your experiences?
Let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Finola Howard is a brand and marketing strategist who is passionate about the impact that great marketing can have on business success. She sees marketing in a broader more strategic sense and works with businesses and entrepreneurs who want to grow. Click here to get Finola’s articles sent direct to your inbox.