By @TheMarkDalton

Live streaming is no longer ‘becoming mainstream’ it is now as mainstream as you can possibly get in the social media world. Live streaming is nothing new, the tools to live stream have been available for quite some period of time now however it has been very much restricted to the desktop. Last year, the emergence of Meerkat and Periscope launched live streaming onto mobile devices and it has taken off since then.

Meerkat may have been the first big live streaming app on the scene however they have since found it tough keeping up with Periscope (owned by Twitter) and are going to find it even tougher with Facebook introducing their own streaming tools too.

It is no longer a case of “should I incorporate live streaming into my social media strategy?” but it is now a case of how are you going to incorporate live streaming into your strategy. The big selling point of live streaming is that it is all happening right now. People can interact with what they are seeing unfold right in front of their eyes.

Brands have been using live streaming for a variety of different things such as hosting interviews, doing Q&A sessions, showing how products are created, showing the behind the scenes of a business and even training. Companies have been live streaming tutorial sessions of programmes such as Photoshop through tools such as Periscope.

Yesterday many of us saw just how powerful live streaming can be. #DrummondPuddleWatch was trending near the top spot of Twitter yesterday afternoon as a live stream of a puddle in Newcastle went viral. The puddle is in Drummond and is blocking a busy path used by pedestrians. The stream is actually run by a marketing company and has been running over the last four weeks however yesterday it really took off.

Over half a million people turned in to watch the Periscope stream of people trying different ways of crossing the puddle and it was pretty captivating. Why? Because it was all live, it was happening right at that moment and people were commenting and interacting as events unfolded.

It captured the attention of the internet and the story appeared on mainstream news channels as the viewer numbers grew. Many of us were hooked watching a very common activity of trying to cross a puddle without getting your feet wet. The video was somewhat addictive but the real magic was in the comments section and on Twitter where people were sharing witty comments and opinions on the puddle.

Even the founder of Twitter was getting involved.

The stream was in fact set up by a marketing company, don’t worry though they are not claiming some marketing genius behind the whole thing. The firm says that the stream was purely set up for staff’s “own amusement.”

Beth Hazon, managing director of Drummond Central said that;

“It hasn’t stopped raining in December, that walkway is a place where people walk to do the school run, and it’s also on the Metro system.

“The puddle has been there for the past four weeks or so. On a daily basis we’ve watched the variety of ways that they’ve tried to pass it.”

This should be an eye opener to many as to how powerful live streaming can be. Live streaming is addictive because it is impulsive, it is in the moment and it unfolds right in front of the eyes of the viewer. The best live streams are the ones which have little planning to them. Quite simply put, it is all about fun.

There was no marketing genius here, there was no big marketing and promotional plan behind it. It was simply a marketing company who decided to have fun and has paid off big time. Many of us know about Drummond Central now and yesterday morning that was not the case.

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