Celebrities are lifestreaming. Brands are brandstreaming. Lifestreams take a one-dimensional story and add more depth.
Brands can use lifestream platforms to tell their own real-time stories in what are called brandstreams. A proper brandstream can comprise the following, depending on the nature of the brand itself:
* company news and information * executive thought leadership * corporate culture, events and "life around the office"
We describe this and much more in our new white paper, "What is a Lifestream?", where we answer the following questions:
* What is lifestreaming? * Why lifestream? * What are some types of lifestreams? * What are some lifestreaming platforms I should consider? * Does a lifestream replace a socialstream? * What is a brandstream? * How can brands use lifestreaming platforms to better tell their digital stories?
Given the rapid adoption of social technologies, brand and
PR managers now have more options than ever before for
communicating directly with their customers. Social networks,
blogs, Twitter, and digital video and imaging sites all provide new
opportunities for a two-way brand conversation.
As businesses — and consumers — have taken advantage of these
channels, there is now an urgent need for companies to grow their
digital interactions into valuable, meaningful relationships that break
through the clutter. It’s simply not enough to just be in the digital space
anymore. To create these relationships, businesses must provide reasons
for customers to do business with them, media and other influencers
to produce content about them and analysts to study them. They must
paint a picture of the company, its goals and its employees in a dynamic
way that brings the brand essence to life.
If you watch the digital and social media space closely, you can observe
how people are evolving their digital storytelling using a new format:
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what is a lifestream?
A lifestream is an aggregated, chronological view of one’s digital — and in some cases,
analog — activities. Lifestreams can simply be used to keep track of Twitter updates, blog
posts, comments on other people’s blogs and other online activity, as well as real world
activity documented through photos and videos. Others use lifestreams to publish original
content — blog posts, photos, videos, etc. — and syndicate it on other services.
Lifestreams have implications for how brands and agencies monitor online conversations and
behaviors as well as for understanding how to enter the various social streams in authentic
ways. As a tool, lifestreaming translates well for companies, provided the stream is run in
an authentic way that’s aligned with consumer interests, rather than purely the company’s
interests. Brandstreams, a lifestream for a brand, will lead to customer interaction, but the
unique content you create through them are a powerful tool to create brand advocacy.
The goal of a lifestream is to publish your online activity for others’ benefit. Lifestreaming
can help build social capital for your company or personal brand; it supplements and
aggregates one’s social media profiles.
Because it presents many different types of content, a lifestream can serve as the hub for
one’s digital existence. Twitter, for example, is a valuable tool for customer interaction and
customer service, but its text-only nature and character limits (140 characters per post, or
“Tweet”) make it difficult to share any thought in full. Third-party services such as TwitPic and
TwitVid add a more visceral component to Twitter, but that content cannot be viewed within
the actual Twitter framework.
• Streamlines the content production process. If you seek to republish
blog activity in other places, lifestreams are an easy way to do it.
the goal of a
lifestream is to • S
erves as a social bookmarking site. If you read an interesting article
online, you can save that article in your lifestream for later reference
publish one’s or to share with others.
for others’ • Provides a content management system for a blog. If you want to
benefit write full-length blog posts, you can do so in a lifestream.
Lifestream | September 2009 2
Companies that are new to social media may benefit from a brandstream. Because of its immediacy, a
brandstream can function as a more emotionally engaging version of the typical company blog. It can
be a valuable way to aggregate and publish all sorts of news and information about the company and
The following may be incorporated into a corporate brandstream:
1. Company announcements. Press releases and other news can be posted in blog form on a
brandstream. Most lifestreaming services allow for on-site commenting, which can continue
a conversation. Product releases, announcements and updates can also be included on a
2. uarterly and annual reports. A brandstream is an easy way to collect and publish a company’s
quarterly and annual report calls for people to listen to and/or download.
3. Company “X” in the news. If the company makes the news, or if one of the company’s leaders
is quoted in an article, you can provide a link in the brandstream. Promote the fact that your
company is smart. Promote the fact that your leaders are smart.
If your company makes the news in a negative way, a brandstream will give you a forum in
which to post a response. If you go this route, be sure to post your response quickly.
Whenever possible, use multimedia to give a face and a voice to your company.
4. ndustry trends. If you see any articles or reports detailing a recent trend in your
business, write up a point-of-view document as quickly as possible and post it to
5. ompany thought leadership. If you have an employee or executive who is
revolutionizing your company or industry, write about it. Interview them.
Post some audio and/or video. Once again, put a face on
Lifestream | September 2009 8
do you want to give consumers and prospective employees a peek into what life is really
like at your company?
If this is the case, you may want to loan the brandstream keys to your employees and give
them free rein to talk about whatever’s on their mind: a new hire, an article on their favorite
blog — anything.
The key to maintaining a successful fun brandstream is providing content that your
customers and audience can relate to. If your customers feel they have a connection with
your brand and the people behind it, they may be more likely to do business with you.
Therefore, fun brandstream posts should be a bit personal. After all, employees make a
company special. (The Tweetdeck brandstream is a great example.1)
The following may be incorporated into a fun brandstream:
1. hotos, videos and audio from company events or around the office.
Make your customers feel like they’re behind the scenes at your company.
2. hat your employees are doing, thinking, reading and watching. If you have a
company social bookmarking account on delicious, or if your employees are sharing
links, post them on the brandstream to share with your audience.
3. Customer-centric content. Companies that have a customer base of rabid fans
may benefit from acknowledging their supporters through interviews, profiles and
other editorial content. A good example is uSA Today Pop Candy blogger Whitney
Matheson’s “Reader of the day” posts.2
4. socialstream content. Tweets from a company or employee Twitter account, YouTube
videos and other content can all be aggregated on your brandstream, either as a new
post3, or in an integrated widget.
Lifestream | September 2009 9
Mixed brandstreams are a combination of the serious and fun sides
of a company. They are a place for company news and information, and
a place for the company to let its hair down — a bit.
Components of both corporate and fun brandstreams may be incorporated into
a mixed brandstream.
eventstreAM & storystreAM
An eventstream is a lifestream created for a particular event, comprised of multiple posts that tell
the story of that event. eventstreams can be either personal or professional, and can be managed by
single or multiple authors.
A storystream helps bring to light, through a chronological narrative, a particular issue, concept or
process over a more significant period of time than an eventstream typically covers.
There are several differences between eventstreams and storystreams:
1. duration. An eventstream is usually shorter than a storystream.
2. requency. An eventstream usually comprises many posts over a short period of time. With a
storystream, posts may be much less frequent.
An eventstream can be created for A storystream can be used to document
any type of event, including: the following:
• Conferences • A particular issue in the news, such as
• Concerts breast cancer research
• Picnics • Training for a marathon
• Protests • A woman’s pregnancy
The terms eventstream and storystream are used interchangably in some circumstances, such as when
they are used to chronicle a multi-day conference, or when they are used for journalistic purposes.4
Lifestream | September 2009 10
Lifestreams and brandstreams are connected to, but distinct from, socialstreams. And there is
a service to fulfill your particular need.
If you’re looking to publish a lot of content, you may want to use a service like Posterous,
Storytlr or Tumblr, which allow for both short and long posts and have the ability to include
multimedia content (e.g. photos, video) on the page.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to aggregate your external content (blog posts, Tweets,
etc.) in a single interface and export it on a single feed, FriendFeed may be a good choice.
Facebook’s large user base and the ease of user interaction make it a good option for people
or brands who want to communicate with others directly on the feed, and don’t consider
content publishing a priority. If you don’t think your audience is lifestreaming yet, there’s a
good chance it will be soon.
A lifestream or brandstream might not be right for every company and every brand. To
determine how and if you should apply this type of communication to your brand or
corporation — and ensure that it’s aligned with your audience’s interests — follow these three
1. etermine your needs. Are you looking to communicate directly with your current
customers? Are you looking to bring in new business? Your business needs will help
shape the type(s) of content you need to produce.
2. determine your format. Are you looking to publish more original content? Aggregate
other content into one stream? A lifestreaming service may be well-equipped to display
your content, original or aggregated.
3. determine where the content will live. Will it live internally or externally? Will it live in
an internet press room? If you create a brandstream blog, how will you promote it?
In order to pick the lifestreaming service that’s right for your brand, you must first determine
your objectives. Work with your company’s communication and web professionals to
determine your needs and find the site to help you accomplish your goal.
1. http://tweetdeck.posterous.com “Tweetdeck’s Posterous”
2. http://blogs.usatoday.com/popcandy “Pop Candy”
3. http://pomwonderful.tumblr.com “Pom Wonderful!”
4. http://austinheat.posterous.com “A day in the Sun,” Austin American-Statesman
Contact: daniel honigman 312 988 2428 email@example.com Lifestream | September 2009 11