When Beme launched, social media took a turn in favour authenticity, and many-thousands joined in for the ride, as Beme sky-rocketed up the App Store charts — becoming one of the top 10 Social Networking apps in the US on its launch day.
The brainchild of filmmaker, Casey Neistat, and co-founded by Matt Hackett, Tumblr’s former VP of Engineering, Beme is attempting to kill the fake, un-authentic images that people portray on social media.
As Neistat explains on YouTube: “Social media, it’s supposed to be a digital or virtual version or who we are as people. Instead it’s this highly sculpted, calculated, calibrated version of who we are.”
Beme aims to bridge gap between real life and current social platforms. Instead of showing our lives through filters, or carefully selected images, Beme shares a raw, un-edited and real portrayal of our everyday lives.
How it works
At first, the concept of Beme seems a little odd — which IMHO, is a good thing — it pushes the boundaries of social media norms and shifts us out of our selfie-obsessed comfort zones.
To record a video, the proximity sensor above the iPhone screen must be covered. This alleviates the need to hold the phone out in-front of your face — a tactic to stop phones getting in-between our faces and real life experiences.
Neistat demonstrates this by holding his phone against his chest, which then vibrates and beeps to signal that it’s recording.
“Being able to capture without being forced to stare at your phone is one of the most liberating interactions I’ve done since getting this device [iPhone],” he explains.
Once your video is recorded, it’s sent out to your followers and you’ll don’t see before it’s published — thus removing the self awareness and self-consciousness of sharing video.
Your followers can view all of your Beme videos and send real time reactions as each video plays.
You can then view each reaction to your videos:
In a nutshell, that’s how Beme works. It’s quirky, different and aims to change the way we share on social.
In the Social Networking category, Beme faces stiff competition from household names and billion dollar companies like Facebook, Snapchat. So, how did this startup breakout and make such an impact in its first day?
Behind Beme’s explosive growth
On its launch day Beme was the talk of Twitter, received a stream of media coverage (1, 2, 3) and hit the top 10 for Social Networking in the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom and Germany amongst others.
Beme may have seemed like an instant hit. However, Neistat, Hackett and their team have been working on the business for over a year.
The launch success was the culmination of creating a unique product and an excellently executed launch strategy.
Here are some of the tactics that helped Beme rise so quickly…
Beme exists for a reason
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” — Simon Sinek
Beme is not just another video sharing app. It has a very strong reason to exist. It wants to remove the stigma of perfection from social media and help use to connect with each other in a more genuine way.
Upon launch, Neistat was very clear about ‘why’ Beme existed, and put as much emphasis on the reason they’d built the company as he did on how the app worked.
Casey Neistat’s knows how to tell a story and his films have built him a large, loyal following over the years.
On March 26, 2015, he launched a daily vlog on his YouTube channel. The vlog gives fans an insight into his life and has proved extremely popular with his channel often attracting 250,000+ viewers per day.
The videos have become a part of many fans’ daily routines and have helped Neistat to vastly increase his following and create a huge platform to launch Beme from.
When Neistat started vlogging he had ~ 520,000 subscribers on his YouTube Channel. Today (July 19, 2015), he has 836,833 subscribers. An increase of over 300,000.
His videos have now amassed an incredible 179,236,415 views and you can see below how the launch of his vlog has driven a sharp increase in views.
Marketing is at its most effective if consumers are actually waiting for your product and service to be launched in the market.
Neistat and Beme used anticipation to tease what’s to come and get their audience hooked with curiosity.
In his early vlogs, Neistat would talk about his “new company,” without revealing any details about exactly what it was going to be, this lead to much discussion about what he was working on.
@CaseyNeistat I am on the edge of my seat waiting to hear about your new business!! 🙂 I hope it is going gooding well?
— David Payne (@javaroaster) July 2, 2015
Gradually, as launch day approached, more details were shared through the vlogs, further increasing anticipation for launch.
The launch date was leaked during May and sparked a lot of discussion on Reddit, Twitter and YouTube:
The Beme logo was shown in his 100th vlog:
Next the name of the “new company” was revealed on July 8th:
And Neistat focused a couple of his vlogs on people beta testing Beme without revealing what the app does:
Showing people beta testing Beme, with smiles on their faces created sensation of happiness for the viewer which helped to increase positive anticipation and makes the viewer more likely to respond positively when faced with the call to action to download Beme when it’s released.
When Beme was released, anyone could download it but you needed an invite code to activate the app and start using it.
If something is limited, time sensitive — audience or network exclusive it generates a feeling of reward for those engaged and a feeling of intrigue amongst those who are waiting to get involved.
Limiting the access to Beme built excitement around the brand, creating a feeling of missing out, or a feeling of being special because you got in.
It also created a lot of demand for Beme Codes, with people looking all over the internet for a code to gain them access.
On the invite codes, Neistat explains: “A social network is only ever as good as the users on that network. And Beme, in particular, is a lot more fun with friends.”
So, not only does the invite only approach create scarcity, it means that someone you know has to invite you and you’ll instantly have someone to connect with on Beme — as there’s nothing more lonely than a social network with no friends.
Apps like Vine, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat have created opportunity for millions of us to create and share content with the world.
A small number of people have taken full advantage of the opportunities provided by these platforms to become internet celebrities by building up huge followings and creating legions of fans (Take Jerome Jarre on Vine, or Shoduras on SnapChat, for example).
Through Neistat’s vlog series you get to learn about the personal relationships he has with many of these influential stars and a number of them have become early Beme users and ambassadors.
— Ben Brown (@MrBenBrown) July 17, 2015
— Casey Neistat (@CaseyNeistat) July 17, 2015
Being able to follow your favourite vloggers and online personalities on Beme means that even if you don’t have a ton of friends right away you’ll still find some engaging content on the platform.
The power of story
Though a range of tactics have been used during Beme’s launch, there’s one thing that remains a constant throughout every aspect of this launch. The story.
Without a compelling narrative, this launch wouldn’t worked and Beme wouldn’t have catapulted up the App Store charts.
From Neistat’s early mentions of the “new company” in his vlogs, to gradually meeting the Beme team and yesterday’s much anticipated reveal, the story of Beme has had people gripped for months without even knowing details of the product.
And now, with Beme being public, the story has only just began. The narrative will continue, through the highs and the lows, and the whole Beme community will be a part of it.
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