The live-streaming app Periscope has been taking the world by storm, quickly impacting the way early adopters are doing business.
The real-time app can be used by virtually any business in lots of different ways — to understand how it can work for yours, you need to know what Periscope really is and how it works.
The San Francisco-based creators of Periscope describe the app as “the closest thing to teleportation.” In other words, the app allows you (or your viewers) to experience things as they happen, no matter where they are in the world.
This app is no small experiment — just before it launched, Twitter bought it for $100 Million, and it already has 10 Million users.
The benefits in the realm of citizen journalism is obvious: When something sudden and newsworthy happens, people who experience it firsthand can not just live tweet the events, but share them via Twitter-integrated live video with the world.
You might think you and your business have nothing to offer that’s so important it should be shared instantly — but it doesn’t have to be something big. It just has to be something that has value to your followers.
Getting Started with Periscope
Periscope is a mobile app available for iPhone (iOS 7.1 or later) and Android (version 4.4 and up).
Once you’ve downloaded and installed the app via iTunes or Google Play, you’ll be prompted to either log in via Twitter or create an account with your mobile phone number.
Sign in with your Twitter account — it integrates the two tools, allowing you to instantly link your followers to your live feeds.
If you don’t have a Twitter handle (though why not? Twitter is one of the best social media marketing tools you business can have), you can sign up with your phone number.
Creating Your Brand
Your Periscope name doesn’t necessarily have to be your Twitter handle. Since it’s a newer application, there’s a chance the name you really want (within the confines of the 15 character limit) is available.
If not, you still have more options for screen names.
A few tips on naming:
- Choose a name that fits your brand, even if your business name itself is taken or too long.
- Avoid using numbers, unless, of course, there are numbers in your business name.
- Names are one word — capitalize the first letter of each word for easier readability (such as MyAccount).
- Keep in mind that you won’t be able to change the name once you’ve created it, so make it good!
Now that you have a name, it’s time to customize your profile.
Click on Edit on the top right corner of your profile home page.
Upload a photo (your logo or other business-related image) by clicking on the camera icon in the center of the circle. Set your home page name (this display name may be different from the account name and can be changed).
Since Perisocope is a very personal, person-to-person application, it’s best if you use your name here, not your brand.
Add a mini bio of a few words or an effective slogan. Your bio is searchable, so be sure to use some keywords that people will be likely to search for when looking for content.
If you sign in with Twitter, you’ll be able to see which of the people you follow have Periscope accounts. Start with us: @MarketingOwners, to get a feel for how things work.
When you sign on with Twitter, people who follow you will receive a notification that you’ve joined (and you will receive notifications when your contacts join).
You’ll also want to browse around and find people who are doing interesting things with Periscope, who have a good number of followers. You can find these popular Periscope users (called broadcasters) by clicking on the People icon.
Note – here are some great ones to get you started. They’ll help you perfect your Scopes as they give constant advice
- Jon Butt – @MarketingOwners
- Alex Pettitt – @Alexpettitt
- Mark Shaw – @markshaw
- Chalene Johnson – @chalenejohnson
- Alex Khan – @1AlexKhan
- Kim Garst – @kimgarst
The first broadcasters you’ll see are the “Most Loved.”
Marketing in the Moment
The live aspect of Periscope gives what you a don’t-miss sense of excitement, especially because there is an interactive aspect to it.
So, for example, instead of recording a product tutorial, you can schedule your tutorial as a live interactive event where you can answer questions in real time.
And the video feed can be saved and made available for viewing afterward (streams only show up on Periscope for 24 hours after broadcast).
Tutorials are just a start. With Periscope, you can also:
- Live feed lectures — If you video podcast, consider doing an occasional live interactive version. If you give talks in person, Periscope makes it simple to share it with your followers as it happens.
- Offer live video troubleshooting help that allows viewers to give you information as you go and ask questions.
- Make live video teasers for your blog posts.
- Answer questions or comments on social media or your website.
- Share events live as they happen, with an exclusive “behind-the-scenes” look.
- Create interactive live vlogs and video podcasts.
- Broadcast live product reviews.
- Announce promotions live.
- Hold live Q&A sessions.
- Make your own live countdowns.
The possibilities go on.
When you broadcast your live feed, it will be viewable on the Periscope app, or on the web via the URL. If you’re connected to Twitter, you can set it to instantly tweet the URL when you start up a live feed.
This is really the main way Periscope broadcasts are promoted, and it’s highly recommended you use this feature.
Live broadcasts may be searched by hashtag via shares on social media platforms, so be sure to tag everything you do!
When people watch your broadcasts (or you watch others’ broadcasts), they can be “liked” by clicking on the heart icon. Given enough likes, your broadcast may be ranked as “Most Loved” — broadcasts that are the most prominent and easy to find.
A few tips:
- Keep in mind that broadcasts only last for 24 hours on Periscope (though they remain in the archive until you delete them). Your presence on Periscope really depends on how frequently you broadcast. If you really want to make the most of the app, try and stream something every day.
- Periscope is a kind of social media — and there is a fast pace attached with that. It’s better to broadcast in smaller bites than in one massive video. Unless you’re streaming something specific, like a lecture or panel, try and keep broadcasts to a manageable 5-15 minute length.
- Practice taking video of yourself, especially if you plant to use the reverse selfie mode on your phone. Also remember that, when you first start recording in Periscope, the camera will be in normal camera-facing mode (and portrait shape), so you’ll want to aim it at something that looks good (or neutral) such as scenery, sunsets, landscape, logo, or a written message or title. Double tab (tap) while recording to switch to selfie mode.
- Try different times of day to figure out when you get the most viewers. For business-related blogs, your best time will probably fall somewhere between 10 am and 3 pm.
- Watch other broadcasters when you can, and like and comment when you do. This helps to build your following, as others tend to follow the ones that add good comments.
- Autosave your streams by selecting Autosave Broadcasts in Settings. This will save streams to your camera folder.
- To save streams without taking up space on your phone, use Katch (it’s free) to save streams to a cloud, with replay access. To have streams instantly sent to Katch, sign in with your Twitter and select “Auto-Katch my streams” in Settings.
- Be sure to make an engaging title for all of your streams. If you don’t, it will simply be called “Untitled,” and that’s not very captivating.
- Don’t wait for a lot of viewers to start talking. Viewers can replay to see what they’ve missed. What you don’t want is dead space at the beginning of the video — make it engaging all the way through, no matter how many people are watching.
Note – you will be utterly amazed at how many people will watch your Scopes, even when you start with no followers. Be sure to use notes. Whether you like to have a rough script, an outline, or a list of bullet points, notes keep you focused.
Don’t alienate viewers you don’t know. Answer everyone’s questions, and don’t focus on people you’re friends with. It gives off a cliquish vibe that can turn new viewers off your broadcasts forever.
If a commenter is being disruptive, you can easily block them by double-tapping their comment.
Do you use Periscope? Make sure you follow and see how Jon will be building our Scopes at @MarketingOwners.
Tell us about your experiences with it in the comments!
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