“The mechanics of Periscope are really simple: tap a button, and start streaming whatever your camera lens sees.” – WIRED
Periscope, a live video streaming app, was acquired by Twitter in January 2015 before it had even launched. Twitter’s big advantage with Periscope, according to TechCrunch, is that it’s an inherently real-time platform. “Periscopes generate notifications for all your followers there, and show up instantly at the top of the Twitter timeline.”
The live-stream application connects users with others around the world. Named iPhone App of the year (Mashable, 2015), Periscope is now a key social media player in the live video streaming space along with Meerkat, Hang w/ and Stringier.
Despite the fact that Periscope is barely a year old, the app has over 10 million users; and keeps growing its user base daily. Which companies are using Periscope well? Brands such as DKNY, Red Bull, BBC and The Weather Channel to name a few. Even the French President François Hollande uses Periscope. For many brands it is tied in with their main social media initiatives.
The growth potential of the platform is ripe for socially-minded startups and small businesses. Periscope connects you with your audience in a live-stream setting and you can track viewer engagement through the number of hearts, comments and views received.
“Periscope is focused on providing a pure streaming experience, meaning you go on the app and you see an event happening in real time (Quora).” If you’re thinking, “Isn’t this like Snapchat?” Not exactly.
“Snapchat, on the other hand, provides a curated experience of that event that is not necessarily real-time: sure, they receive Snaps from there and they put it up on an Our Story feed, but it’s not necessarily happening as it happens. To use television as an analogy, Periscope is your live broadcast, while Snapchat is your tape delay.” Not to mention, they target very different audiences.
Make the most of Periscope with these quick tips
So, if you’re looking to leverage a live video streaming component with your social media efforts, here are two simple ways to get started:
1. Create exclusive and engaging content.
Provide a behind-the-scenes stream of your latest product or service. A notable example of this was JCPenney’s introduction of Eva Longoria’s new bedding collection back in April 2015.
Digiday reports that Periscope viewers were able to see her new collection live and ask questions directly. This created a significant buzz about JCPenney’s new collection and collaboration with the actress as they leveraged other social media platforms to drive viewership.
So, how did it pan out? “Doing anything ‘live’ always comes with its risks as it can be difficult to control the video (and the message) with live productions,” according to the director of social and mobile marketing at JCPenney. “But that also forces your brand to be a bit more scrappy — which I believe customers appreciate — and makes for more authentic content.”
2. Live stream virtual ‘Office Hours’.
Whether you are running a fast-growth startup and wish there was an efficient way to answer a common client question or a solopreneur just starting out, Periscope provides a perfect outlet for you to broadcast virtual office hours.
Do you remember adhering to your professors’ office hours back in college? Where you had a chance to drop in during designated hours and ask questions related to a course or an instructors insight on a certain subject? The same principle can be applied to your own virtual office hours with clients and customers.
Virtual office hours work the same way; except they are perceived as a lot more spontaneous by your audience. Create a content strategy that includes virtual office hours on Periscope and post teaser promotions on your key social media platforms, ideally three days before you go live.
Download periscope and prepare to broadcast. According to Periscope:
Once you have created an account, in iOS open the Broadcast Tab by tapping the Camera icon at the bottom center of the app. In Android, tap the red Camera icon on the bottom right.
Enter a title that describes your broadcast
You’ll have the option to manage your location settings, make your broadcast private, limit your chat and/or Tweet your live stream via the three icons above the ‘Start Broadcast’ button.
Encourage your followers to download Periscope in advance. Before you start your broadcast, make sure to go to Periscope setting and click “Autosave Broadcast” which will automatically save broadcasts to your Gallery.
When you start your virtual office hours on Periscope, share the purpose of the session and answer a few of the most commonly asked questions you receive. Also, be ready to answer questions when followers message you through Periscope.
When the broadcast is done, share a follow-up post across your social media outlets thanking your audience, and if possible, post a replay of the broadcast on your personal or company blog and promote it.
The benefits are endless. According to Projectentrepreneur.org, “By using live-streaming apps like Periscope, your brand could be in several places at once. People living around the world would be able to come together in their shared interest and leave as an even larger community (and larger customer base for your brand).”
View this complete guide on the basics of using Periscope.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Clair Daeun Kim is the co-founder of JCS Creative, an agency that helps organizations with aspects relating to graphic design and communications. She also goes by @whalieofficial, and enjoys a very multi-faceted career as a singer-songwriter, entrepreneur and social media personality. Connect with @jcscreativehub on Twitter.
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