What is Periscope? Periscope is a relatively new social media platform (yes, another platform!) debuted in March of 2015 at the SouthbySouthwest Conference in Austin, TX. It’s owned by Twitter, who reportedly bought the app for $100 million, seeing promise in its potential.
So what exactly is Periscope? Periscope is a live video broadcasting app for IOS and Android. Unlike video blogging, which is edited before it’s uploaded and shared, Periscope allows you to air live video broadcasts from anywhere and share with watchers from all around the world.
I have to admit, I’ve been borderline obsessed with Periscope since I recently discovered this hot new app--watching all the big hitters, 'Most Loved' Broadcasters, and searching for my favorite business mentors and celebrities. One thing I can’t help but notice is the rapid growth and rise in popularity; I can easily see a huge potential to utilize this platform to build your brand and promote yourself and/or your business.
How to Use the App
You can sign up for Periscope with your Twitter account information, and I would recommend it, since one of the options you have when you broadcast is to also share it to your Twitter feed, but we will get to that in just a bit. First, I want to show you around Periscope so you'll be set up for success when you are ready to record your first broadcast.
When you login, you will see this screen (see diagram to the right). The first thing you will see listed is anyone you are following who is live, and a list of other live broadcasters below that. You will notice that there are four icons along the bottom of the screen (I use IOS so the layout is slightly different on an Android) and while in this screen the icon that looks like a television will be highlighted.
Next to the TV Icon you will find an icon that looks like the world. This is where you will see people who are live. In IOS you can search by map or list. I believe in Android you can only search by list at the current time, although Periscope is constantly adding app updates as they work out bugs and realize what the users want and need, so be sure to check for updates often.
The next icon is the Broadcast icon. It's in the shape of a square with a circle and red dot inside. This is where you'll go when you are ready to record a live broadcast. In this screen you will want to be sure the Twitter icon is highlighted so that your broadcast will also be shared to your Twitter followers. NOTE: It’s a good idea to keep your location set to OFF unless you are in a public place and don’t mind if strangers know your exact location. I would highly recommend leaving the location setting off when broadcasting from home.
The last icon looks similar to the Three Amigos, or otherwise known as the Leaderboard. Through this screen you will find Featured Broadcasters, Broadcasters you are following on Twitter who are also on Periscope, and then 'Most Loved' Scopers below that.
You’ll also notice a profile icon in the upper right-hand corner of this screen. This is where you can change your photo, name, and add a brief description to let people know who you are. This is also a good place to add your website URL. In this screen you can see how many followers you have, how many people you are following, how many you’ve blocked, and how many broadcasts you’ve had to date. Keep in mind, viewers will only be able to watch your broadcasts for 24 hours, so it’s a good idea to save them to your camera roll as well. In IOS you can adjust your settings to have your broadcasts automatically saved to your camera roll. You might be able to with Android as well. Check your settings.
In the upper left-hand corner of the Leaderboard you will see an icon that looks like a magnifying glass. Click on it to search Periscope for people, topics, or things related to your business or interests. You can use hashtags there as well. It operates the same as the search bar option in Twitter.
Now that you’ve learned your way around the app, here are some broadcasting tips to get you started:
- Craft a catchy title. You'll want a catchy title that will hook potential followers who may or may not be looking for what you are broadcasting about. You may also put hashtags into your title, so those searching for your topic by keyword can easily find your broadcast (especially important if you are also sharing your broadcast to Twitter). I’ve seen some of the more popular Broadcasters use emojis to draw attention to their broadcast title as well. Although this can often seem unprofessional on some platforms, it seems to be widely accepted on Periscope.
- Set your thumbnail photo. Wherever your camera is pointing when you hit the red 'Start Broadcast' button, is the screenshot that will be set as your thumbnail. A catchy thumbnail photo can potentially drive more viewers to your broadcast, so be sure you are not pointing the camera at your feet or a random wall. Since you cannot begin the broadcast with the backwards facing camera (pointed directly at you) you’ll need to find something compelling to zone in on when you begin. To turn the camera around to record you, simply double tap the screen.
- Once you begin broadcasting start talking right away. Don’t wait until you see if anyone has joined your broadcast before you begin to speak. Many viewers will watch the replays of your broadcasts and you don’t want any dead airtime. Start speaking even if you are the only one currently on the live broadcast.
- Interact with your viewers. Say hello when they join and choose a question to answer here or there. Thank them for joining you and ask them where they are from. Viewers love to be acknowledged and have their comments read live.
- Have a few notes jotted down to keep you on track. Because you are constantly breaking to answer questions and interact with your viewers, it’s a good idea to keep some notes in front of you to get you back on track when you get side-tracked.
- Give away value first, then ask for hearts and shares. In the Periscope world, hearts are equivalent to likes, and the more hearts you have, the higher you rank. Many Periscopers ask for hearts constantly and always ask their viewers to share the broadcast with their followers right from the start. This can prove to be annoying, especially if they are new followers and don’t yet know what you have to offer. Instead of asking for hearts and shares up front, consider asking after you’ve delivered some quality content. For example, if I were doing a broadcast about these periscope tips, I would wait until I’ve given one or two away first, and then take a break to tell my viewers that if they like the broadcast and find my content of value, to please show me some love by tapping the screen to give some hearts. Viewers can give up to 500 hearts per session. Next, you might mention to your viewers that if they think others would benefit from the info, to please share the broadcast with their followers. You can share a broadcast with your Twitter followers, Periscope followers, or specific followers by swiping right during the broadcast (or swiping up for Droid) where you will be prompted to the share menu.
- Take breaks periodically to introduce yourself and review your content so any new followers may stay informed.
- End with a call to action. If you’re using periscope for business, you may want to send viewers to your website where they can find more information about your topic, book, products, services, etc.
Building your Business Brand with Periscope
As you can see, the sky is the limit for the number of people you can potentially reach in your business or field of expertise. You can use Periscope to build your business brand, drive traffic to your website, sell products, etc. Here are a few broadcast ideas on how to use Periscope for your business and branding:
- Live Q&A Session
- Tip of the Day
- Pop Quiz
- Behind the Scene at Live Events
- Live Group Support
- Special Announcements
There are unlimited possibilities, and for authors and writers this is a great way to build a platform leading up to your book launch as well.
So, how will you use Periscope? If you've download the app, be sure to follow me at @shandatrofe. Tweet me and let me know what you would like to see me do on Periscope and also let me know when you join. I’ll be watching!
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out my Periscope course: