Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Periscope? I’m guessing a good many of you raised your hand. Now, raise your hand if you’ve actually used Periscope for your business? I’m gonna guess a lot less of you raised your hand. Periscope has become the latest trend in social media and from the looks of it, it’s not going away any time soon. So, wtf are you supposed to use it for?
If you are new to Periscope, it is essentially a social media app that allows users to live stream video to their followers and any other Periscope user that chooses to watch. Viewers are able to send messages and “hearts” during the chat that the host can see in real time. The majority of people I’ve seen using Periscope thus far are, one, people who are blog or brand consultants and, two, people who have no idea wtf Periscope is even for.
Now, you may not be a social media guru or insanely knowledgable consultant/infoprenuer, but Periscope is a tool you can use. It’s just going to take some brainstorming. Just like with any other social media tool you need to see if your audience is even there (and if you even like using it), but going into the testing process with your best effort is going to bring the best results. Keep reading for ideas for using the power app, how others are putting it to good use, and key tips for hosting a successful Periscope. BONUS: There’s a free planning worksheet to help you focus your Periscopes and feel confident.
To get started
Download Periscope and set up your account
You can download the app on your phone, but I prefer to use Periscope on my iPad. I like the bigger screen and it lets me continue to use my phone while watching Periscopes. It’s also easy to get sucked into watching literally every live scope ever…and trust me, it’ll suck up all your time. Having it on my iPad allows me to check it once a day to see what scopes I want to watch the replay of. Just remember, they are only available for 24 hours.
Follow whoever you’d like and start watching
The best way to get started is by just diving in. Start by watching live and recent scopes of your favorite people. Periscope is connected through Twitter, so if you want to find someone, start by searching their Twitter handle (@thisistheirhandle).
Take note of what you like and don’t like
Do you hate it when the user spends ten minutes saying hi to every person that joins? Does it make you feel more connected when the user stops to answer questions during their chat or at the end? Seeing how different users are running their scopes helps you figure out how you want to structure yours.
Give it a test run
Not going to lie, I did my first trial run in the middle of the day before I had advertised my Periscope account for fear of someone actually watching it. It was awkward, but it was 100% worth testing out before publicizing anything. Title your scope “test run” and give it a go. It’s the best way to get out all the kinks before having a big audience.
Below you’ll find ideas for how to use it for your own business, examples of how other businesses are using it, and tips on how to make your first Periscope go smoothly. I’ve even created a free download to help you organize you Periscope so you know what information you plan on sharing. It’s a great backup in case you get nervous and/or lose your train of thought! —>click here for the download
Ideas For Using Periscope
- Home Tour // Give your followers a behind the scenes tour of how/where you live.
- Interview Your Significant Other // If you’re part of a couple, followers are probably used to seeing your significant other in blog posts and/or Instagram. Give them a great look at how you two interact through a spouse interview.
- Q & A // Host a question and answer to give your followers and opportunity to ask what’s on their mind. Be aware trolls and bitches exist, so be familiar with the block button. (You can block people during a Periscope.)
- Where You Blog // Show followers your office space or where you create most of your blog posts.
- Live Trial + Product Review // Grab a few new products and test them out for your followers to see. It will give them a 100% honest look at your reviewing experience.
- What’s In Your Makeup Bag // You can put whatever you want in a blog post and make it pretty, but show them the truth behind your makeup bag.
- Morning Makeup Routine // Again, you can make anything pretty for a blog post, but complete honesty in typically staged situations gains readers. Do a Periscope of your normal morning routine so they can see how long it really does take you to get ready in the morning. Note: Don’t think of “live stream” as in it has to be one long continuous video. You can say, “now that I’ve picked my outfit, I’m gonna past to throw it on and then I’ll start this Periscope back up.”
- Pantry Tour // Not gonna lie, I’m creepily fascinated by what people keep in their pantry. Especially food bloggers. Is your pantry super organized? What do you really always have on hand?
- Fridge Tour // Same as the pantry. It’s fascinating to see what other people keep in their fridge. Are you always stocked for a fancy recipe? Or do you keep it super simple until you bust out several recipes at once for the blog?
- Recipe Testing/Chopped Challenge // This would be especially awesome for the food blogger that creates all of their recipes. Let viewers watch you work on a new recipe. You can even make it more exciting by picking random ingredients and coming up with something new “Chopped” style.
- Cook Dinner/Meal // What is a meal like in your house? Share how meal times actually go down. For example, the people behind a lot of the Whole30 diet state meal times are super simple and come together fast. Do they really?
- Shopping Your Favorite Store // This might be iffy depending on the store and it might invite a lot of Periscope creepers, but it could be fun. Visit a store and let viewers pick out what you try on and pair outfits.
- Closet Tour // How big is your closet? Do you have A LOT of clothes? Your followers want to know!
- Outfit Planning // Let your viewers pick out your outfit for the week. I think this would be super interesting, plus would give you an interesting outfit post to use on your blog.
- Watch A Photoshoot // Are your photoshoots really professional or it is you ghetto rigging your camera up in way too public of a place? This will probably include having another person shoot the Periscope, but it would be interesting to see how you go about the process.
- Show your workspace. Your workspace may not seem like a big deal, but people love seeing where artists work.
- Share works in progress. People are used to seeing the final piece. It’s fascinating (and connects them to your product on a new level) to see the process that goes into a product.
- Sneak peeks at new pieces. Do you have a design wall that shows your ideas for new collections? People love exclusive experiences! You don’t have to reveal everything, but including viewers in on a secret makes them feel special and more attached to your work.
How Others Are Using Periscope
Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Kaufman recently used Periscope to give a tour of the entire fabric warehouse. They had an employee follow along during an already scheduled tour throughout every aspect of the warehouse. It worked well because one employee was giving the tour and answering questions of the physical attendees while the other employee could move around for closer looks and ask/answer questions on behalf of the virtual attendees. It was a great move for the company because it gave them a behind the scenes look at the process of producing an
This is where I work! We design and produce fabric and fabric related products for stores like Hobby Lobby and AC Moore. I do all of their social media marketing and a slew of other marketing tasks. We recently released a line of mixed media art supplies in Jo-Ann’s craft stores and hosted a mini craft event to celebrate. We invited local crafters/artists, and gave them an hour to play with the product line and create something pretty. We announced on social media we would be hosting a Periscope to share the final projects the artists were working on and announced an exciting giveaway. Viewers were able to see the product line, several awesome projects and know about an amazing giveaway before anyone else. It was especially beneficial because we then had the video to use for future marketing needs. (You can watch it on YouTube here.)
Who doesn’t have a girl crush on Regina? She knew my whole name and said it out loud in a Periscope once and I nearly pissed myself. Her Periscopes are AHmazing. She uses them as an opportunity to talk in real time to her followers and even brainstorm new ideas. The biggest reason her Periscopes are awesome is because she provides great value. Her entire business model is to provide super high quality content, so it’s no surprise her Periscopes are so helpful.
Diana is a Paleo nutritionist and is doing a super job of using Periscope. She recently released a book and used Periscope to share sneak peaks of the recipes. She has also hosted Q&A’s for several of her programs. Periscope has also been a great platform for her to give quick tips that aren’t long enough to put into blog posts, but still worth sharing.
Tips For Using Periscope
Be ready to switch camera view.
If you are going to want the camera facing you “selfie style,” you’ll need to double tap the screen as soon as the live stream starts. It’s definitely worth it to do try everything out before doing a majorly publicized Periscope.
Do a trial run.
Practicing switching camera views is one reason to do a trial run. Figuring out camera angles is another. You don’t want to be waving the camera around trying to find your good side or how the best angle of what you’re going to be talking about.
Announce your Periscope ahead of time.
Definitely tell people when you’ll be Periscoping and what you’ll be talking about. You can’t expect everyone to be ready to watch live at the spur of the moment. Announcing it gives your followers time to clear their schedule or to make a note to rewatch it.
Have an outline prepared.
Lack of preparation is my boss’s biggest annoyances with Periscope. Know what you’re going to talk about and what points you want to make. It’s important to chat and keep up with what live viewers are saying, but you want to make sure you deliver what your title suggests and you provide value for the viewers time. People will be dropping what they’re doing to watch your live stream, so make sure it’s worth it for them. If it’s not already clear, I have a free download to help you outline all your important info. —->Click to download.
Be aware of enabled location.
You’ll have the option to share your location when you are Periscoping. Make sure you think through whether or not you want people to know where you are. If you’re filming from home, obviously don’t share.
When choosing a topic, keep its purpose and potential future use in mind.
You don’t want to waste viewers’ time, but don’t forget about your precious time. How will your Periscope benefit you? How can it be reused? After putting time into promoting, outlining, and successfully running your Periscope, think about how you can resuse the information.
Download the free worksheet and get to ‘scoping!
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