Ilea Petsel By Ilea Petsel • December 17, 2015

The Skinny on Periscope

Apple’s top app of 2015…  Periscope?? I’ve been hearing “Watch me on Periscope” a lot lately. What is Periscope, can I use it to market my business,  and if it’s so fabulous, why am I not on Periscope? I’m feeling a little out of the loop here. Apple rated Periscope app of the year for 2015 and Apple's Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, called it "truly revolutionary." My exploration of Periscope starts here.


Periscope’s homepage asks - “What if you could see through the eyes of a protester in Ukraine? Or watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon in Cappadocia?”, “A picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around.” One of their blog posts touts it can take you Around the World in One Day. Turns out, Periscope is a live streaming service. Basically, a piece of content sent via the internet, which is displayed to the viewer in real time. INSTANT, interactive content! Users don’t have to wait for their content with live streaming, it’s an instant continuous wave of data accessible right away.

The app is a free download in Apple’s App store and it connects to Twitter. You have the ability to tweet that you’re broadcasting live with the click of a button.  If you’ve already built up your Twitter audience, you’re ahead of the game and can start sharing your live Periscope broadcasts with your followers immediately. There are over 230 million monthly active users on Twitter, so if you haven’t made it part of your marketing strategy, there’s no better time than now.

After you sign in to Periscope, the app walks you through setup. And unless you’re going for the The Crowd sort of feel from the 1920’s, it’s a good idea to enable the suggested prompts. Imagine you give the best speech of your life only to find out that your microphone wasn’t enabled and no one was able to hear it. To start broadcasting live click the camera icon at the bottom of the app, then click the red “Start Broadcast” button, and just like that you’re streaming live!! You can see when people join your broadcast, how many people are watching, and people can even comment on your broadcast, all in real time. If you don’t want to broadcast to everyone, you have the option to set your stream to private and customize your audience.

Currently, Periscope is dominating in live streaming popularity and is growing everyday. It’s time to jump on the bandwagon and captivate your audience with unique instant content! Below are a few tips that I hope you find useful when starting your first live broadcast:

  1. BRANDING - Your logo and company can be visible to viewers if your profile is setup correctly. You can add your company name at setup and add your photo in the settings option. This will help people recognize you when they are searching for broadcasts.
  2. PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS - View and comment on other broadcasters broadcasts. Participation can be easily forgotten but it is essential to building relationships. Of course, interact with the people commenting on your broadcast too! It’s “social” media people! Don’t be afraid to engage with your audience, they expect you to!
  3. TIMING - The application is still a baby but we do know that Periscope is connected to Twitter and is where you’ll be promoting the majority of your broadcasts. Research your twitter audience to find out the best time to post.
  4. BROADCAST TITLE - When people search for a stream, all they will see is your logo, your name, and your broadcast title. Make sure it’s to the point and unique. Try a few different titles until you find one that entices your audience.
  5. SHARING SETTINGS - Turn on your Twitter sharing to post to all of your followers and make sure to turn on location tagging (don’t worry, it only shows a large geographic region where your located, not your exact location).

A lot of companies have already jumped on the Periscope bandwagon: Red Bull, General Electric (GE), Hubspot, Mashable, and Ellen Degeneres are just the tip of the iceberg.

With that said … START TODAY!!! Nervous, don’t worry! You can plan a strategy just as you would with any other content: Understand your purpose, know your audience, brainstorm ideas, create a content calendar and last but not least - create the content.

Happy Periscoping!