I’ve talked about the live-streaming app Periscope before and how it’s still a relatively new and unknown product for people who aren’t social media marketers. It was a tool that not a lot of brands – or people for that matter – knew how to leverage not too long ago, but all that has changed now. The last month or so has resulted in an increase in the amount of broadcasters and viewers on the platform right on time for the upcoming Periscope Summit in September.
I chatted with Africa Miranda, an early adopter of Periscope and one of the panelists for the summit. She shared tips on how businesses, bloggers, and media personalities can thrive on the live-streaming app and take engagement to completely new levels.
But before we get into all of that, let’s get the vocabulary together really quickly:
- A scope – A periscope broadcast
- Hearts – The equivalent of likes on Instagram
- Scoping – Doing a broadcast
- Scopers – People who are doing the broadcast
Africa attributes her success to consistency. She has been scoping daily since May and has seen her audience across her channels grow and begin to encompass a more international and engaged swath of viewers. “You are able to be the producer of your own TV show and know that your viewers are there to spend time and engage with you,” she says. A TV station is the perfect way to describe the new platform, with each broadcaster being a channel and their scopes being programming. Africa has developed daily programing like #SingleScope on Tuesday nights and #TalentScope to talk about relationships and the entertainment industry on different nights of the week. Periscope primetime is between 9 and 10pm, so most Scopers broadcast during this time.
Popular topics of discussion are how-tos on beauty, marketing, and entrepreneurship. There are many experts giving you a glimpse into their life, while also sharing tons of knowledge for free! The genuine interactions in Periscope allow you to position yourself as an expert by speaking to what you know. Blog posts, ebooks and guides can be edited and researched, while answering questions live will reveal your mastery of a particular topic. The behind the scenes look at a company or brand also lends to building credibility by delivering authenticity.
You will notice that some of the best Scopers are highly connected to their audience, calling them by name, welcoming them to the broadcast individually and acknowledging all of their comments. This interaction with viewers also allows you to collect some informal data. You can ask them to shout out their name and city, and, if appropriate, age and gender as well. Don’t get too carried away with the interactions though. Be sure to plan for breaks because people come and go on the scope so you must consistently re-introduce yourself and welcome new viewers. It’s similar to how hosts welcome you back to a show from a commercial break. Allow for people to take breathers so that the conversation flows and is a more interactive experience.
Like on Instagram, viewers can give you praise by tapping the screen to send hearts. This used to be valuable because the broadcasters that received the most hearts appear on the “Most Loved” list on the app. Africa warned about putting too much emphasis on vanity metrics like hearts. They are arbitrary now because you can give out as many hearts as you want at a time, and in true tacky social media fashion, you can even buy hearts now. Instead of working for likes, she recommends measuring success by looking at your follower count and increase in following on other channels because those are the people that like you, and have made a conscious decision to tune into your broadcast again.
The key to building a brand on Periscope, or any other social platform for that matter, is to portray a lifestyle. Similar to other platforms you cannot jump on there and just start selling, you need to create an experience because as Africa says “people become invested in you.” You should do some investing of your own on tools like a tripod, lenses for your mobile device, a lavalier mic and the Katch.me service. Have you done a scope? Let me know what you’ve learned.