What I Learned from the NYC Periscope Summit

September was the month of social media conferences. In the last 4 weeks, 10 large industry conferences have happened, one of them being the first Periscope Summit. A few hundred influencers and live-streaming enthusiasts gathered in NYC for two days of panels, keynotes, and intimate talks. I was there to get the scoop on this brand-new, game-changing platform.

Periscope is the perfect blend of all our favorite features from Twitter, Instagram, and webinars. You can follow and comment in real-time, you can share your praise with a tap, and you can learn while you are on the go. I’ve shared the Periscope basics already, but the one thing that became clear during the summit was the sense of community and vulnerability that it creates among complete strangers. People feel connected to someone’s circumstance through a mobile phone’s screen. That’s powerful.

We often feel like we need to have something special going on to make us interesting on periscope, but Scott Williams, one of the platform’s influencers, reminded the audience, “What’s ordinary to us, is amazing to other people.” He started live streaming tornados in Oklahoma and finally found his groove sharing Periscope tips and morning motivations. It really doesn’t take too much effort to build a community. You just have to be open and willing to be vulnerable, while sharing a glimpse into your life. Lizza Monet Morales, a media personality better known as XoxoLizza across social, elaborates, “Always be creative and collaborating. You are the creator of your life. The app was created to show what you are seeing; [they want] to see the world through our eyes.”

Lizza made an excellent point when she mentioned that Periscope was created as a tool to show others what we are seeing. It wasn’t originally intended to become a teaching platform, but that’s exactly what it has become for many people: the unconventional college experience. From marketing to sales to DIY, Periscope allows us to learn from industry experts at any moment on our phones.

Periscope helps you build credibility by allowing you to consistently deliver content to a highly engaged audience. “You have to leverage the word ‘expert’ as an entrepreneur,” says social media influencer Kim Garst. There is something that you know that is valuable. You are an expert to others. The ability to answer questions live in a split second without the ability to rehearse or prepare anything shows who is truly knowledgeable and who isn’t. Jai Stone is the perfect example of this. As a master brand coach, she has found success on Periscope by sharing her 10+ years of business and marketing experience. She said with sound effects and finger guns going, “I take a Machine Gun Kelly approach. I spray them with content.”

Creating content wasn’t something that any of the panelists or speakers found difficult. “Think about the things that frustrated you before and teach that,” encouraged Dave Shrein. Kim Garst also reminded the audience that entrepreneurs do a lot of guessing around what their audience wants, what they will pay for, and what kind of content they find interesting. Periscope can be a live focus group and should be used more to listen and ask questions. Live market research and user testing can happen on the other side of your phone’s screen in casual conversation with a couple hundred people.

Whether you are creating community or building credibility, the recurring theme among the most influential Periscopers was not overthinking the platform and early adoption. As brands and personalities are busy trying to perfect their approach before jumping onto Periscope, the people that already took the leap are building a reputation and notoriety. They are building communities like Beyonce’s Beyhive, Justin Bieber’s Beliebers, and Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters. Scopers like Scott Williams have Scott Nation, Grace Smith has Grace Space, and Nicole Walters has Rich Friends. This idea of community is what is driving the platform’s success.

Periscope hit 1 million downloads within the first seven days. It took Twitter two years, Facebook 10 months and Instagram 10 weeks to pass that milestone, Business Insider reports. People are no longer as interested in perfectly filtered photos and crafted tweets. They want something authentic and real. Regardless of how you use Periscope, whether to teach, to learn, to connect or to pass the time, remember that community is everything.  If you are in need of some Periscopers to follow, here are a few:



Updated November 22, 2017.