I’m pretty sure by now you have at least heard of Periscope, but possibly you might not have yet tried it out. After all, it can feel a bit daunting to even think about tackling yet another ‘social media’ platform. However, Periscope is a bit different from the other platforms, and with the momentum it's gathering at the moment, it would definitely serve you well to at least check it out so you can make your own mind up about it.
So, what is it? Periscope a simple platform that allows anyone to broadcast live right from their phone. Others can then watch and interact in real time, and after the broadcast is finished there’s a 24-hour window in which you can view a replay of it. After that, it disappears forever (well, almost).
Whether you use Periscope as a broadcaster or a viewer, there are a couple of ways that you can really benefit from jumping on this particular bandwagon.
The three main ways to get value out of Periscope
If you do nothing else, do seek out people who teach valuable content. There’s a wealth of knowledge on Periscope, and having the opportunity to learn from and interact with people who you follow is tremendously powerful. And did I mention, free! You can find a wide array of subjects being discussed, such as the usual suspects like business and technology, but also more exotic topics from healing to fitness, and so much more. You can find big names, such as Deepak Chopra doing live scopes (yeah, that’s what you call them if you want to be one of the cool kids), to some of your favourite mentors giving tips about their subject matter. You can watch your favourite photographers show how they edit their images, or get a glimpse into their photoshoots, live! It really is quite remarkable.
If you are an entrepreneur or a teacher, Periscope offers you an exciting opportunity to connect with a whole new audience. Since it’s still an emerging platform (although picking up speed fast), it’s still relatively easy to get noticed, provided that you offer valuable content. Being able to have an actual interactive experience with your potential clients, or potential collaborators for that matter, is a powerful thing indeed.
If you just want to be entertained, you can get your fix of that on Periscope as well. You can see people explore new exotic places as it happens, or watch live interviews with celebrities. I once had Tim Robbins answer my question live, while I was watching his interview on the Huffington Post Live broadcast. That’s pretty cool if you ask me!
Before you get on with building your broadcasting empire, you might be wondering how you actually get started with Periscope. So let’s run through that. I also made a pretty infographic to help you with the first steps.
Getting started with Periscope
1 Download the app
While you can watch replays of broadcasts for 24 hours on the web, to really get the most out of Periscope you should download the free app for either iOS or Android, and create your own account.
2 Choose a username
While this seems like an obvious step, Periscope links to your Twitter account, and if you don’t pay attention when signing up, your username will be set the same as your Twitter handle. It’s a bit tricky to change afterwards, so better to choose a username you want to stick with right from the start! I made this mistake with my personal account, which got named with my slightly mysterious twitter handle, and it took a few months to get that changed to my actual name. If you need to get yours changed, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and request it.
3 Find people to follow
You’ll probably want to start from the people who you know are already on Periscope (I’m planning on broadcasting via the @HerLovelyHeart account more in the future, so watch this space!). You can then see who they follow by checking out their profiles. Once you are following a few people you will start seeing invites to broadcasts, which is a great way to find good content.
Here are a few of my favourites:
Actionable and thoughtful business advice. Hillary is a natural on Periscope, and her scopes are always a joy to watch, you'll see why.
If you want to learn more about Facebook advertising, Zach Spuckler is your guy. Plus his dogs are the cutest cameo stars on the block.
Mariah of Femtrepreneur is the girl to go to for advice on email marketing. Her scopes are always full of no-nonsense advice, even when she's struggling growing out her fringe.
You've probably come across Gary Vaynerchuk on YouTube or Ted talks. Well, it's even more fun to watch him dish out marketing advice live.
If you want to catch any type of celebrity live, without any chance for editing, Huffington Post Live is the place to do it.
Dana aka Boss Mom gives advice from the point of view of entrepreneur mums. You don't have to be a mum to learn from her scopes, but if you are, she can probably open a whole new world for you.
Joy Cho shares advice and behind the scenes peeks from her studio. Her scopes always leave me smiling.
4 Watch live broadcasts
While broadcasts are available to view as replays for 24 hours, the magic of Periscope is in the live element, so do try to catch as many live broadcasts as you can. It is an opportunity to interact with the broadcaster, and there’s just something pretty special about knowing they are live right then and there, no editing or fancy production.
5 Pay attention to the etiquette
When you are watching a live broadcast, it’s polite to give hearts to let the broadcaster know you appreciate their content. The more you like the content, the more hearts you should give. If you don’t deem the content heart-worthy, better to leave and pick the next one. It’s also nice to share broadcasts you like to your followers on Periscope and on Twitter. Plus, remember, this is your chance to ask questions LIVE!
Just tap the screen during a live broadcast. You will be assigned your own heart colour, which differs each time.
Share a broadcast
You can swipe left to right on an iPhone, or up on an Android to share. Or you can click the little icon in the bottom right corner to get the same options.
Ask questions relevant to the broadcast, and be helpful to other viewers. Don’t advertise your own stuff, remember this is someone else’s moment. You can click on other's comments in order to reply to them, or to check out their profiles. Plus, you can also help the broadcaster by blocking people who are spamming or being obnoxious during the live broadcast.
6 Join the party
Broadcasting live can seem scary at first, but interacting with live viewers can develop into something special. If you are an entrepreneur or an educator, Periscope is a powerful way to get in front of a new audience. But it can also help connect to people all over the world on a personal level. If you're wanting to jump in, but are unsure of what you'd even talk about, go read this post from Caitlin Bacher on ‘How to use Periscope like a boss', it's filled with ideas you could broadcast about.
7 Make it easy to find you
If you are broadcasting you’ll probably want others to know about it, so make sure to add the Periscope button to your website (see ours in the menu on the right, it will turn green when I’m live on air), and post a Tweet or an Instagram before you’re about to go live. Remember to also switch on automatic saving of your broadcasts (profile > settings > autosave broadcasts), so you can repurpose any good content later, and spread the word that way.
I hope this article gets you at least intrigued by the power of Periscope! If you are scoping already, or decided to jump in, do connect with us on there. And if you have any other tips, or favourite Periscopers you absolutely love, do share them in the comments below!