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Periscope: Should Your Brand Be Using It?

Periscope, a live streaming platform that allows you to broadcast video to anywhere in the world, has been around for a little over a year now. Purchased by Twitter in 2015, it’s had 10 million downloads since its release.

Is your brand using it yet? If not, here’s how it works and some things to consider if you’re thinking about adapting it into your social media strategy.

How It Works

The app, available on both Apple and Android devices, essentially enables you to become your own on-the-go broadcasting station, streaming live video and audio to any viewers who join your broadcast through the app itself or a live link on Twitter.

Periscope incorporates notifications and locations as well as social sharing, live discussion, and feedback. After a broadcast is over, others can watch and replay with the option to provide feedback within 24 hours. Each of your broadcasts can also be saved to your mobile devices afterwards—and shared online, just like any other video—for follow up material to post on your other platforms to increase engagement.

The Benefits

If you’re looking to interact meaningfully with your audience in real time, Periscope is a great opportunity. You can have real-time interaction in other ways, such as live tweeting, but there’s something about the visual context that makes this feel even more “now.”

The nature of live video emphasizes authenticity—something that can get lost in scheduled social content, if you’re not careful—and help you establish a more personal relationship with your community.

It also fosters urgency with the content you are creating, because your viewers need to tune in right away if they want to catch it as it happens. This sense of exclusivity appeals to some audiences. As an example, in April of last year, Target used Periscope to promote its Lilly Pulitzer line, offering exclusive content as a strategy that helped Target stores sell out of 90 percent of the designer line upon its release.

Is it right for you?

If you’re struggling just to reply to all the comments on your Facebook wall, you’re probably not ready to branch out to a new platform. (First rule of social media is being social, so take care of your current community before you try to grow it.)

But if you have the resources to add in something new, or aren’t getting the engagement you’re looking for with your existing tactics, you might consider getting more exposure for your brand by using Periscope to broadcast any of the following:

  • Live events like product announcements, press conferences, or training seminars
  • Behind-the-scenes footage of these live events, plus other non-public events like photo shoots, dress rehearsals, or brainstorming sessions
  • Q&A sessions with brand ambassadors or product designers (video is a great medium for communicating their passion about what they do)
  • How-to videos
  • Tours of your brand’s most interesting buildings or locations

So don’t force it into your content calendar, but if you’re genuinely excited about an event and believe your community will want to participate in it too, Periscope is worth a test run.