How to Use Periscope
Everyone's talking about Periscope right now – and with good reason. This fun new app is giving people an easy way to share videos for well, pretty much any reason! If you're using Periscope for business – or want to – here are some steps for getting starting and growing your presence.
Getting Started with Periscope
Signing up for Periscope is pretty easy. Download the app and login from your mobile device with your Twitter credentials.
Periscope and Twitter are joined at the hip, so some of the first people you’ll be invited to connect with are people you’re already following on Twitter that are already using the platform. You'll also see some of the most popular users. If you want to follow people you aren't connected with on Twitter, you'll need to search for them.
The magnifying lens on the top left allows you to search. The “person” icon on the top right brings up your profile. You can edit your bio, see who is following you and vice versa, see your previous broadcasts and update your settings.
For now, settings are simple – you can opt to receive notifications when people follow you and you can autosave your broadcasts. If you think you might want to repurpose some of your scopes, I highly suggest you autosave. Seriously. Stop what you're doing and turn autosave on NOW. You can't go back and save any broadcasts you've already completed, so make sure you're ready going forward.
Another workaround for saving videos for more than 24 hours is a service called Katch.me. Register for the free service, connect your Twitter account to it and any broadcast that you do will be saved by Katch in your library. Here's mine. Katch is also great if you want to embed replays of your videos on your website or in blog posts.
Phone getting full? Snag the Dropbox app and move your saved videos over there. Having your videos saved automatically is a smart idea if you want to put the videos up on YouTube/Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Broadcasting is easy. So easy, you’ll notice a lot of scopes start before people seem to be ready 🙂 There are a few icons you can select before diving in.
Share your location – only if you want people to know where you are. If you’re concerned about privacy, don’t. If it adds to your brand or is related to the video itself, go for it! Hello, Bahamas!
You can host private broadcasts – just want to invite specific people? Click the lock icon before starting and add their names. I think this feature will be growing in popularity.
Want to limit chatting to your followers? You can do that too. But in the early stages of growth, you may want to remain open to new connections.
Tweet your scope. Want more visibility? Send a tweet when you start your scope. Remember, Twitter is 140 characters, so make sure the most important words kick off the title of your scope.
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And here are a few tips after doing my first batch of scopes and watching a boatload while sick in bed:
A scope starts as soon as you hit Start Broadcast. Take a beat before you begin and consider a little warm up chit chat before you start dropping nuggets of wisdom (or hilarious jokes). Give people some time to click in from Twitter or to see the notification on their phones. But don't wait too long to start. Respect the audience you have.
Introduce yourself. It reminds your followers who you are and gives new people context for what you’re all about. Some people like introducing themselves multiple times during a scope. Do what works for you.
Scope length? – After “how do I find people?” this is the question I see most frequently. What’s great about Periscope is that you decide how long your broadcast will last. Amber Wright of TalktoAmber.com says that's one of her favorite things about the app.
Periscope has stolen my heart because it's longer than Instagram videos, but not as formal as Youtube. It allows me to connect with my current audience while presenting myself to a newer, wider audience…and it's super fun to do! Great way to show your expertise or simply allow people to connect with you and your brand!
Amber's first scope (@talktoamber) was great! And the medium suits her – she's a communications expert! She expresses her personality and shares great advice. She's chatty AND engaging. Know where your strengths are.
You can drop a 30 second scope and be done with it. Or, you can talk for 20 minutes. Its up to you. And you may decide shake things up. Some people do scopes that are well over an hour. Here’s my support for shorter scopes:
You can’t currently fast forward or rewind. If I miss something you shared 20 minutes in….its not likely I will watch the first 20 minutes again just to try to catch it. If I miss it again, trust me, third time will NOT be a charm.You can pause, fast forward and rewind on Katch. While that wasn't the case with Periscope when it debuted, the November 2015 update finally allows for fast forwarding. Just press + hold and then drag your finger across the screen to skip around).
- People are busy. While I’ve watched a few scopes during data transfer, file uploading and website fixing, I can’t always watch for that long. If I leave the app to take a call, send a text, open up a notification outside of Periscope or anything like that, I’m dropped from your broadcast. Hopefully I got some good content before that happens.
- Hopefully you know how to get your message across concisely. That's important regardless of platform.
Periscope sucks up data, so watch your usage if you're broadcasting using your cellular network. According to Cathy Hackl (@cathyhackl), Periscope super user, if you were to broadcast for an hour, that would eat up 2GB of data. So, those three 20-minute scopes you do could really cost you if you don't have an unlimited plan.
Be you! My friend Michelle Talbert of Her Power Hustle had this to say:
If you're using Periscope for business then take the opportunity to showcase your personality. People want to do business with people not ‘businesses'. So add value and infuse your personality!
Remember this! You’ll also feel more comfortable when you’re being yourself. Michelle (@herpowerhustle) is a great person to follow on Periscope – she shares great tips and is always happy to make a connection. She loves juicy resources, just like I do!
Growing Your Periscope Following
Want some love? Want to grow? Ask. People will give hearts (likes, basically) on their own, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. And all they have to do is tap! Caveat: if you plan to reuse the video somewhere else, you might not want to get “heart ask heavy.”
Want new folks to find you? Ask your audience to swipe right and share a tweet. You can spread the love for others by doing this when you watch their broadcasts.
Want more people to follow you (not just watch)? Follow others! Unless you have a huge following on Twitter or other channels already, you probably won’t start with a flock of followers. I had around 100 lovely folks when I originally published this post. Not a brag-worthy number, but a solid start. How did I get my followers? I follow people I'm interested in. I participate in broadcasts I watch – cheer people on, share resources, laugh at jokes. I’ve picked up more followers watching OTHER people’s broadcasts than any other way. Considering I haven't done a lot of scopes and I'm not promoting myself on other people's broadcasts (tacky…), I'd say that's pretty good!
Let people know how to find you. Signing off? Encourage folks to follow you on Periscope. Remember, they can watch without being followers, so don't assume that everyone tuning in is already connected to you. And feel free to drop your website. It is your channel after all!
Watch other people’s broadcasts. In addition to finding new followers that way, you’ll also pick up on techniques. You’ll see what you like and don’t like and you can produce your scopes accordingly. I’ve certainly learned more from watching than doing at this stage. Watch a few broadcasts before you dive in and continue to watch them to stay engaged in the Periscope community.
The great thing about Periscope is that you don't need a whole bunch of gear to get started. The only essential is your smartphone. But, if you're planning to use it for business and want to up the quality (and give your hands a break), there a few things to consider. Click here to see a full list of items. Read on for the highlights.
Microphone – the two most popular ones are the Rode smartLav+ and the Movo PM10. Both clip right on to your shirt and give your sound a boost and a little more clarity. Helpful, especially if you think you might repurpose your videos on other platforms. And you can use these mics for more than Periscope. I have clients that use them during Skype calls and it really improves sound quality.
Double lavalier microphone – I grabbed this portable little mic to get better sound quality when interviewing people on Periscope. It's so tiny, travels well and plugs right into your phone! Also, its great for podcasting on the go if you're planning to do some in-person interviewing.
Tripod and smartphone mount – My arms got tired of holding up my phone while broadcasting on Periscope. This inexpensive tripod came with a smartphone mount, so now, I can be hands free! Already have a tripod? Then just nab this smartphone mount. Even if you're not shooting video for Periscope, this is handy for any other kind of videos you plan to use your smartphone for.
Words of advice
Don’t overdo it. I'm following a few hundred people already. I get notifications from some people 10 times a day at this point. If they are business people, part of me wonders when they are getting work done! But it’s also a quick way for me swipe left on my iPhone screen and mute them for three hours (love that option). If I have to do that too many times, its likely I’ll unfollow you. Share regularly, but don’t be a pest.
Invite with caution. Inviting people is a great way to share as mentioned above. But if you’re doing this for business and concerned about your brand, you may not want to share off the wall things. And like the last tip, don't overshare. Don't burn your goodwill with your audience.
Avoid looking like a spammer or unprofessional. When I look at my phone and see nothing but emoticons, I’m probably not going to be tuning in. Mute! If emoticons fit your brand or you’re doing this for fun and not work, by all means, do you!
Tell people where to find you or your resources. Create shortened simple links that are easy to remember or write down (remember, you don’t want them leaving the broadcast). Create a simple name on bit.ly or use something like Pretty Link Pro.
In the grand scheme of things, Periscope is BRAND NEW. Who knows what direction it will take and which features remain to be seen. Experiment, have fun and leverage it as the great tool it has already proving itself to be. I’m having tons of fun! But, like any other marketing channel – don’t abuse it!
Want to follow me? Just click here or search @alaiawilliams from the app to connect!
Are you on Periscope? Do you love it or hate it? Any tips I missed? Leave a comment below.
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