The next best thing to getting a live customer? How about going live yourself? Periscope likens its function to “the closest thing to teleportation.”
The live video-streaming platform launched in January 2015, and grew to more than 15 million followers in less than a year. The app enables users to broadcast live from whenever and wherever they are. For 24 hours following the initial post, viewers can see the videos through the app or on the website. The videos can then be captured for later use on websites and other social channels. Viewers can also leave feedback in the form of hearts and comments.
Kat Eves, a publicist-turned-stylist in the Bay Area who consults with business on their social media and marketing strategies said Periscope was the perfect channel for one of her clients, who was a designer looking for an edge. She did a video comparing a $600 competitor’s dress with a nearly identical $120 dress from her client. “Not only was it the most-commented on and most-liked video on Periscope, when I downloaded the video and shared it to our Facebook page, it became one of our top ten posts in terms of shares, views, and engagement.”
“The best part?” Eves said. “That video put us on the same level as a $600 dress in terms of quality and value. Talk about great branding.”
Is Periscope Right for Your Small Business?
Periscope viewers range from the 16 to 64 year-old demographic, with concentrations in the 16 to 24 age range—the coveted Millennials.
“If you’re comfortable and entertaining on camera, Periscope is a great platform for creating short, off-the-cuff videos,” Eves says. “Make them fun, informational, inspirational—just just don’t make them boring. People tune out quickly from videos on Periscope. Because the videos only last for 24 hours, Periscope might be a fun space to promote short-term things, like a flash sale.”
She warns, however, that it’s possible to abuse the channel. Just because it’s possible to be off-the-cuff, doesn’t mean you always should be. “Periscope makes it an attractive app for people who think they are more interesting than they really are.
“Plan before you shoot,” Eves says. “And don’t be the person who posts a hundred videos a day. Nobody wants to watch you that much, sorry to say.”
Making the Most of Periscope
One of Periscope’s major advocates for small business is Kim Garst, CEO and co-founder of Boom! Social Media Marketing, LLC. She says that one advantage of jumping onboard now is that even though the market’s booming, it’s not yet saturated with businesses exactly like yours. She advises in a free e-book that small businesses use Periscope to experiment with:
- Behind-the-scenes videos
- Product demos and tutorials
- Q & A
- Unique promo codes
- Live events
Alene Istanboulian, a public relations account executive with Fresno, Calif.-based JP Marketing agency, offered these tips for the most effective videos:
- Plan a great backdrop and dress well to make sure the video looks its best.
- Share how you’re keeping up with the times. If you’re a bakery owner, for example, show how you handle the lunch rush and the holidays.
- Think seasonal—like a live tutorial for chocolate chip cookies, just in time for Santa.
- Repurpose the Periscope link on all of your social channels.
- Create countdowns on your other social channels for a special live stream: “Catch us Wednesday at noon on Periscope to learn how to make Chef Annie’s famous chicken noodle soup!”
The most important thing, says Istanboulian, is to craft your story so that it’s part of your brand—and it humanizes your message. You could say: “We know it’s cold outside. Don’t miss our famous chicken noodle soup as the lunch special of the day!” It shows your company is aware of the cold and you’re providing a warm solution for patrons.
Though Periscope is the youngest of the big social media platforms and there’s still a lot to learn about measuring its value, the potential for live streaming is quickly being realized. They boast two million active users daily, and 40 years of video are viewed every day. When it comes to your small business harnessing the power of a fast-growing tool this early, the uses and possibilities of Periscope are basically endless. Start learning now.