This Is How Your Business Should Be Using Twitter's Periscope

Chris CrumFeatured, Social Media

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Twitter is giving businesses tips and "inspiring examples" of how they can use its recently launched Periscope livestreaming app after watching how some brands have used it in its early days.

Have you found a reason to use Periscope (or livestreaming in general) for your business so far? Do you intend to experiment with it in the future? Let us know in the comments.

First off, if you're unfamiliar with Periscope, read this to get a good idea of how it works. You can also check out this comparison of Periscope and Meerkat.

"Brands can forge a more personal relationship with consumers by using Periscope to give them real-time access to moments that matter, from big announcements to fashion shows to sponsored events," says Ross Hoffman, Twitter's Head of Brand Strategy. "In April, @Target used Periscope to tease its Lilly Pulitzer line, an effort that helped fuel huge consumer demand: 90% of the collection sold out in a few days."


Twitter notes that Target found Periscope to be so effective that it used it to broadcast more.

According to Twitter, you should use Periscope for creative cross-platform stories, product launches and announcements, special promotions, customer education, VIP access, everyday moments, and/or key moments, such as events that align with their brand. They point out how Drumstick used the first day of summer, for example.


Ultimately, according to the company, you need to choose the right content, create anticipation, "be real," be responsive, make the most of your content, and evaluate and optimize. To create anticipation, it suggests sending promoted tweets about upcoming streams a few days in advance and sharing the link on Twitter once it broadcast starts. In terms of "being real," skip the rehearsals and scripts in favor of an "unpolished performance".

When they say to be responsive, the mean to engage in the discussion with viewers who are sending questions in comments throughout the broadcast. Engage with them in real time.

"Periscopes last for 24 hours. Encourage replays to reach a wider audience and create FOMO so that even more users will tune in for your next broadcast," says Hoffman. "You can also get more mileage out of your Periscope broadcasts by turning them into Promoted Videos."

"Examining metrics such as viewer count, average watch time and number of replays can help you determine how effective your Periscope was," he adds. "Was your viewer count low? Try promoting your Periscope account in advance on Twitter so users have a chance to download the app and follow you. Was your average watch time shorter than you’d like? Scour viewers’ live chats for feedback, and brainstorm ways to make your content more interesting."

Twitter shows off some more examples of how brands have used Periscope successfully in its blog post. The best thing you can probably do is to experiment and see what works and what doesn't and tweak from there. But don't do it just to do it. Have a reason. Otherwise you're almost certain to be doing it wrong.

How to use it

To broadcast from the app, once you've created an account, tap the camera icon, and enter a title for the broadcast. It will instantly notify your followers who can join, comment, and send you hearts in real time (sending hearts is how viewers "send their love").

The app keeps track of your hearts. There's a "Most Loved" list, so the more hearts you get, the higher you'll be on that. I guess iPhone users have a leg up in that department.

When a broadcast is over, the broadcaster can make it available for replay so people can watch it later. They'll be able to replay it with comments, hearts, and all. The replays last 24 hours, and they can be deleted at any time. You can do private broadcasts by pressing the lock icon before going live. You can then choose who you want to broadcast to. You can also manage your location settings before broadcasting.

If you want to keep a broadcast longer than 24 hours, you can save it to your camera roll. There's even a setting to automatically save all your broadcasts to your camera roll.

Broadcasts can be shared on Twitter by tapping the bird icon before broadcasting. When it goes live, it will tweet a link so Twitter followers can watch on the web or in the app.

Periscope suggests people for users to follow based on their Twitter network, and gives them control over who they want to be notified about broadcasts for.

If you tap the TV icon in the app, you'll get the Watch Tab, where you can see live broadcasts of public video streams. It will show you recently featured broadcasts and those from people you follow. There's also a "View All Recent Broadcasts" option, where you can see all public broadcasts from the past 24 hours. Who knows what you'll find there? It does only surface those that were saved for replay. You can share broadcasts you find with other people as well.

How not to use it

There are some content guidelines that restrict porn or "overtly sexual content" as well as "explicitly graphic content or media intended to incite violent, illegal or dangerous activities."

Other Do Nots include: abuse, harass, post others' private info, impersonate to mislead or deceive, and spam. Things that qualify as spam include: malware/phishing, serial accounts, selling accounts, invitation spam, and broadcast spam. These are the ways they define broadcast spam:

- Broadcasting for the sole purpose of directing users to an external site or service

- Posting deliberately misleading broadcast titles, especially with the intent to redirect the viewer to an external site or service

- Purchasing ‘hearts’ or paying to have a broadcast ‘shared’ to increase the popularity of the content

- Using serial accounts to auto ‘share’ broadcasts to increase popularity

- Posting large numbers of unsolicited comments, especially in an attempt to advertise a service or link

- Using or promoting third-party sites or services that claim to get you more followers

More Reason To Use It

Periscope has been building buzz since SXSW in March, but in recent weeks, Twitter has given businesses a much bigger reason to use it. That reason is Android, and it's important because it makes up such a large part of the mobile market. By making Periscope available for Android, Twitter has effectively made the service available to many more people, which means a lot more usage (and a lot more eyeballs).

It's still early days for Periscope, and it's entirely possible that it will never catch on on a grand scale, but clearly businesses are already finding good uses for it, and it's another tool at your disposal should you choose to use it.

What are your early thoughts about Periscope? Do you expect it to be a helpful marketing tool? Let us know what you think.

Image via Periscope

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.