Periscope is the hot new social network that everyone is talking about right now. Now owned by Twitter, Periscope is a live broadcasting social network which means it allows users to broadcast themselves from their mobile devices. It is a mobile-only platform similar to Instagram in the fact that it is meant only for users on mobile devices, there are minimal features for desktop users.
Lucky for you, if you get started now you have the chance of being an early adopter that could allow you to amass hundreds of thousands of followers if you play your cards right.
I won’t lie, I love this social network and have had a lot of fun playing around with it. So far I’ve found a few feeds that I really enjoy and have even started broadcasting on my own. One of my favorite features of Periscope is that it is “raw.” In traditional video publishing you would have to record the video, then spend hours editing it. In Periscope, it is what it is and what you see is what you get. If you make a mistake, there is no going back.
Also, a Periscope broadcast is known as a “scope” so don’t make amateur mistake of calling it a “video” or a “broadcast.”
Before we go any farther,I want you to repeat this mantra: “Periscope is Twitter. Periscope is Twitter.” While technically they are different social networks, Twitter has implemented many features to allow Periscope users to piggyback off the authority of Twitter. If you’ve accumulated a nice Twitter following, it is almost as if you have a built-in Periscope audience as well. Twitter is so serious about Periscope that they have done their best to eliminate Periscope’s competitor “Meerkat” from most features.
5 Must-Know Periscope Publishing Features
1. You can use Emojis in Periscope Titles
Just like Twitter, Periscope allows for and utilizes hashtags within their social network. Twitter users love to use hashtags, and you just can’t deny their effectiveness when it comes to marketability. The great part about Periscope hashtags is that when your “live” or “replay” shows up on Twitter, those hashtags will translate to Twitter hashtags which will in turn help your posts gain some juice. One way I’ve seen a lot of people utilize hashtags is to do a Twitter search before your broadcast, and find hashtags in your industry that seem to be trending at that particular moment.
2. Hashtags are for closers
While some folks shutter at the mere presence of emojis, you simply can’t deny that they can be very marketable in certain circumstances. By adding 1-2 well placed emojis in a Periscope title, you just might stick out amongst your audience. But for god’s sake, don’t overuse emojis!
3. Insert your URL
Yes indeed, you can add URL’s to Periscope titles. They won’t necessarily show up or be clickable in all feeds, but they definitely will when you share your Periscope feed to Twitter. As with anything, don’t overdo it. No one likes the shameless self promoter that always adds their URL to everything. Rule of thumb: you never know who is going to copy a string of text, so it is usually a good idea to have your URL in there, it might turn into a backlink on someone’s blog.
4. @Tag people on Twitter
This is quite possibly the most powerful feature of Periscope. When you @tag someone in your Periscope title, they’ll get a notification on Twitter to let them know that you are broadcasting. One idea I had recently was to tag people that recently blogged about a particular topic, and respond to their blog post in a live feed. It kind of “puts them on the spot” to at least watch what you have to say. In an era where you are just trying to get someones attention for even a few seconds, it pays to have a trick like this up your sleeve.
In a recent example I tagged Rand Fishkin of Moz after he so eloquently spoke about clearing up “content cruft” in a recent Whiteboard Friday.
5. Share on Twitter
While kind of an obvious feature, you’d be surprised how many people don’t realize how powerful this little toggle is. Again, be careful not to overdo it. Just because your loyal Twitter following appreciates your Tweets, doesn’t mean they want to hear you blabbing about how your day was in a live feed.
Periscope is the polar opposite of Twitter. Twitter has very short contextual messages while Periscope is essentially a long, talking selfie.
Other Periscope Tips
There are a few other tips that aren’t really considered “features” that we wanted to mention as long as you are here:
- make sure you fill out your bio completely
- use a professional image as your main image
- connect with Twitter (mandatory)
- use a relevant Periscope username
- engage on other scopes
- ask other social networks friends / followers to follow you
- welcome people when they join your scope
- use Katch.me for Periscope “power features.”
Katch.me is like a partner to Periscope. Being that Periscope has some not so obvious limitations such as not being able to view old scopes or browse other people’s feeds, Katch.me has filled those gaps, and will even archive all of your old videos for future use. You can sign up via Twitter. Once you do Katch.me will do everything for you from then on.
Another option instead of Katch.me is to just upload all of your Periscope videos to YouTube. In Android, all Periscope videos are normally saved to a folder called “Periscope” within your photo gallery. You can upload those videos directly to YouTube, or transfer them to a desktop where you can work with them a bit before uploading.
How to switch from front to back camera in Periscope (and vice versa)
This drove me nuts for about 5 minutes I could not figure out how to switch from front to back camera. When I first joined Periscope I didn’t even know it was possible!
Just make sure that you tap on an “empty” area of the screen. If your device does not have multiple cameras then you are out of luck unfortunately.
Inbound Marketing and Periscope
If you’ve stuck around this blog for long enough, you know that we are huge fans of new technologies. Periscope is one of them. While still kind of new and fresh, we definitely feel as though it is a contender for a top social network.
If you are a fan of IFTTT you will not be disappointed. IFTTT already has a few dozen Periscope recipes at the ready.
Probably the most powerful IFTTT Periscope recipes are the ones that share to Facebook or LinkedIn since Periscope does not share to those by default.
There are so many opportunities for inbound marketers and Periscope. It is hard to find a top brand not utilize Periscope. Huge brands such as Red Bull, Adidas and even Doritos are taking advantage of this massive social network in a number of different ways including giveaways, contests, and live event broadcasting:
— Doritos (@Doritos) June 25, 2015
Periscope brings many opportunities for brands that are historically very boring or challenging for content marketers. A few ways you might utilize Periscope for some of these “boring” industries might be:
- a roofer / electrician / painter scoping a live job
- a factory or manufacturing plant doing a live tour of their facility
- a self help group that does an interview with a therapist or group leader
- a locksmith that scopes a how-to on a live job
Another example is for industries that might be trying to prove they are ethical or not-shady such as stock brokers or other industries that are known for having trouble in that area. By doing a live scope of your office / job you allow your customers to see what you do behind the scenes. Just be careful to mute out any confidential material that might be lying around your work place.
Essentially you can scope anything you do, but be careful not to broadcast just anything. Users don’t want to see a scope of you eating your lunch, unless of course you are Rhianna or Miley Cyrus. In that case it would probably go viral. Part of the reason why this social network is so popular is because it is so “real.” There is no editing or post video production process. If you make a mistake it is visible to all of your viewers.
Engage with your customers
Another reason why you see so many people hopping on this massive social bandwagon is because the customer essentially becomes part of the company process. Many companies will actually involve their customer base in their decision making process. Many Periscope channels will have live voting sessions where customers can vote on new product lines or even names for their products.
Always remember to live-engage with your customers during your scopes. For instance when you get comments during your scope, don’t ignore them. Make sure you respond to the comments as they come in. For mega-brands this might not be possible being that some of them get dozens of comments every second, but for the most part do your best to respond to the masses. One method a lot of people use is to utilize Twitter search to find Periscope users in your niche (hint: #periscope #YourNiche) and tag those people in an upcoming broadcast.
Another way to make your scopes more visible is to pre-promote them. If you know that you are going to be scoping at a certain time, send out a message on all social networks to watch for the live link.
Tip: Create a custom URL such as:
and put up a landing page with a “coming soon” countdown. When it comes time for the event 301 the page to the Katch page so that users can tune in when the time comes.
The cool thing about Periscope is that it encompasses a number of niches such as video marketing, content marketing, inbound marketing and even SEO / ORM.
Professional Periscope Equipment
If you’ve decided Periscope is for you, you might want to up your game in terms of professionalism and functionality. It is one thing to do a “selfie scope” it is another to do a well thought out scope that is produced more professionally. While most Periscope users will do just fine with a mobile phone and a charging cable, if you are ready to get serious with scoping you might need some tools. The following tools are recommended for Periscope users, but certainly not mandatory:
If you are outside, lighting is not necessary but in if you are inside things get a bit tricky. Lighting is a topic in and of itself, but if you get yourself a good lighting kit and learn to angle it properly, your videos will come out looking much better.
There is nothing worse than the sound of a crackling microphone. Part of this is due to your WiFi or 3g/4g connection and part of this is your phone or tablet microphone. Amazon offers a number of options when it comes to microphones, find one that fits your brand of phone.
If you are going to be scoping, it isn’t fun to have to hold your phone or tablet. Having a “shaky” feed can really annoy your visitors, by adding a stand you stabilize your feed. You can get standing stands, desk stands and even car stands. There are stands for phones and stands for tablets. Find the one that fits your device and use it whenever you can.
While you can’t really buy this on Amazon, always consider your connection before you start streaming. My advice is to never scope over 3g, always use 4g (when available) or preferably a high-speed WiFi connection in your home or office. If your connection is weak, your video quality will suffer and no one likes that.
It is always good to have some good accessories on hand. One accessory that is really quite mandatory these days is a long charging cable. Since all scoping is done via mobile device, doing live video can really drain your battery quick. You don’t want to be limited by a 3ft cable to pick up a 10ft cable.
Closing thoughts on Periscope
I definitely think Periscope can be a huge opportunity, and if you have the nerves to live broadcast yourself or your company then this is definitely an opportunity that you shouldn’t ignore. The fact that this network is in its early stages is a huge asset. I remember when Google+ first started I ignored it for 6 months, a year later people were funneling monstrous amounts of traffic from the social network just from hanging around and interacting. The great part about being an early adopter is that if you invest your time in it and it works out, you’ll come out looking like a boss.