Elle & Company

5 reasons for business owners to use Periscope now... and how to use it

Taku KumabeLauren Hooker4 Comments

With specialists touting live-streaming as the next wave in social media, there is no better time than now to jump in and take advantage of the platform by sharing your expertise as a business owner to other early adopters around the world.

While there are other live-streaming apps out in the market, Periscope is the first one that I've used and instantly felt a liking to.

In this post, I'll be sharing 5 reasons for business owners to start using Periscope now, in addition to giving you tips on how to use the app that has taken the live-streaming world by storm.

Periscope made headlines around the social media world when Twitter acquired the company months before the app was even released to the public. The first version of the app was released in late March of 2015 for the iOS platform. It debuted with its user base playing around and wondering how best to use this new medium, with people live-streaming their daily lives and sharing contents of their fridge!

Now, just six months after its debut, it is the fastest growing social media app boasting over 13 million accounts with the app on both the iOS and Android platforms.

Over the course of the last few months, the platform has grown and matured. Thankfully, the contents of Periscope has matured as well, so you won't be confronted with people live-streaming the contents of their fridge anymore.

So, how can a business owner take advantage of Periscope? There are many ways and reasons to use the app, but here are my top 5 reasons for a business owner to start using Periscope now.

5 Reasons to Start Using Periscope Now

1  |  Make your mark before everyone else does

With over 13 million accounts you may think that it's too late for you to make your mark and stand out from the crowd on Periscope.

On the contrary. While there may be over 13 million accounts, not every one of those accounts are broadcasting content to the world. In reality, only a fraction of the user base are content creators, while the rest are viewers and your potential followers. Brands have only begun to realize the potential of this and are slowly starting to whet their feet by experimenting with live-streams.

As a business owner, this is your chance to rise above your competitors, gain loyal followers, and create your presence on the platform that will only keep growing from here.

Periscope is a great way to share your thoughts, experiences, stories, and more with other like-minded individuals around the world, and starting this now may benefit you with a healthy list of followers, ahead of your competitors.

2  |  Engagement like no other

One of the biggest advantages of Periscope over any other social media platform is that you get live feedback from your viewers on what you are broadcasting.

Viewers are able to give you hearts by tapping on their screen, as a means of showing appreciation to the broadcaster. They can comment and ask questions as well.

Based on their feedback, the broadcaster can instantly change their content to better suit the needs/wants of their viewers.

3  |  Periscope is flexible

While Instagram may be well suited for photos and short videos, Facebook for posts and multiple photos, and Pinterest for pictures, Periscope can be used for all of the above, and more.

People have been very creative in their broadcasts with content ranging from showing photos on computers, live-streaming video and interviews from another device, to just plain talking and answering questions.

If you're creative enough, you'll be able to find unique uses for Periscope, giving you another head above the competition. These methods will allow you to broadcast a variety of things including:

  • Q&A sessions about your product/brand/company
  • Behind-the-scenes video of what goes on in your daily company/life as an entrepreneur
  • Tours of your city/surroundings
  • Product demonstrations
  • Sharing How To's on marketing, business development, product development, client relationship management, etc.

4  |  Authenticity

The word authentic may be thrown around a lot, but there's no denying that seeing an individual in the flesh, in an unedited and raw fashion speaks volumes.

It allows your viewers to see the real you in real time, whereas on other social media platforms you're merely hiding behind text and photos that may have been taken days or months before. This will help you build more loyal relationships.

5  |  Build relationships

There's no better way to market what you are selling than by gaining a long-lasting relationship with your customers and/or fans.

The best part of Periscope is that it allows for instant engagement with your viewers. This engagement is not only helpful to the viewers (by letting you answer their questions) but it also allows you and your business/brand to connect with your audience in a deeper way.

The very personal nature of Periscope allows for this authenticity, thereby creating longer lasting relationships that will only benefit you.

How to Use Periscope

The interface can be a little daunting at first sight, but if you break everything down, it's really not that scary. All screenshots are from an iPhone. Android devices will have a slightly different user interface, but the overall functionality should be the same.

Opening Screen

This is your home feed. This displays all of the broadcasts from people you follow, and the broadcasts that your followers have shared with you.

The light grey icon of the people with numbers beside it represents the number of people currently watching that broadcast. Don't count on this, though, as this number isn't accurate at all.

World Map

A map of all of the broadcasts that are currently live and being shared publicly. Pan around the world and pinch to zoom into the exact location of each broadcast. Tap on the "List" button on top to display what's currently live in a scrolling list format instead.

Broadcast Now

This is your time to shine! Enter your title, select your broadcast options, and hit the Start Broadcast button!

Broadcast Options:

  • Arrow Icon: Location sharing. Enable to allow viewers to see where you are broadcasting from. Disable to hide your location details. Disabling this option will also hide your broadcast from the World Map mode.
  • Lock Icon: Private Broadcast: Private broadcasts allow you to broadcast to only those users that you specifically select. Private broadcasts do not show up in the World Map mode either.
  • Chat Icon: Enable this option so that only users that you follow can chat within your broadcast. Disable it to allow everybody to chat with you.
  • Twitter Icon: Enable to tweet a notification to your Twitter feed, telling people you are currently live. Disable to not Tweet out any notifications. People who click on this link and do not have Periscope installed can still view your broadcast via the Periscope.tv web viewer. Web viewers can see your live broadcast but cannot comment nor give you hearts.

People List

This section displays any Featured People on Periscope, as well as those people on Twitter that you follow who have made an account on Periscope. Remember, not everyone on this list are broadcasters.

  • Search Icon: Will search through people's names and their bio information, but not any titles of broadcasts.
  • Profile Icon: Displays your profile and all relevant data.
  • Broadcasts: This list will display all of your previous broadcasts. However only broadcasts that are 24 hours or newer will be playable again to everybody. You can tap on older broadcasts to view some statistics of those broadcasts but again, these don't seem to be accurate.

General Tips

  • When you're creating a new account on Periscope, I would suggest using the same username as your Twitter account to eliminate any confusion from your viewers. Your user account can be viewed at http://www.periscope.tv/YOURUSERNAME
  • When entering your bio information, use the same profile photo that you have on your Twitter bio to be consistent from one another.
  • Edit your bio information to include a web link. These links are tappable when someone views your profile online and/or on their phone so is a great way for others to find more information about you. Also remember that what you put in here is also searchable via the search icon. It's a good idea to use keywords that are relevant to your industry.
  • Broadcasts are saved for replay on your account for a total of 24 hours after you have finished your scope. After 24 hours, they will be removed from the Periscope server. There are services out there that will save your broadcasts onto third-party servers for an indefinite amount of time if you are keen on saving them.

Broadcaster Tips

  • Many people have accounts but do not broadcast on Periscope out of fear of making a fool of themselves. Remember that the platform allows for raw and unedited live-streams allowing your true personality and character to shine. Viewers expect this and will not penalize you for making mistakes and fumbling words when you broadcast. Don't get too hung over on creating that perfect broadcast every time. Sometimes it's just better to make mistakes and be able to laugh at them yourself too.
  • By default, Periscope will start broadcasting from your rear camera. After you go live, you can double tap the screen to change cameras from the rear camera to the front-facing camera. When you do this, there is a split second where your viewers cannot hear what you are saying. Before switching cameras, stop talking, and resume talking a second after the camera changes.
  • On occasion, you may get commenters whose aim is to spam other people's accounts with rude comments or comments in other languages. Scopers like to call these people trolls. If you see them, simply tap on the comment in question, and tap on Block User. This will permanently block the user from all of your current and future broadcasts.
  • When coming up with a title for your broadcast, using emojis may attract people's attention, but be careful not to go too overboard since using too many emojis will prevent your broadcast from appearing in the People's list. Also, keep in mind that some emojis and fancy fonts may not be visible to other users, depending on what operating system and version they are using.
  • Remember to keep your audience engaged. As the broadcaster, it's a good idea to keep talking or ask questions to your viewers to encourage them to engage with you. A good analogy to this is, you are the host to a party in a room. When people enter the room, greet them, ask them questions, and keep them entertained throughout the course of the party.

Viewer Tips

  • Viewers can show appreciate to the broadcaster by tapping the screen for hearts. The colour of these hearts represents the colour of the users giving the heart, so that the broadcaster can tell who is giving the hearts. There is a 500 heart limit per user per broadcast session to prevent people from just continuously giving hearts. To get around this, simply exit the broadcast and pop back in to give more hearts.
  • Viewers can take screen captures of broadcasts and share it to their Twitter feed. When someone screen captures a broadcast, you will see a camera icon (same colour as you) float up where the hearts appear, signaling to everybody that you have taken a screen capture.
  • Viewers can also share the broadcast on their own Twitter feed, their Facebook account, and invite part of, or their entire followers list by doing the following:
    • Tap on the little man icon on the bottom right to open the share dialog button.
    • Swipe right on iOS or swipe up on Android to open the share dialog button.

About the Author

Taku Kumabe is a freelance photographer and graphic designer in Toronto, Canada. His travel and photography blog, Taku Kumabe Photography and Design, is where he aims to educate you on how to best take photographs using whatever camera you have with you. Taku is also an avid Periscope user, connecting photographers from around the world on his Periscope Photography Tour, and enjoys helping new Periscope users to start broadcasting.

Connect with Taku on Instagram, Twitter, and Periscope.