If you asked me what Periscope was a month ago, I would’ve said, “The thingy that sticks out of a submarine?” Clearly, I had no idea just how much of an impact this social media tool would have on the world of blogging and small business.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and Ampersand Creative and I found ourselves sitting at The Point, filming a Periscope broadcast about the future of blogging. More viewers attended than I imagined would show up for my first broadcast (though, I’m sure our backdrop of Heinz field across the river and beautiful bridges didn’t hurt either.) Thirty minutes flew by in a flash, and before I knew it, I was addicted.
Periscope is a simple, candid way to share your content and engage with your readers.
We all love great content, but getting to interact with the person behind the computer screen elevates your brand to a whole new level. (tweet this)
Periscope is still in its infancy, and I’ve seen users experimenting with unique and creative ideas left and right. From The Thinking Closet‘s #MondayNightDanceParty to Chris Ducker’s personal and candid #Duckerscopes, there’s truly so much you can do with the app’s live broadcasts.
A live broadcast can be scary at first, especially if you’re not used to creating video content. But coming from someone who didn’t know the first thing about Periscope when I clicked ‘broadcast’ for the first time, the fun quickly takes over and your intuition as a content creator will steer you in the right direction.
But we’re all overachievers who (unlike Kristin, apparently) like to be knowledgeable about what we’re getting into beforehand. To spare you the fumbling of figuring it out from scratch, I’m passing on what I learned from my first Periscope broadcast!
Host your first #Periscope broadcast with confidence! I made the mistakes so you don’t have to! (tweet this)
1. Have a topic // Don’t go into a broadcast without a focus, or else you’ll be a ramble-y mess. You wouldn’t write a post about “Oh, I don’t know, just whatever comes to me…”, so don’t make a Periscope broadcast like that. Choose a topic to talk about and write down some notes if you need to. It doesn’t have to be planned to the max, but at least figure out some talking points. This also helps you to…
2. Optimize your title for Twitter // Because you can share your broadcast on Twitter both during and after, it helps to have a title that incorporates hashtags, which can make your content easily discoverable. Your title should say what your broadcast is about and include any keywords, just like a blog post title, as well as relevant hashtags.
Guess how hard it’s going to be to write a title, period, if you don’t have a general direction for your scope? (see step 1)
3. Invite your friends // Once you’ve written an enticing title, share away! Your Periscope followers will be alerted to your broadcast so long as they have notifications enabled, but invite your other followers by spreading the word on social media. Marissa and I did our Periscope broadcast completely impromptu, sending out just a few tweets minutes beforehand (which surprisingly got us a fair number of viewers), but you can plan and announce your upcoming broadcast as far in advance as you want!
4. Start out strong // Broadcasts start with a shot from your rear-facing camera (and there doesn’t appear to be a way to change this), but once you hit ‘start’, you’re live! Take a minute to introduce yourself and say hello to your viewers, but don’t sit around and wait for more people to show up. Start talking right away so that people see what you have to offer, and don’t get a video of you just twiddling your thumbs as your wait for a bigger audience.
Better yet, start your broadcast with a shot of a handwritten note or title card so viewers know what your broadcast is about (and so they aren’t staring at a blank wall.)
5. Ask questions // Whether it’s a simple “Where is everyone tuning in from?” at the beginning of your broadcast, or a reply to a question that’s come up, asking questions gets viewers involved in the conversation, which benefits both you and your audience, but don’t forget to…
6. Give people time to respond // It takes a minute to type a response to a question you’ve asked, plus you need a moment to read your viewers comments and reply. You’ll start seeing comments from viewers pop up at the bottom of your broadcast as you’re talking, which requires some multitasking. Pay attention to these, and give your viewers that time to digest and respond because…
7. People want to ENGAGE with you! // Yes, people want to hear what you have to say on your topic, but most viewers are excited to have some more one-on-one style interaction with you. While you certainly don’t want to go off on a tangent, don’t be afraid to take some time to engage* with your audience and show your personality! Be courteous (remember, you are the face of your brand) but be you!
*I ended my second broadcast on Proofreading Strategies by taking video game recommendations. Because why not?
8. Tell viewers how they can connect with you // While it’s not as formal as a call-to-action in a blog post, you don’t want your viewers to become blogging one-night stands. Remind them of your website’s URL (it helps to put this in your profile for easy reference), ask them to follow you for future broadcasts, or just to swipe right and share the broadcast itself.
9. Use a tripod; your arm will get tired // The thing that sucks about an impromptu broadcast is that you don’t realize how tiring holding your phone in front of your face can get. Do your arms a favor and find a place to prop up your phone, or better yet, use a tripod (I use a GorillaPod for recording all of my videos and I love it!) If you want the bicep workout, by all means, keep holding.
10. Save your broadcast // It’s important to remember that your broadcast is only available for 24 hours after it goes live, so if you want to save your content you have to save it to another source, such as your camera roll or the cloud.
I had a blast during my first Periscope, but there’s still lots to learn. Some of these tips I wish I knew before I hit “broadcast” for the very first time! There’s always next time for me (and you know there will be many more broadcasts to come!) but you can get started with these tips right away!
Don’t miss my next Periscope broadcast! Follow @mylifeasateacup for the latest writing & productivity scopes.
P.S. If you’re looking for a comprehensive how-to guide for getting started with Periscope, MissTrenchcoat has a live demo to walk you through the steps!