Yeah, I know exactly what you’re thinking. “I’m too busy to pay attention to another social media platform. I can’t even keep my Facebook Page updated with fresh content!”
I’m with you. Creative content takes time to plan, produce and post, and Facebook page reach is minimal unless you pay. Fact is, your posts are only seen by a tiny percentage of the people who have taken time to find your Facebook business page and hit the “Like” button. And engagement on many posts is “meh.”
But if you haven’t been paying attention, you may have missed what’s changed on social media in the last year. The secret to reaching your audience in a powerful new way and building a closely connected and highly engaged tribe of customers, clients or followers is this:
Live streaming video.
And most businesses are ignoring it or not paying attention.
What really started this mobile video revolution was the launch of Twitter’s Periscope app on March 26, 2015. Since then, Periscope has become the fastest-growing social media platform ever. By some accounts, it now has more than 25 million users.
So what does it do? Periscope allows you to broadcast live video and audio to the world from your smartphone or tablet. Viewers can watch and use the app’s chatbox to type in comments, which appear on screen. They can also tap the screen as they watch to launch a colorful stream of hearts. Those hearts are encouragement to the broadcaster that viewers love the content being broadcast and the points being made. And, they can hit a button and share a broadcast they’re watching with all of their own followers on Periscope, Twitter and Facebook.
Entrepreneurs were some of the first adopters of Periscope who quickly figured out how to use it effectively. Many of them broadcast daily, doing short shows that teach top tips about their field of expertise - all the while building followers. (In my case, I’ve been on Periscope from the beginning, teaching Periscope techniques and demonstrating smartphone accessories such as lavalier microphones, tripod mounts and video lights to create more professional broadcasts).
Periscope has the unique ability to tightly connect followers with a business. Case in point: “Chocolate Johnny” (@ChocolateJohnny on Periscope). John Kapos is a 3rd-generation chocolatier who runs his own chocolate shop in Sydney, Australia. No one really knew of him outside his region. He hopped on Periscope, branded himself Chocolate Johnny, and began doing daily broadcasts from his shop, his chocolate factory, and even the nearby beach. And everything changed for him. People fell in love with his upbeat personality, quirky humor and heart for people. They drooled over the delicious confections they saw being created live on Periscope. Johnny rapidly developed a huge Periscope audience in the U.S., and is now known internationally. His business and demand for his mouth-watering chocolates have grown to the point where he is now shipping internationally and planning U.S. distribution.
Another company, Arkon Mounts (@Arkon_Mounts on Periscope), which makes professional mounting gear for smartphones, tablets and cameras, regularly broadcasts on Periscope and participates in other broadcasters’ scopes. Arkon V.P. Aaron Roth builds huge awareness and knowledge of Arkon’s product line through frequent demonstrations and giveaways, and as a result is widely viewed as the “go-to” guy for mobile device broadcast accessories.
With a big smile and actionable how-to advice, Vancouver, B.C. therapist Julia Kristina (@JuliaCounsellor on Periscope), broadcasts positive, encouraging scopes daily. She addresses such issues as anxiety, overwhelm, depression and self-doubt. Julia leverages Periscope to promote live coaching groups and create online products to help people conquer the things that prevent them from feeling good about themselves and their life.
There are daily broadcasts from real estate agents, social media experts, graphic artists, health food chefs, photographers, and just about every interest area you can imagine. Those who have gotten in early have developed huge followings. Social Media experts Kim Garst and Chalene Johnson have 34,400 and 72,800 followers respectively. When they broadcast, hundreds of people at a time watch their scopes.
Businesses find that Periscope followers are regularly watching their broadcasts, interacting, and getting to know the “face” of the business on Periscope. And customers are far more likely to do business with people and organizations that they know, like and trust.
Even with millions of users on Periscope, just a small percentage are broadcasting. This means a huge opportunity for businesses to hop in and make a big impact.
In a follow-up post this week, I’m going to cover exactly what you need to do to conduct effective Periscope broadcasts.
So what do you think about the idea of live streaming on Periscope? Please let me know in the comments below.
I’m Kerry Shearer, a communications and broadcast professional based in Sacramento, CA, specializing in live streaming, social media, web video. I’m a conference speaker, workshop presenter, social media trainer and coach for businesses, entrepreneurs and public agencies. I thrive on helping organizations and individuals create compelling content, reach and connect with their audiences, and successfully grow their influence! I am also available to be on scene with brands or organizations during major events or promotions to host or coordinate their live streaming broadcasts on Periscope or Facebook.