What is Periscope? Periscope is a free app that allows you to stream live video straight from your phone or IOS devices. It’s now over a year old and looks like it’s here to stay. In a sea of social media, we think this relatively new platform is worth investigating so we have put together our own ‘Periscope for Beginners’ guide. Businesses have quickly discovered the potential for promoting their brands with Periscope and solopreneurs have quickly learned how to utilise this app for showcasing their products and services.

Periscope for beginners

There are some really compelling reasons for having a Periscope account for your business. See our Top 5 reasons why Periscope is good for business.

So, if you are just curious and fancy becoming a broadcaster, Scoper, or you have some cunning ideas for using Periscope for your business then here’s how to get started.

How do I open a Periscope account?

Currently, you need an ios or android device to open an account. (You can view scopes via your web browser but you will not be able to comment, send hearts or broadcast.) Download Periscope from the itunes app store (it’s free!) or the Google Play Store. Then sign in using your Twitter account and you’re pretty much there.

Periscope uses your Twitter details to populate your Periscope profile but if you want you can edit this manually. If you have a blog or a website you can also add a link in the bio so viewers can easily find you and your sites. This is currently the only option for a live hyperlink so USE IT!

This also means you can refer to it during live scopes in order to encourage viewers to visit your sites. They might sign up to your email list or maybe even purchase a product. You’d be surprised how many people forget to do this.

There are also some really compelling reasons for having a Periscope account for your business. See our Top 5 reasons why Periscope is good for business.

How do I choose a Periscope name?

As Persicope is relatively new it is still possible to have your own name or the name of your company as your handle. However, this trend will not last! As an alternative to just words, you can use a mash-up of your chosen name and an emoji or two. Amongst a sea of difficult to read handles with random numbers and slang words, a bright and cheerful picture will help your profile to stand out. Maybe in the future, Periscope will offer more options for personalising profiles but right now the emoji is your friend.

Creating a killer Bio

What do you love talking about? Is there a subject you can discuss and never run out of things to say? Mention these kinds of interests in your bio. It will give you a starting point for creating scopes and give your viewers an idea of what they can expect from you. Use fun facts, your hobbies, interests and, if appropriate, be funny! We love funny.

If you are selling a professional service or product you might want to be more specific and mention who your potential customers might be. For example “We help entrepreneurs use social media and marketing strategies to grow their business and income”, or “We work with start-ups and innovators, trying to find happiness and success in their businesses”. You get the idea.

As we mentioned in the previous section, don’t forget to use a link to your websites in the bio section. Make sure you use the full URL so it becomes a ‘live link’ when people watch replays on the web.

Making a scope

HELLO!
 Yep, let’s start with a big hello. Welcome your replay viewers and keep talking as soon as you press the ‘Start a Broadcast’ button. Do not wait for people to start watching you live before you start to talk. Why? Good question. Your followers only have 24 hours to view your scopes, unless you use ‘#save’ in your title. Previously we could save our scopes via Katch but those lovely people over at Periscope are currently working on their own scope saver.

WHO ARE MY REPLAY VIEWERS?
 These are people who re-watch your recorded scope via the app because they either missed your live broadcast or perhaps live in another time zone. So it’s good form to welcome them at the beginning of every scope while you are waiting for your live viewers to assemble.

WHO ARE YOU?
 Perhaps the second most important thing to do at the beginning of a scope is to tell people your name. In fact, it’s a good idea to keep reminding your viewers who you are every 5–6 minutes throughout your scopes or when you can see you have had an influx of viewers.

GIVING HEARTS
 The best way to engage your audience is to ask them to tap the screen and send you hearts. This gives your viewers the opportunity to send you silent but visual applause. This, in turn, gives you some indication that your broadcast is going well and being appreciated.

DOUBLE TAPPING THE SCREEN
 If you double tap the screen it reverses the camera view but, remember that when you do this there is a slight delay with sound. So take a slight pause when you use this gesture to avoid your viewers missing something.

SHARING SCOPES
 Always ask your live viewers to share your scope. Viewers using ios devices can do this by swiping left to right and pressing the share now button and android viewers should swipe up. This means your scope is shared with their followers who in turn may take a look and then start to follow you. You will notice in your own feed that the people you follow will send you links to scopes they think you might like. However, you can turn these notifications off!

SWIPING UP
 This will give you access to a live stream of all the people following you during a scope with their details. On the main screen, you will just have access to how many people are following you with no details. This is useful if you forget someone’s name.

BLOCKING
 Unfortunately, Periscope does have its share of trolls who target Periscope newbies and, sadly, women. When we started scoping we made the mistake of reading aloud the comments as they came in: not a good idea. It’s embarrassing and you can easily forget what you were saying. Instead, if you see unpleasant comments coming in simply click on their name and press block. Remember that when you are watching someone else’s scope you can still block trolls on their page too. (It’s like squishing flies!) You can even block trolls when you view replays. BHAM!

COMMENTS
 One of the great things about periscope is that your viewers can ask you questions throughout your broadcast. But if you find the flow of comments on the screen distracts you from getting across your message you can ask your viewers to wait to ask you questions at the end of your scope. If you have a lot of viewers all commenting at once it does get more difficult to respond to everyone as they scroll very fast. However, there is a cap on how many people can comment during very busy scopes (we’re talking Ellen Degeneres busy here) or you can choose to only receive comments from your followers. REMEMBER that viewers watching your live scopes on their desktops will not be able to comment.

LAST MINUTE CHECKS
 Make sure you are not going to be interrupted during your scope, and check you don’t have spinach on your teeth! Invest in a tripod to avoid annoying camera jiggle and check your camera angle is at eye level. (No one wants to look up your nose.) If you are using your phone to make the scope then prior to the broadcast turn on the ‘do not disturb’ feature and practice your intro a few times. (It’s surprising how nerves can even make you forget your own name!) Finally optimise that pre-broadcast and replay thumbnail as, along with your snazzy title, it’s your only other opportunity to advertise your scope.

IDEA CANDY ON PERISCOPE

Follow us on our Idea Candy Periscope channel for more social media and blogging tips on our weekly scopes which go out live every Thursday at 3pm (GMT). Get to see us sipping tea and answering your questions. We’d love to see you there.

TOP TIP
 It’s also useful to know that you can use the search box to find people via their bio-content by entering keywords

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