COM0011 – Blog 1 – How can small business use Periscope for their social media strategy?

Since Twitter launched their Periscope app in March it has been gaining momentum as users become addicted to the instant gratification factor of “consensual voyeurism” and the concurrent chatting alongside the video. It’s like a combination of a vlog and a live chat; the user broadcasts themselves live through streaming video on their mobile device, while viewers join and comment through their device in real time.

Periscope screenshots

Used with permission from Periscope

 With such obvious appeal, it’s not surprising that marketers are already aligning strategies to take advantage of the worldwide audience accessible through the fledgling app. While most of the broadcasts happening at any given moment are of the daily, if not mundane, activities of the user (I watched a baker in Paris knead dough through his phone that he’d leaned up against something), there is something eerily exciting about witnessing a slice of reality through the phone camera lens of someone on the other side of the Earth. With so many eyeballs looking out into the digital universe for something, ANYTHING interesting or different, we would be crazy not to use live streaming to introduce our viewers to an alternate view of the products and ideas that we want seen by those eyeballs.

Potential marketing strategies using the Periscope app could include A/B Testing (“Which do you prefer, this one or this one?”), transparency (backstage with celebrities or never-before-seen look at the brand’s process), and live POV (sports and events as they unfold). All these while answering viewer questions live means the app holds untold potential for engagement and conversion.  Almost immediately after its launch, several notable brands like Spotify and DKNY signed up and began using Periscope to regale their viewers with behind-the-scenes content.

But how can smaller businesses and startups trying to get themselves out there use Periscope to engage with their audience? One way brands are using it is by scheduling live Q&A sessions so they can connect and build loyalty to the product or service. By making the stream available through the brand’s Twitter, the session can be viewed by users for up to 24 hours afterward as well. By forcing the brand to answer real queries in real time, it deflates the traditional marketing hierarchy and offers contextually relevant content to its market.

As more and more companies are embracing social media to humanize the brand and tell it’s story, so too are they allowing the market to participate through live feedback and allowing for a transparency that connects people to the brand more intimately than mass media ever could.

Follow me on Periscope @p_giny, although I can’t guarantee I will be broadcasting anything more earth-shattering than kneading dough, or maybe walks through my neighbourhood.