Periscope, whose website describes it as offering users the opportunity to “explore the world in real time through someone else’s eyes” is the newest darling on the social media scene, says US social media consultant Chris Syme. Here she examines the service through an author’s eyes – and, handily, she also happens to be an author!
Who is Using Periscope?
Let’s talk about audience first. According to a report from Global Web Index, 63% of Periscope users are between 25 and 44 years old. Are they your audience? Secondly, only 28% of online adults use Twitter. Do you have a robust following on Twitter?
One other consideration: do you want to add one more tool to your toolbox? I recommend a 30-day trial and then evaluate.
What Kind of Content Works Well?
There are a number of content types that seem to work well on Periscope:
- Regular “TV” shows: Some Periscopers are broadcasting daily or weekly shows on a regular promoted schedule to gain a regular audience.
- Guest interviews: These shows follow a podcast-type format and some are driven by audience questions sent in via Twitter or email.
- Tours: Some of the most fun Periscopes I’ve seen are tours. These could be live events, a tourist attraction or theme park, behind the scenes at a concert, or anything that might be fun for fans to experien
- Event news: Periscope can be a good way to bring people behind the scenes at a conference or convention by interview speakers and attendees.
If you are engaging behind a microphone or on screen, you might want to give Periscope a try.
- Set up a profile on Periscope.tv. This is important because the only live link in Periscope is in your bio. Setting up a profile will also give you a dedicated Periscope.tv URL that you can use to promote.
- Start following some people on Periscope. Watch first. That will give you a good idea of what both good and bad content look like. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to tell who is doing a good job.
- Create an engaging show title.
- Cross-promote your content on all your digital stations: social media, author profiles, and your website. On social media, ask your followers to share your show.
- Set up a second screen where you can monitor the scope. This enables you to have direct interaction with whatever people are typing without having to watch the tiny screen on your phone.
- Silence is not golden. Start strong. I’ve seen some people sit there and stare at the screen after they they press start as if they are waiting for someone to show up. Anybody who has ever worked in TV or radio knows that silence is a killer. Start strong by welcoming people and have a question ready to ask early arrivers like, where are you watching from, and then shout out names and locations they scroll across the screen.
- Keep the show moving and finish strong. I’m an advocate of using a script or time sheet. It doesn’t have to be verbatim but outline the show’s content with suggested time frames and bullet points. Keep an eye on the clock and stick to your time sheet. You will vastly improve in this area with practice.
If You Decide to Produce a Regular Show, Remember To…
- Be consistent times with your show times.
- Thank people for coming.
- Let followers know when your next show will be and what the topic will be.
- Get fans involved. Ask for feedback.
- Ask followers to share the show on their social media channels.
As I said earlier, the jury is still out on the value of using Periscope for authors. If you love being up in front of people, have a good smile, and can maintain a steady stream of talking, Periscope might be your venue. Give it a shot and let me know when you start. I’d love to watch.
OVER TO YOU
- What’s your experience of Periscope? Please feel free to share successful case studies via the comments box.
- If the arrival of yet another “essential” social media makes your heart sink, which social media do you prefer in your writers’ toolbox?