With thousands of apps flooding the market everyday it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. It’s been awhile since I found an app that really got me excited about the future of connecting people across the globe. I got a rush the first time I used Periscope because I understood the value right away. It’s an app that Twitter recently acquired for a little less than $100 million. I feel like we’ll see a 1B evaluation within the next few years. I’m guessing that’s what Twitter saw as well.
The app allows anyone to stream live video from their phone anywhere in the world. From the comfort of your couch, you can open your phone and instantly watch a snowboarder carving down the Alps, a soccer fan in the UK broadcasting a local game, Coldplay performing on stage, or a celebrity answering questions and connecting directly with their fans in real time. Whether you’re a small company, big brand or basement blogger, there’s room for everyone to connect on this platform. Here are a few ways to connect with your audience using the periscope app.
1. AMA Sessions (Ask Me Anything)
For me, the best part of this app is being able to chat directly with people who inspire you. A few days ago Ryan Holmes (Founder of Hootsuite) was doing an AMA on his periscope feed. I logged in to ask him a question and got him to answer it right away. I asked “How many times he failed before he got it right with Hootsuite.” Maybe it was timing, maybe he liked the question, but he gave a great 3-4 minute answer that had me completely immersed. Not only did I become a bigger fan of his work (and previous work) by the story he shared, but I instantly felt a direct connection even though we’ve never met and probably never will. When the session was over, I couldn’t wait to tell my wife about my experience. I also couldn’t wait to try it again with other founders, executives or celebrities that I’m currently following. The problem is that Periscope is very new and not a lot of celebrities or brands are leveraging it the way they should yet. In the future, I think AMA sessions will be one of the most used techniques to connect with audiences on Periscope.
2. Tour the Facility
I recently watched a tour on the app given by the Periscope founder Kayvon Beykpour at their office in San Francisco. In the tour he talked about how the company started and where it is at today in terms of the new office and added staff. He proceeded to go around the room introducing everyone on the team and telling the viewers what exactly they did at Periscope. Half way through the tour I found myself feeling like I really connected with the staff there. It made me realize how easy it would be for companies to use this approach to tour their own facilities and give consumers some insight as to how things work behind the scenes. Who wouldn’t love to see a tour at Google, Nike, Coca-Cola, Facebook or any of the major brands out there. Sharing the process with consumers of how something is made, or interacting with the staff can make them feel like they’re apart of the brand.
3. Behind the Scenes Access
This can be closely tied with the previous one, but it goes beyond giving a simple tour of the building. One person that is really utilizing Periscope the way it should be is Ellen. Since I’m following her on Periscope, I get notified every time she does a live stream. Sometimes she’ll stream board meetings with staff as they talk about which viral videos they want to show that day. Other times they’ll be interviewing celebrities they have on the show in their dressing room before they go out.
Either way its hilarious to watch her talk and communicate with people in real time as they use the app. Here is a great example of how she utilizes the app to give viewers behind the scenes access:
4. Breaking News and Life Altering Events
Periscope is going to become a huge tool for news outlets. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of journalists and news stations using it to stream live news about local events taking place. News stations are going to start utilizing Periscope daily to interact directly with their viewers instead of crossing their fingers that they’ll tune into the late night news to find out what’s happening in the world. Periscope users will also become news reporters in their own right now that everyone has the ability to share things instantly with the world. In a way, we’re all citizen journalists with live action news cameras built into our phones.
We’ve already seen a huge rise in recording law enforcement in the past few years. It’s safe to say that people are now going to be live streaming from the second they get pulled over for a traffic stop. I have a feeling that we’re also going to see a large influx of people streaming tornados, building fires, floods and other natural disasters as they happen. This app could potentially save a lot of lives in these circumstances.
5. Live Musical Performances
Just the other day I saw Jason Derulo streaming his concert on stage while hundreds of fans were added to the stream within seconds. There was an enormous amount of engagement because people felt like they were watching a private concert posted just for them directly to their phone. There were a lot of comments too but Periscope only allows the first 150 people that enter the stream to comment. This creates a sense of urgency from the users standpoint because they want to be able to chat with their favorite singer or celebrity. Just last night I got a notification that JD was in the studio working on his new album. They kept the stream brief but it was a nice little insight to see him recording live in the studio and working on new material.
Periscope was a huge fixture at Coachella this year. Artists and festivalgoers streamed performances, backstage interviews and footage from exclusive parties. I have a feeling we’ll see a lot more of this in the near future from a lot of different recording artists and festivals looking to connect with their fans.
6. Sporting Events
Lately there has been a bit of controversy surrounding live streams from sporting events like the ones in the NHL. I understand their viewpoint but how can they possibly police this once the app really takes off. Are they going to start collecting peoples phones before the game starts? People are trying to share their experience with others that aren’t fortunate enough to be there. If anything I would think that it would sell more tickets if people did more live streaming. Try explaining that to the executives that paid billions in broadcasting rights. Sports arenas need to embrace this technology to truly connect with their audience, not try to turn fans into criminals for pointing a camera at their favorite team.
7. Be You
Be real with your audience. Aaron Paul has done a great job of being himself and not selling or promoting anything. He opens his live stream and starts conversing with fans on a personal level. Whatever is on his mind he talks about and people love to hear every minute of it. There’s no agenda or movie to promote, he’s just being himself. I think a lot of times we lose sight of what really works in social media. Being social without trying to get a return on investment through a product or service. If you walked up to a random group of people are starting pitching a product, they would look at you like you’re insane. They would tell you to kick rocks. Why is social media any different? People want to interact without feeling like a pawn in your sales pitch. Be yourself, be real and be genuine. That’s the key to connecting with your audience.
I predict that in the coming months companies, brands and celebrities are going to start using Periscope a lot more in an attempt to connect easier with their audience. It’s about getting a glimpse into someones world through their eyes. Now you can understand everyone by visually walking a mile in their shoes.
List of notable Periscope users:
@Nerdist (Chris Hardwick)