Periscope is the new OH SHINY toy for bloggers and entrepreneurs. And yes, brands too.
But while you might scoff at yet ANOTHER social media platform (Ello, anyone), this one has some major merit.
If you’re brand spanking new to Periscope (or not new but can’t figure it the hell out), then this post lays out everything you need to get started. In plain speak.
Consider this your Periscope 101!
What Is Periscope?
Periscope is an app where you can live stream a broadcast, but with a secret sauce: your viewers can actually interact with you while you’re broadcasting live.
That means you could be broadcasting at the beach and someone could comment “Hey- is that a SHARK right behind you?” and totally freak you out.
Not that anyone would do that. Okay, you know you would.
But seriously. Being able to interact at this level with your audience is epic, as my kids would say. Viewers of your broadcast can comment on what you’re saying and “like” what you say by giving you hearts.
Who’s on Periscope?
Over 10 million people! Only about 2 million of that are daily users, but that’s growing all the time. Since those sound like large, nebulous numbers that mean nothing, look at it this way. Everyone from bloggers to brands to publications are on Periscope.
Publications like… InStyle
Brands like… Target
Bloggers like… Amiyrah from 4 Hats and Frugal
Periscope is owned by Twitter, so it has massive power behind it. It’s not going anywhere. Pssst, that means you need to at least experiment with it. (I sound like a drug dealer getting you hooked on a new drug.)
What Do People Scope About?
Pretty much anything. Some scopers bring you into their world by showing you places they’re going or things they’re doing. Others share business or life tips. Some ramble. And some do a little of everything. Here are a few samples of what’s currently in my Periscope feed:
- “Immense release of flood waters in North Taiwan after typhoon Dujuan”
- “Reunited and it feels so good”
- “Monday Madness #homeschoolscopes”
- “LATE NIGHT DINNER”
- “Bad bra vs good bra”
- “My top TIPS for guiding pre-teen/teen through dating years. #MommyScopes”
- “Zumba with (name) and (name). New choreo and battle number”
So much variety!
Before we get into HOW to scope, it’s important to know the lingo. Well, here ya go:
Broadcast: A live session
Scope: A Periscope-y way to say broadcast
Replay: What’s available to watch for 24 hours after your broadcast. Also heard it called a re-broadcast.
Scoper: Someone who broadcasts using Periscope
Hearts: The social currency of Periscope. Similar to a “like” but you can give people multiple hearts. Users give scopers hearts by tapping on their mobile screen during a live broadcast or replay.
Swipe: The flick of your finger over the screen. On the iPhone, you can swipe left during someone’s broadcast to share their scope with a link, on Facebook, or Twitter. On Android, you swipe up.
Share: What you can do to someone’s live scope or replay. Later in the post see the five ways you can currently share scopes.
Follower: On Periscope, you can follow people and people can follow you. There are no private profiles.
Got it? Okay then. Moving on.
How to Set Up Your Account
1. Download the app onto your iPhone or Android phone.
2. Sign in with Twitter or Sign up.
If you have a Twitter account, you can just login with Twitter and be done. Otherwise, you have to register with your phone number. Here’s how to register with your phone number if you get stuck.
If you used Twitter, it will pull your profile from your Twitter handle, username and all. You can change your username, but I’m all about consistency among platforms.
3. Click the People tab to edit your bio (at least add your URL).
To get to your bio from the People tab, click the little circle person icon in the top right of this tab, then tap Edit.
Unlike other platforms, there’s no special section to place a URL, but if you include it in your profile, it’s hyperlinked (you might not see it that way but others will). People also love using emoji so I added some to my profile so it stands out more.
You’re now set up! Ta-da!
Getting to Know Your Way Around the App
Let’s look at all of these in more detail, shall we?
- LIVE SCOPES: If someone is live, you’ll see their broadcast at the top with a red “LIVE” tab.
- FEATURED SCOPES: Featured scopes have a yellow “FEATURED” icon (Periscope decides who to feature here).
- OTHER SCOPES: Any other live scopes happening at the moment will have a thin red line running along the right of the thumbnail and will have a people icon showing how many people are watching the broadcast. The rest of this page is full of recent replays from your followers.
- WATCH: This is your default tab and clicking on it from another tab takes you back to home screen.
- GLOBE: Click the globe to see a map of where current live broadcasts are happening around the world! You can zoom into any part of the world and see what’s happening. Or, click the List tab at the top and see them in list form. A good place if you want to do some exploring!
- BROADCAST: The dreaded (and beloved) broadcast button. This is where you go to broadcast you’re awesomeness to the world. See below for all the deets on how to broadcast.
- PEOPLE: This is where you go to follow people or to view your profile. To see your profile, who you’re following and who’s following you, click the circle person icon at the top right of your screen.
How to Find People to Follow
Now that you’re on Periscope, you need to follow some people. You can start by following me (plug alert! plug alert!).
Click the People tab first, then try these tips:
- If you logged in with Twitter (the preferred method), you’ll automatically see a list of people to follow. These are people who you’re following on Twitter, listed in alphabetical order by first name. If you have a lot of followers, this might get cumbersome to dig through though.
- Type in names into the search box. To get to the search box, click the people icon on the bottom right, then the magnifying glass icon on that page.
- Watch someone’s scope and follow the people commenting on their scope. To do so, click their avatar when they comment. A pop-up with ask if you want to view their profile. Click over and follow them.
- Ask your Twitter followers or Facebook fans who’s already on Periscope and ask them to leave their Periscope URL (http://periscope.tv/USERNAME).
- If you’re feeling adventurous, click on the globe icon and find people who are currently scoping and follow them (I like the “List” view to see this. Tap “List” at the top of the screen to get there.)
- As you start to follow more people, you’ll see scopes from people you don’t follow that show up in your feed. This is because one of your followers shared their scope – it’s marked “shared by xxxxx.” Follow any of those people you find interesting.
How to Watch a Broadcast
Before you do your OWN broadcast, you’ll want to watch a few first. From your Home or Global tab, find a live one to watch. You can either lurk or participate.
If you chose participate (wise choice!), here’s what you do:
Right now, you have 5 ways to share:
- To your Twitter followers
- To Facebook
- To your all your Periscope followers
- To specific Periscope followers
- To anyone by copying the link to the scope, then pasting it wherever you want to share.
TO COMMENT, simply tap the comment box, type your comment and send! (Note: If there are too many people in someone’s broadcast, the chat will be disabled for those
TO GIVE HEARTS, just tap the screen. People love hearts! You can give someone up to 500 hearts per broadcast.
ON A REPLAY, you can share and give hearts, but you can’t comment.
How to Do Your Own Broadcast
After following some people and announcing on social that YOU TOO are so awesome you’re on Periscope, you should do a broadcast!
Don’t let all the buttons intimidate you. It’s really easy to start!
- BROADCAST TITLE: This is what you “name” your scope. Be specific and use emoji! Also, hashtags will show up in Twitter so use them if they’re relevant. The worst thing you can do here is leave this blank.
- LOCATION: This will make your location public. If you don’t want to display your location, turn off the location sharing before you start. Especially important if you’re at home!
- LOCK BROADCAST: If you want to do a private scope (like to a few people), you can lock the broadcast and you’ll be taken to a screen where you can select people to view the broadcast.
- LIMIT CHATTING: You can limit your chat so that ONLY people you follow can actually chat. I’d only use this if you have serious issues with creepers invading your scopes. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on new people who join your scope but you aren’t following them yet.
- TWEET: If this is selected, when you start your broadcast a tweet will go out saying “LIVE on #Periscope:” plus your broadcast title. Make sure that entire title fits within 140 characters.
- START BROADCAST: Eek! Ack! The big red button. You’ve got this. When you’re ready to start, just tap the button. There’s no 3-2-1. You are live right away! (Also, it’s okay if you hover over that button for a while before finally tapping it.)
What to know (the technical stuff):
- Once you tap “Start Broadcast,” you’re on! No 3-2-1 countdown. So take a deep breath before you tap that button!
- You can broadcast in either portrait or landscape mode. Just turn your phone and everything will flip to the right spot.
- Broadcasts are available for 24 hours and then they go poof… unless you save them. Under your Profile, you can scroll down to Settings and have Periscope autosave broadcasts to your phone. Or you can use Katch.me, a popular app that’ll autosave your scopes to their platform to live on forever.
If you’re new, I’m sure you want tips on doing your first scope. And what to be wary of. AMIRIGHT?
Well, then sign up below for Periscope with Purpose… I’ll be sending out some tips in the morning!
Do you love Periscope? Have you scoped yet? Tell me about your Periscope experience so far!
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Hey- I’m Melissa! I’m a mom, side hustler, online course instructor, and brand marketer. I run a 6-figure blog helping online biz owners find their a-ha moments with can-do tips, tutorials, and online courses. I also work at Burt’s Bees as the assistant manager of Brand Engagement (yep, it’s as cool as it sounds). Jump start your biz productivity with my free worksheet!