Blog clinic: how to use Periscope
Periscope, owned by Twitter, is a live broadcasting app and one of the hottest tech trends for bloggers and brands. With so many social media channels fighting for your time though, why should you add this one to your blogging toolbox?
Michelle Reeves from The Joy Chaser takes a look at the value of Periscope for bloggers and shares five tips for getting started.
Why should you use Periscope?
Periscope is immediate, fun and exciting - but it's also a great way to build your brand and your following. It's raw live streaming and it lets your readers see the real person behind your blog. On Periscope, viewers can interact with you by writing messages while you're broadcasting, giving you the chance to answer questions, expand on a topic you've written about, preview an upcoming blog post or gauge interest in something you're planning to write about. You'll get feedback almost immediately as people will tap their phone's screen to give you 'hearts' if they like what you're saying; it's the equivalent of applause. And by driving viewers back to your blog for more information you could find a whole new audience!
What should you Periscope about?
If it's a subject you know well and are confident talking about - go for it. If you're a craft blogger you could share a project you've just finished or run through a tutorial on it for your viewers. Fashion bloggers could scope the latest additions to their wardrobes, or parenting bloggers could share top tips for dealing with toddler meltdowns, for example. Periscope is also perfect for travel bloggers taking viewers on a quick tour or for anyone wanting to share a bit of a day out or visit to an attraction. And if you're working with brands you can easily weave them into your broadcast with live product reviews or giveaway previews.
How do I get started?
Download the Periscope app for Android or iPhone, register, and start following people. Watch a few 'scopes' to get a feel for how people speak and interact with their followers. Then decide what you're going to scope about and go for it!
Five tips for your first few broadcasts:
1. Before you go live, check your foreground and background and do a quick test with your phone's video to check that lighting and sound are ok. When you press 'start broadcast' Periscope turns your camera forwards so it's a good idea to think about the image camera phone is pointing at - this could be your blog logo or header, or an image of what you're going to talk about in your scope.
2. Make sure your broadcast title is informative and catchy and consider how to make your stream stand out. What will draw people in? Perhaps you are offering them a 'first look' or taking them 'behind the scenes', or giving them a 'sneak preview' - let them know in the title.
3. Periscope only stores broadcasts for 24 hours so before you start scoping consider registering with a service like Katch. Katch will literally 'catch' your Periscope broadcast and store it so that you can link to it on Twitter, download it or embed it on your blog. Just add the hashtag #katch at the end of your title to let Katch know you're broadcasting.
4. RELAX! Doing your first Periscope broadcast can be very nerve-wracking so try to speak slowly. If you're worried about your mind going blank, make some bullet points that that you can glance at quickly while you're live.
5. It's a good idea to start your broadcast by welcoming anyone who is going to be watching your scope on replay, then introduce yourself and your blog and explain a bit about yourself and what you're going to be talking about in your broadcast.
Most importantly - have fun!
Michelle's full guide to Periscope is available here, and don't forget to follow her @TheJoyChaser once you're set up. For all the behind-the-scenes action at the Mumsnet Bloggers Network, you can follow us at @MumsnetBloggers.