In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in the midst of yet another social media trend that’s growing like wildfire.
Now, not only do we have people live-tweeting and Instagramming their lives, but we’ve entered the realm of live video streaming, directly from your smartphone, out into the digital universe, viewable by anyone who downloads the app and follows your account.
So the skeptics have gone from asking, “why tell the world what you’re eating for breakfast?” to “why would anyone want to see a picture of your lunch?” to “why would anyone want to watch you eat dinner?”
Meanwhile, the early adopters are jumping right in to stream live to their followers, ‘scoping out the latest social media landscape, and playing around with creative ways to connect with their audience.
As a small business owner, your time is precious; so you may hesitate to invest attention and effort into another social media outlet. You’re already stretched thin, and it’s too early to know for certain if the frenzy will fizzle, but we have learned by now that people make time for what captures their attention.
And with live video streaming frontrunner Periscope’s 10 million users are collectively watching more than 40 years of video each day; so people are certainly paying attention.
Could your customers be among them?
We suggest you at least think about how you can use video live streaming to share relevant and compelling content, and engage with your customers. Periscope is easy to set up, use, and participate. Start off by following some of your favorite social media peeps or check out some noted Periscope influencers to see what they are doing, and become an active and observant participant. If you’re still curious, give it a try and see how it works for you and your business.
You can announce the time you’re going live on Periscope by cross-promoting to your email list and followers on other social platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest; and you can instantly gather an audience of followers interested in you or your topic. Because Twitter owns Periscope, your Twitter followers who are also on Periscope, will automatically get a notification that you’re going live.
Here are 5 ways Periscope users are connecting with customers to grow their business:
Are you doing webinars, or have you considered doing webinars for your business? Periscope is one way to do informal interactive live presentations. You can talk or teach about a topic that would be of value to your audience. Viewers can ask questions by adding comments. They can also provide real-time positive feedback by giving you hearts (like ongoing Instagram double-taps as you speak). It could be a useful way to introduce a topic, and then invite them to join your list for more in-depth coverage at a later time.
Live Q&A Sessions
Do you have a product or program launch coming up? Give your customers an opportunity to ask questions that will help them make better buying decisions. Being there live, on the spot to respond will help you generate trust and reassure them that they are making a smart purchase. Is there a pressing topic in your industry that your customers are eager to learn about? Stand out by offering your expertise in real-time, setting yourself as a go-to expert, almost like having your own press conference.
Show Live Demos
Do you have a product or service that will shine if people see it put to use live and in real time? Perhaps you can demonstrate what you do, so they can see that you really are a gentle dentist, the dogs at your kennel are having a ball, your salon’s brow waxing technique is quick and impressive, or the new line of knives that arrived at your housewares boutique this morning are second to none. Have an assistant stream part of a workshop you’re giving. Let them see you in action.
Go Behind the Scenes
Give viewers a glimpse of your cakes being baked, introduce potential patients to your medical office staff, show interested coaching clients around your home office for inspiration. Take viewers on a walk with you, show them your favorite place to meditate or read a book. Give them a glimpse into your life to enhance their opportunity to get to know, like, and trust you, which is one of the biggest benefits of social media. Periscope’s live factor can provide a sense of intimacy and connectedness not found elsewhere.
As of now, Periscope’s videos only remain available for a short time, but you can save and download them to make them available in other places. You can use the videos later, as part of a freebie opt-in or course, or you can share them on YouTube or Facebook. Just because you’re benefitting from live streaming doesn’t mean the video won’t be available for later use.
Using Periscope for business is almost like having your own live broadcast television station. While you may feel somewhat overwhelmed by having yet another option that you feel obligated to use and learn, consider trying it out casually, without overthinking it, and taking advantage of the opportunity to reach your customers. There are no Periscope for business rules yet or best practices, beyond being respectful and courteous.
While Periscope is the leading live video streaming app at the time we’re writing, Meerkat may become more popular or another competitor could pop in and shake things up. Technology continues to evolve, making it easier and easier for us to reach customers, as long as we stay on top of changes and avoid getting lost in the mix.
As with anything new, the best advice we can give you is to check it out for yourself. Let us know how it goes!
If you need help with your social media strategy to connect with your customers and grow your business, give us a shout.