How Periscope Can Transform Your Thinking About Social Engagement

August 13, 2015

The great promise of social media is that it allows us to connect with people even at a distance; you don’t have to be in the same room with someone or even on the same continent to strike up a conversation on Facebook, or to share with them your point of view via Twitter.

Some social channels foster connection better than others, and the latest social apparatus to come down the pipeline is, for my money, the most useful of them all. It’s called Periscope, and I’ll tell you why I like it: It is perhaps the best social tool I have ever used for building real engagement with people. I’ve been active on Periscope for just a few weeks now but have already forged some cherished connections.

How Periscope Works

So what is Periscope? The first thing you need to know is that it’s owned by Twitter, and you can sync your Periscope account so that your Periscope handle is just your Twitter handle. That’s what I did!

The heart of Periscope is its Camera feature, which allows you to do a live video broadcast of yourself for all of your followers to see—or, if you prefer, for just a few select followers to see. The broadcast then lives on your page for a full 24 hours, or until you choose to delete it. Then—not unlike SnapChat—your content disappears!

Of course, your Periscope account will also have some sections for you to view streams from your followers or from global users—all pretty par for the course, as far as social media goes.

Using Periscope for Your Business

What sets Periscope apart from other apps is that is lets you broadcast your life in a totally unfiltered and unrehearsed way. Yes, you can always produce a big-budget video for YouTube or Vimeo, but Periscope offers something that business owners may find even more valuable: An opportunity to get really authentic with your followers. Not to stage anything elaborate or artificial; just to chat for a few minutes, to narrate part of your day, to field questions, to share quick tips, to comment on breaking news, or what have you.

In its rawness and its off-the-cuff nature, Periscope feels more like real conversation than anything I’ve experienced on social media—especially if you take Twitter-fueled questions during your session and actually do some live interacting!

Real-time Q&A sessions and quick online press conferences, office tours, and interviews with your team members—there are many business applications for Periscope. Here, for me, is what it all boils down to: Using Periscope, you can give your followers an unvarnished look at your authentic leadership and expertise—and that’s something that leads to real trust and loyalty.

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