Hey Y’all! We’ve got a guest post today from Sarah Noel – Mama, Mrs. and Marketer behind the wonderful blog, Sarah Smirks. Sarah commented on one of my posts over on SITS Girls and I was so intrigued by the name of her blog, I had to go check it out. What I found impressed me so much I begged her to come write a post for us here. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook – and let her know you read her post here!
Hello! I’m Sarah Noel, writer and branding whisperer behind Sarah Smirks: The Marketing Mama Blog. I write about blogging and marketing tips for bloggers and small businesses. Shoot over to my corner of the internet to check it out.
Everyone sucks at Periscope. It went live in March, so it is brand spanking new (in the social media world, anyway). We’re all just stumbling along trying to figure out how to work this social media platform that was so awesome Twitter bought them before they even went live. I am a chronic researcher, so, as I stumbled along trying to figure out Periscope, I have written down the things I have learned. I also read a lot of articles on Periscope so, cheers to sucking less! Here’s what I’ve learned along the way.
1) Let’s start with branding (because I’m a little into branding ;-): Periscope pulls your picture and profile from Twitter, so make sure that your Twitter account is set up and branded well. Use the same profile picture that you use across your other blog or small business social media accounts as well as the same keyword-rich bio. Make sure that you can be found based on your niche. The bios that look like –> “coffee lover. blogger. beer snob. etc” are cute for personal, but they don’t have the necessary keywords to be found easily if people are searching for a service/product in your niche (You can learn more about Twitter branding and growing your followers with engaged followers here). On Periscope, you want to be found by keyword, so make sure you have the right ones.
2) Set-up your account using Twitter: It’s very easy to join Periscope because Twitter and Periscope are thicker than blood. All you have to do is download the app, sign-in with your Twitter credentials, and you’ll be prompted to find people to follow. Periscope will sync with your Twitter contacts and recommend that you follow them. It’s a great place to start. They also find the most popular users and recommend them to you. Don’t forget to set your settings preferences. The default alerts you of everything. That’s a lot of alerts. Check out How to Use Periscope by Alaia Williams for more.
3) Follow your audience: In order to grow your followers, follow people that fit your reader/buyer profile. If you don’t know who your audience is, you can look at Google Analytics. If you go under audience, you can see your readers demographics. You can find their gender, age, & interests. Another way to find your audience, is to look at your competitors. Who is following them? They are most likely the people who would follow you as well.
4) Use the right equipment: The first time I did a Periscope, it was a HOT MESS. I was outside, so there was ambient noise. My camera was moving all over the place because I was walking. I re-watched it and got motion sick. So, my advice is to use a bluetooth or headphones with a mic for the sound. Another useful little item would be a phone tripod. If you don’t have one, you can prop your phone on some books. As long as your phone is secure and stationary, you’re good to go.
5) Write an outline: I have watched so many Periscopes that are rambling messes. We’re all just trying to figure it out, so no one is great at it. To be better though, have an outline of what you want to cover. Periscope is live. You have little hearts popping up. You have comments coming in. People are joining. There’s a lot happening. It’s so easy to get lost. Stay on track by having that outline right in front of you. Include an introduction to yourself and your business, your topics, and a call to action at the end. What do you want your viewers to do when they’re done watching your Periscope? Show your audience you have an outline. People enjoy knowing you’re human and not perfect.
6) How to start your first broadcast: Pick a keyword rich title that’s also catchy and makes people want to tune in. I usually use my blog post titles since those are the topics I’m ‘scopin on. The default camera setting is set to use the camera that faces away from you, so choose something good to focus on when you start. I usually have it facing my computer with my blog pulled up. You also have a few decisions to make before your start your broadcast. Do you want to share your location? Do you want it private and invitation only? Do you want your followers to be the only ones that can watch your scope (that’s what the cool kids call it)? Do you want your scope Tweeted out to promote it? Choose your settings and then hit broadcast.
7) Engage with your audience: The first time I did a Periscope, I had on sunglasses. I couldn’t see a thing happening on that screen. I was fairly sure I was talking to myself. At one point my sunglasses slid down my nose and I saw people commenting and liking. I literally stopped mid-sentence and said, “Oh shit, people are actually watching me right now?” When people take a minute to comment as you’re speaking, try and acknowledge them or answer their question. That is the fun of Periscope. You get to engage with your audience right there. Take advantage! You can see my recap of my hot mess of a Periscope here.
8) Re-watch your Periscope: Learn from your past. Watch your Periscope and take notes. What would you do differently next time? Football teams go over their game footage, why not you?
Now, you’re all set to Periscope! Remember to plan ahead and have fun with it.