Periscope is Twitter’s mobile app for watching LIVE video broadcasts and interacting with the ‘scopers’ that produce them by leaving hearts or comments. This is my ultimate bloggers guide to Periscope – everything you need to start broadcasting TODAY.
Periscope is live broadcasting at it’s rawest – it’s immediate, fun and seat-of-your-pants exciting! It’s also a great way to interact with viewers, expand on topics that you write about, host Q&As and find a whole new audience for your blog. Contrary to what most people think you DON’T have to share your broadcasts with the whole world. You can choose who to share them with when you set up each broadcast (great for membership blogs.)
Already scoping? Let me know your username in the comments so I can follow you!
If you fancy giving Periscope a go then here’s all my top tips in one guide to Periscope for bloggers. (Plus there’s a cheat sheet and customisable script to download at the end of this post.)
Let’s start with some Periscope terminology:
scope – a live broadcast
replay – a saved broadcast you can watch later
hearts – the currency of Periscope, same as likes on Facebook or a round of applause! You can give up to 500 hearts for a live broadcast and 500 for the same broadcast watched on replay.
sharing – you can share broadcasts that you watch – live and on replay – with your followers, on Twitter or using a URL
Ok, now we’ve got the lingo down let’s get familiar with the app itself.
The TV icon on the homepage shows which of the people you’re following is live now or has broadcast recently (you can also play a highlights reel as of Summer 2016). The world icon shows who’s live right now using a nifty map, there’s also a list view to the left of that and the people icon helps you find people to follow. On this page you can also access your profile using the circle icon on the right.
Great, let’s get you ready to start broadcasting!
You can watch broadcasts on your computer but you can currently only broadcast yourself using your phone. Download the Pericope app for Android of Apple and register. When you’re registering make sure that you click ‘save to gallery’ so that your scopes are stored in your phone. That way you can export them later to edit them or embed them in your blog.
Broadcast set up
Set up your foreground
When you start a broadcast your camera will turn forwards – yup even if it was facing you beforehand. So it’s important that your camera is pointing at a good image. This could be your blog logo, a picture of your site or perhaps an image of something you’re going to talk about in your scope.
QUICK TIP: Periscope takes a snapshot of the first image it sees. This becomes the thumbnail for your scope so it’s worth remembering to set your foreground image up beforehand. A lot of broadcasts start with a picture of the scoper’s shoes by mistake (yup I’ve done it too!).
Set up your background
When your broadcast is live and you turn the camera around (by pressing the camera icon in the top bar of the periscope app) it will be immediately obvious what’s behind you so have a think about what impression you want this to give your viewers. Is it a casual scope in your front room, an ‘out-and-about’ post around your neighbourhood or a promo for your blog where you want to look semi-professional? These factors will influence how you’ll want to set up your background.
Do a quick test
When you’ve got your foreground and background set up it’s worth doing a quick test using your camera’s video setting to check your lighting, microphone (if you’re using one) and your position in the frame. If you’re scoping in portrait I’d recommend having your head to mid-chest filling the frame. If you’re scoping in landscape then position the camera with your image on right hand side of screen so that when people make comments they appear on the left and don’t cover your face as they scroll up the screen.
QUICK TIP: Once you get comfortable you could set up a Periscope page on your blog and embed your best scopes for people to watch on your site. You could also drop relevant Periscopes into blog posts to expand on a topic.
Create your broadcast title
When you set up your broadcast you need to give your scope a title. With zillions of scopers broadcasting you’ll need to work hard to get your broadcast noticed so pick a title that grabs attention.
An informative title including a number and timeframe is a good way to highlight a ‘tips’ scope i.e. 5 ways to nail your periscope set up in 10 mins today. Scopers have a lot of love for emoticons and used sparingly they can make your title stand out from the crowd but don’t overuse them – there’s some evidence that Periscope is down-grading scopes with lots of emoticons in their title. I use a lighbulb for scopes that have tips in them or you could use a trainers image for a fitness scope for example.
Also, make sure that when you’re setting up your scope title you make sure the TWITTER button (the bird image) is highlighted so that Periscope broadcasts a link to your live feed on twitter.
QUICK TIP: Make your Periscope name the same as your Twitter name so followers can find you easily.
Be prepared… or not!
Doing your first periscope broadcast can be very nerve-wracking. (I was shaking like a leaf when I did my first one!) There’s two ways to approach this – either dive straight in and wing it (this can make for a very natural scope) or do some planning so that you have some notes to refer to if your mind goes blank mid-scope. If you’re going to make notes then make them bullet points or headlines rather than long sentences so that you can just glance at them quickly without having to read a whole sentence while you’re live.
QUICK TIP: Nerves will make you speak much quicker than you do normally so make a conscious effort to SLOW DOWN even to the point where it sounds strange to you – it won’t sound strange to your listeners.
Your first few minutes *live*
Right you’re ready to go, take a deep breath and press the START BROADCAST BUTTON!
It can take a few minutes for viewers to join your broadcast so it’s a good idea to leave the camera pointing forward at your set-up image but there’s sometimes a delay with you seeing when people join so DO start talking straight away otherwise viewers will leave.
If you’re not sure what to say, download my cheat sheet at the end of this post and you’ll also get the exact script I use when I scope – plus a customisable version you can print off.
A good thing to do first of all is to welcome anyone who is going to be watching your scope replay. Then you can turn the camera around by pressing the camera button in the top bar of the perioscope app (if it’s not there you can ‘pull down’ at the top of the screen and it will appear next to the ‘stop broadcast’ button). Introduce yourself and your blog, explain a bit about yourself and what you’re going to be talking about in your broadcast.
QUICK TIP: I use a presentation technique – tell people what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you’ve told them. That way you catch people joining at the end of the broadcast and they’ll know what you were talking about. If they like the sound of it, they’ll be more likely to go back and watch the replay.
Then go ahead and talk through your content.
Viewers will comment on what you’re saying (great for Q&As and feedback) and you can reply directly to them as you’re talking – sometimes it’s tricky to talk to the camera and read the comments at the same time – don’t be afraid to switch between the two, viewers are used to it. It’s also worth pausing halfway through your broadcast and asking if anyone has any questions – great for a quick break to gather your thoughts.
When you’ve finished what you want to say – or when you run out of things to say! – remember to say who you are and where you blog and what you were talking about today. Then press the stop broadcast button at the top of the screen and celebrate – YOU DID IT!
CAN WE SUPPORT YOU THROUGH YOUR FIRST BROADCAST?
Join my Live Broadcasting Support Group on Facebook and do your first scopes with a 100+ helpful and supportive group who will cheer you on and give you constructive feedback.