3 Ways Periscope Can Help You Better Engage With Fans

Periscope has been on the market for the bette part of 2015, but so far artists have been slow to adopt the latest social media trend. I believe this is largely due to a lack of understanding on how to best leverage the platform for marketing purposes. Where companies like Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook have spent untold sums of money trying to cater to brands and artists, Periscope has kept their business-to-business marketing at a minimum. Whether or not that will change as the company continues to scale in 2016 remains unseen, but for those willing to try something new there is a lot of fun and improved fan engagement to be had with the real-time video streaming service. Here are 3 ways you can use Periscope to improve your interactions with fans:

1. Host Q&A sessions with one or more band members

Twitter and Tumblr have long been the places musicians have turned to field questions from their fans. While I wouldn’t suggest stopping those efforts altogether, I do think it would be wise to add Periscope Q&A sessions to the mix as well. The real-time video aspect of Periscope makes it possible for these brief, global engagements with fans to feel more intimate because they can actually see the member(s) they are conversing with, not to mention the reactions they have to the questions asked. This put a face (or faces) to the band brand, and it personalizes the experience in a way no other social media platform can match.

2. Create a daily or weekly broadcast that happens at or around the same time every time you choose to go live

All social media exists to make it easy for people to stay up to date with the people, places, and things they enjoy. Periscope is no different in this aspect, but again the addition of video makes the entire experience far more personal. With this in mind, artists should set aside a specific time every day or a few times a week that they use solely to engage with fans and offer any current updates/promotions regarding their music. Creating and sticking to a broadcast schedule is important because it not only raises the likelihood of viewers returning again and again, but also helps establish engagement with your brand/music as a part of your fans’ day-to-day lives. Like a TV show so great people tune in when it airs, your recurring broadcasts will become a point in every day or week that fans look forward to and yearn to see arrive. 

As an example, let me tell you about a comedian named Joey Diaz. Every day, or close to every day, Joey Diaz begins his morning by sharing a smoke with his fans over Periscope. Joey calls it his “morning number,” and literally thousands of fans join to participate. As he puffs away on his hand rolled stick of death, Joey tells fans about his life and any upcoming shows/comedy happenings he feels are important. The broadcasts rarely last more than five minutes, but that is more than enough time for fans to feel as if they’ve been a part of something special that allowed them to engage with their comedy idol.

3. Surprise acoustic performances

Due to the sometimes poor sound quality that comes with recording concerts from the audience, it may be a while before Periscope works all that well for artists hoping to share their live performance with fans. In the meantime, musicians can make the most of the platform by hosting impromptu acoustic performances for fans. Have one member, or even an onlooker, hold a phone set to broadcast while the other members perform something stripped down for anyone able to tune in. The video will be catalogued for 24 hours, but those able to witness in real time will feel part of something special. They may wake up with a musician’s song in their head and the knowledge that artists will not be performing anywhere near them for months, but in a moment’s notice they can be connected to a performance happening anywhere in the world. That kind of instant gratification is hard to come by in any industry, and it definitely should not be taken for granted.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.