10.11.2015 How brands are successfully engaging with Periscope

In May we looked at the rapid rise of the new social media app Periscope, which had become an “overnight sensation”. Now, seven months after its initial release and with over ten million ‘scopers’ using the service, we look at some of the ways three particular brands are thriving on this new platform.

For the uninitiated, Periscope is a live-streaming app owned by Twitter on which users broadcast content live to their followers. This content is then viewable on the application for 24 hours after its initial transmission where followers can send ‘love’ to the broadcaster while viewing the video.

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EasyJet was an early adopter of Periscope, joining just five days after it first went live. It uses the app primarily as a platform to keep customers updated on flight delays – proving that Periscope is more than just a bit of fun. Most recently it used this service to inform passengers who were stranded in Egypt after the suspected bombing of a Russian flight about the latest developments.

When customers have a problem with a company’s service, it is often difficult for the brand responsible to communicate the level to which it cares and wants to resolve the issue. Through this medium EasyJet is able to deliver bad news to people in a candid and visible way, as if it was delivering it to each user in person. This sends out a far more powerful message than a blog post, tweet or traditional press release.

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Benefit Cosmetics, a San Francisco-based makeup company, is another brand using the app to speak to its customers ‘in person’. Its makeup tutorials are building an intimate relationship with customers, who often do their own makeup while ‘hanging out’ with the broadcasters in real time.

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Companies that produce low-cost demonstrable products like Benefit Cosmetics are likely to sell a greater quantity of their merchandise by broadcasting to a small number of loyal viewers than they would by posting an advert via traditional social media. A promoted Facebook post may be seen by a larger number of potential customers, and even receive a respectable amount of engagement, but it is unlikely to inspire consumers to feel the same level of investment in the advertised products.

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Brands have also been using Periscope to maximise the reach of their existing marketing. H&M have been broadcasting its New York catwalk shows, where viewers have had a chance to see the new clothing ranges being revealed to celebrities and other special guests live for the first time. This is a great example of a brand providing engaging and aspirational content that consumers have a strong desire to view.

Access to backstage events, product demonstrations and live customer service are likely to be themes for Periscope’s content over the next year. We can’t wait to find out what brands are going to do next with what is still a fresh and evolving new medium.