SXSW: Some Simple Tips for Using Periscope
By Sarah Owen

Effective visual and verbal techniques make for compelling and creative Periscopes, as discussed by Marty Coleman during SXSW

Mar 12, 2016

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Keeping up with the abundance of social media platforms these days is one issue; the other is knowing how to effectively operate them. Periscope popped up on our radar last year when Twitter announced their $100 million acquisition of the live video streaming app, and we’ve been toying with it ever since. It’s a puzzling platform to really nail from a strategy perspective, so we stopped by a session during day one of SXSW to hear Marty Coleman of @TheNapkinDad round-up a few thoughtful tips.


Titles: each broadcast needs a caption, or what most people call a title. Here Marty mentions the trick is to keep it concise, not confusing. When you are competing on Periscope for attention there are things that distract and things that bring attention. Shorter is better and ensure descriptive accuracy to build confidence among viewers. When using emojis in titles, make sure they are placed to accent words, not replace or obscure them.

Tribes & hashtags – find your tribe or build a community on Periscope by revealing, not obscuring key hashtags. Some standout tags according to Marty are generally quite simple, but not so simple they’re lost in a sea of generic phrases (think #fitness or #foodie). Venture more along the lines of #PeriArtists, #WorkOutTrain, or #LetsMakeUp.

Lists & notes – when broadcasting your content focus on clarity, not clutter. Marty suggests writing on to napkins or small pieces of paper to share lengthier amounts of text or information so that viewers can screenshot it.

Visuals – let’s be honest, live streaming isn’t always top-notch quality so add extra effort to making the experience flattering, not flattening. Be careful about what’s in your background to ensure the lighting and composition of your broadcast is appealing. Also, stay away from too much black – a pop of colour always helps when on camera.

Be memorable: in networking, it’s not who you know, but who knows you. Be known for something. Marty’s known as the hat guy and his viewers click back in each time wondering what sort of hat he’ll be wearing. Find what works for you (if it even does) and use it as a memorable symbol for your Periscope fans.

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SXSW: Some Simple Tips for Using Periscope

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