How to Harness the Power of Live Social Video: Insights from Periscope’s CEO


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“…That we can have this conversation live, I think that’s powerful and important – but the audience also has a voice as well, which signifies the first time that the live medium has evolved.” This comment by Periscope founder and CEO Kayvon Beykpour defines the way brands are now engaging in immediate consumer engagement via live social video events.

Live video is becoming marketer’s vehicle of choice for fast consumer interaction, with Periscope boasting more than 10 million accounts and 2 million daily active users and the introduction of Facebook Live and Snapchat Video, the need for speed in consumer engagement is quickly being adopted across both BtoB and BtoC brands.

Benefit Cosmetics has a weekly live show on Facebook Live to talk beauty, answer questions, and have fun conversations with fans. The company uses other social media platforms to promote the broadcast. The hosts have continual interaction with the audience, polling them on which products to demonstrate next. Viewers get in on the action by submitting ideas via Facebook Live comments or Snapchat for future show topics. The relatively new show is off to a big start with the first two streams boasting 42,000 and 59,000 live viewers, respectively.

General Electric turned to Periscope to quite literally give its consumers a live birds’ eye view of its power generation systems in action. Drone Week, a five-day showcase of GE machines and technology, takes viewers behind the scenes to showcase new technology. Launched last summer, the company is planning to use a similar live Periscope broadcast for a mini Olympics opening ceremony, above its own global research center, that will offer — as Sam Olstein, Global Director of Innovation, GE, USA, General Electric noted — “exclusive access to parts of Olympics experience that viewers have never seen before.”

Top TakeAways from Periscope’s CEO for successful live video use

  • “The most important [thing] is … acknowledge the audience. … respond to their questions … that’s probably the single most important piece of feedback we provide any broadcaster, whether it’s an individual or a brand…it’s not just the fact that you’re watching … it’s the fact that you can ask [questions], in a way that if you were just watching a static video you couldn’t”
  • “… Audience engagement makes the medium really special”
  • “…[Leverage the] live audience interaction to do something special…
  • “…With more people focusing on the live medium, that’ll mean the space will evolve really quickly, and I think that’s a good thing.”

Engagement is a continually evolving pursuit for marketers. While live web customer service chat, or social Q&A were once “enough”, the mega-connected consumer will constantly be challenging brands to do more. The new media vehicle of live video offers brands the opportunity for truly meaningful conversations and immediate accessibility.

Ernan Roman
Ernan Roman (@ernanroman) is president of ERDM Corp. and author of Voice of the Customer Marketing. He was inducted into the DMA Marketing Hall of Fame due to the results his VoC research-based CX strategies achieve for clients such as IBM, Microsoft, QVC, Gilt and HP. ERDM conducts deep qualitative research to help companies understand how customers articulate their feelings and expectations for high value CX and personalization. Named one of the Top 40 Digital Luminaries and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing.


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