Businesses Experiment With Periscope Livestreaming

By Samantha Sabin
The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.).

Periscope isn’t just for the celebrities and techies anymore — at least not in the Triangle.

More local small business owners are finding innovative ways to use the Twitter-owned live-streaming application, which allows users to livestream whatever, whenever through their smartphone. The video from the live stream exists for 24 hours.

At the Raleigh digital marketing agency O3 Creative, the idea is that if you want your clients to know it, stream it.

When there’s a new Internet trend emerging, Jennifer Hoverstad and Casey Overcash launch the stream.

“It’s not something that we’re faking,” said Hoverstad, the agency’s operations and project manager. “Our clients can see what we’re saying about industry trends. The same information that we’re taking to Periscope, we’re taking to our clients.”

In their first month, the marketing agency has cultivated a following of over 60 viewers for each livestream, with an additional 10 to 40 people going back and watching the stream after it ends.

But using the app comes with caveats. CEO Brian Onorio said you need to go in with a game plan. This is live, after all.

“This is raw and it’s supposed to be raw,” he said. “You need to prepare.”

Martin Brossman, a Raleigh-based social media consultant, said he’s starting to see younger entrepreneurs using the app for business.

In his social media course in the N.C. State Technology Training Solutions program, he stresses awareness and rapid reflexes when content appears. For example, Brossman says, what if a celebrity walks into your establishment? Will you just be caught starstruck, or will you be quick enough to document it?

This is a challenge for a lot of his students at first.

“That’s a real problem with small businesses because they need to develop new habits to think like a reporter all the time,” he said. “But most are not developing the behavior fast enough to get the content.”

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