Up Periscope!

The newest in social media interactivity. Live video. We’ll talk about ways to use it to promote your wines and wine events.

A live video event no longer needs expensive cameras, expensive lighting and sound equipment, and expensive personnel.

Your smartphone is your camera. Ambient light and sound is usually sufficient. And your customers and wine bloggers can be your personnel.

It’s a recent phenomenon that there are many live broadcasting apps available for you to use. There is Periscope, Livestream, Meerkat, Tarsii, Ustream, Stream, Broadcast Me, Bigvencoder, Broadcaster, Wirecast Cam and probably others.

But today will talk here about Periscope. This app originally was iPhone only, but now is also on the Android Platform.


What is Periscope?

This video app, owned by Twitter, was launched in March of 2015. It now has over 10 million users, and it’s still growing. Periscope is free. Some other video apps are also free, but some are not.

Many of you may have already made videos, and posted them on YouTube or elsewhere. But Periscope broadcasts your video live while you are taking it. And people around the world can view your broadcast.


How do people find you?

Periscope viewers who follow you will be notified when you start your broadcast. You can also send a Tweet to your Twitter followers that will announce how soon your live broadcast will begin so they can get ready for it.

In addition, people can find any kind of live broadcast if they do a search. And people can find live and even saved videos in a specific geographic area simply by focusing on that area. In the image below, the numbers in the red circles indicate how many live videos are coming from that area. On your phone, you would tap on the red circle and get a list those live videos. It may also show a blue circle where you can view recently completed videos from that area.




What’s it for?

Periscope can be used for many types of events: Live events, newsworthy stories, wine tastings, art exhibits, “Man in the Street” Interviews and promotional or sales offers.


Who gets to see it?

Everybody, if you want. Your followers can see it live. But it’s up to you if you want to share it after the video is no longer live. You can save the video if you want to keep it. It will be deleted after 24 hours if you choose not to keep it. You can then post it elsewhere, perhaps your website, so you could have a permanent record of all your winery’s videos.

Since Periscope is owned by Twitter, your own Twitter followers will be notified if they are also users of Periscope. It’s easy to use. If you are doing a serious tasting, then perhaps getting an easel or stand for the smartphone would make sense, as holding the phone by the hand can cause for some unintended motion or slight blurriness.


What should be on the video?

A customer or wine lover in San Francisco, New York, London, or Sydney (and elsewhere) can immediately see you tasting a new wine. Or heading out to the vineyard to see how the vines are doing today. Or to the cellar to watch the punchdowns or pumpovers and perhaps chat with the winemaker. Here’s a thought for a regular feature: You could do a short video of the winemaker and perhaps others tasting the wines for this month’s wine club shipment.

People who are viewing your live broadcast can ask you questions in real time, and you can answer them if you choose.

The potential for promoting your wines, your events, and your winery are endless. Customers might be excited to simply do a video of your winery on their own. You don’t need to hire people just for this. You can even encourage your customers to use videos when tasting your wines or taking a tour of your winery.


One caveat

If you do hire or pay someone to take a video of your wine tastings, be careful of doing a tasting at a retail store or other licensee, while promoting the video. You might need to avoid favoring a single outlet. Depending on your state, some state ABC rules do not allow something of value to be offered to a retailer ( “Tied-House” issues). A good rule to follow would be if you can’t do something based on the terms of your license, you might want to be wary of paying someone else to do this for you. But within your own winery, or not paying bloggers at retailers, this will not be a problem.


Make sure your viewers know it’s you

If you are doing a video in your tasting room, it’s probably a good idea to have visible signage that will show your winery name. This way if someone stumbles across your video, they will know where the tasting is taking place. You can also show your phone and/or your website so that if people like what they see, they can order your wines or perhaps decide to come out for a visit.

Incidentally, Periscope has a help feed on Twitter, so if you have a question or are having trouble with the app, simply send out a Tweet to them and you will get a reply that will hopefully resolve your issue.


Thank your viewers

This is a nice thing to do. You send each person a message after they’ve seen the video “Thanks for watching us. Be sure and watch our next video on Thursday” or something like that. If you have too many viewers to do this, send it to a few this time, and a few others the next time. You can compile a list of Twitter handles of people who have viewed your videos.


What are you waiting for?

So download the app, play with it to get a feel for how it works and how to make it work for you. It’s free, it’s fun, and once you get comfortable with it, you can find all sorts of reasons to use it, professionally, personally, and with friends and family.


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