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7 things local businesses learned in our Periscope experiment

ShopTalk video: Small-business owners on Periscope

Charlotte-area small-business owners experiment with the live-streaming app Periscope to promote their companies. Video by Celeste Smith
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Charlotte-area small-business owners experiment with the live-streaming app Periscope to promote their companies. Video by Celeste Smith

Many of you were good sports when ShopTalk asked you to test drive Periscope, Twitter’s live-streaming app, and figure out how to use the technology to promote your small businesses.

Periscope allows users to become broadcasters by delivering their message live to viewers.

Our entrepreneurs touted everything from their latest treats (barCHOCOLATE) to the chopping skills of their employees (Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina in Monroe) to social events they sponsor (Beadlush bead shop, which teams up with art gallery twenty-two for monthly crafting socials).

The owners saved their videos to their camera roll, then emailed them to us for a story running in Wednesday’s print and online editions of ShopTalk. (You can check out a compilation of their videos here.)

In the meantime, here are seven things business owners told us they learned in the experiment:

▪ Not only is Periscope easy to download and use, it’s also addictive. Fashion designer Lore Emelio, Happzee event app creator Zerrick Bynum and others sent in more than one video.

▪ Viewing quality seemed to be better when using the app on a mobile phone, as opposed to a tablet.

▪ That said, it’s still hard to avoid some quality issues, from proper lighting, to focusing for detail shots, to jumpy images. Pan slowly, advises Jennifer Branham of The Boulevard at South End.

▪ It’s worth tweeting out ahead of time that you’ll be on Periscope at a particular time, so followers can tune in.

▪ It’s also worth checking out other Periscope video to see what others do.

▪ Many like the live interaction from viewers, who can make comments or ask questions with the “Say something” button, or tap the screen during the broadcast to send “hearts” of approval.

▪ Those engaging aspects of Periscope show up in replays that stay online for 24 hours. They don’t show up on saved videos, which disappointed Bynum: “You lose some of the true richness of what Periscope is about.”

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