What Is #Periscope, and How Can It Help Your Practice?

Periscope for Wealth Management business
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Periscope for Wealth Management businessIf you haven’t heard of Periscope yet, no worries – it hasn’t been out long and is only just being used by larger brands. It has a rival competitor called Meerkat (amongst other smaller apps), but as Twitter now owns Periscope, it may become a larger name in this space.

Knowing advisors and technology, it’ll be over three years before most people consider using it!

But I digress.

What is it?

Periscope is a live-streaming video platform that integrates with Twitter. You’ll see it being named in articles and on the internet as #Periscope, with a hashtag in front of its name. The hashtag allows for Twitter users to filter on everyone using “Periscope” in their tweets and see all the live streams taking place.

While it is primarily for live-streaming videos, and promoting them on Twitter, the videos are recorded and publicly available for 24 hours, so people can find your videos shortly after they’ve been recorded. One of the most important features is that viewers can ask questions via the Periscope app, so if a video is a live-stream the presenter will see their comment or question.

It has been used mostly by media companies and celebrities, but it has wide-ranging uses – one’s that will filter into the advisor community.

How does it get used?

For people wanting to promote themselves, their product, or what they’re thinking or doing that day, they will start a live-stream within the Periscope app. Many performers use this to showcase their musical or vocal talents and try to find fans. Other companies use it to promote products or do Q&A’s with their customer base.

For advisors, the uses can vary widely. What planning topics are top of mind that you want to spend 10-15 minutes talking about? Are there investment topics that are happening in the news today that you want to put your thoughts to? Are you at a conference and want to stream some of the sessions to your followers (maybe other advisors who can’t make it to the conference)? It’s uses are subject to your imagination.

One thought is that Periscope will do away with the standard webinar that flood our inboxes on a daily basis. Now companies will do 15 minute Periscope streams at multiple times during the day, with followers jumping on to see products being used and asking questions.

Who should use it?

With it being so new, I think advisors looking to be on the cutting edge should be putting some thought into how Periscope can elevate their platform and help their practice. There is a chance that Periscope (and other apps like it) won’t grow and be used on a large scale, so being flexible is important.

It will definitely help advisors who already have a large, and active, following on Twitter. As this is the native platform for the app, focusing your engagement on Twitter will certainly help people engage in your Periscope live feeds and recordings.

Why does it matter?

People asked this question about the Internet, Facebook and online investing. It matters because that’s what people are looking for. Not only are they expecting immediate answers to their questions, but now they get immediate access to an expert for these questions. Additionally, clients want to think their advisor not only cares about them, but is also in touch with current times that they are looking for ways to engage more people, on progressive platforms.

Next steps

Experiment: With all new things, have some fun. Interview some people in your office so your followers can get to know them; film some of your personal life, and then throw some planning and investment content in there. People want to see a personality on a video – let’s yours shine through.

Stay compliant: Yes it’s a live video feed, which will scare the bejesus out of many compliance officers. But the videos are recorded, and if they turn out to be “archiveable” then if you don’t say anything stupid, you should be ok. (Plus if you do, there’s always a delete button.)

Push the envelope: Attending a conference? Get some thoughts from people in the hallway and tag the conference in the accompanying tweet. New feature on your website? Record yourself showcasing the features and invite your followers to do the same.

The use of Periscope (and others like it) is beholden to your imagination. Go to it!

Dave Grant, CFP®, is the founder of Finance For Teachers a fee-only RIA in Cary, IL. Dave exclusively serves teachers in Illinois by helping them to organize their financial lives and live a fulfilled life. He is also a columnist at Financial Planning magazine, a ghost writer for various companies, and the founder of NAPFA Genesis, a networking group for over 300 young, fee-only planners.