First things first . . . what is this Periscope thing anyway?

Related: How Brands Are Paving the Way for Periscope Marketing

Periscope is a live-streaming video mobile app that Twitter purchased in February 2015. Twitter then rolled it out to the public on March 26, 2015, and it’s been growing like gangbusters ever since.

Essentially, Periscope allows you to “go live” via your smartphone from any location, at any time of the day or night. The app essentially gives you the opportunity to have your very own broadcasting system in your pocket. Viewers can tune in to your broadcast from anywhere in the world.

The stunning thing is that Periscope is currently the No. 1 fastest-growing social network to date!

In fact, Periscope took only ten days to hit 1 million users; and four months after its launch date, the app was enjoying 10 million users. Even more staggering than the size of this user base is the amount of content users are consuming: 40 years of content is viewed every day on Periscope. Yes . . . 40 years.

Wow, you may be thinking: So, what is the business application for Periscope and should my business be there?

I have six big reasons why the answer is "yes":

1. An unsaturated market

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Periscope is still growing, and at a rapid rate. Businesses that have already recognized the potential inherent in interacting with their followers live are ahead of the game and proving that there is a lot of business application to the app.

Some large brands are already active on Periscope, but the majority have yet to embrace it, which leaves an untapped opportunity for many small business owners to fill the gap and offer nuggets of value to Periscope users.

2. Real-time engagement

Real-time engagement is one of the best features of the Periscope app. Sure, you could argue that responding quickly on Facebook and Twitter is the same, but nothing compares to customers being able to ask questions live on a Periscope broadcast and get an immediate response, or your being able to answer questions your viewers just asked in real time.

We are a generation of people who want things now -- otherwise, we move on to find them someplace else. Periscope allows for real-time engagement with followers and viewers who are there in the moment and actively engaging with your live scope.

Related: Periscope Says Users Watch 40 Years -- Yes, Years -- of Video Every Day

3. A showcase for the real you

You hear me say it all the time: Being authentic on social media is the only way to go. Well, on Periscope, there is no other way to be! Because you are live, your audience isn't just looking into your digital eyeballs but into your real ones. Big difference. They are seeing and connecting with a real person, not just the brand behind a Facebook page or Twitter account.

This personal connection builds the "know, like and trust" factor at a super-accelerated rate. And guess what? People buy from those they know, like and trust.

4. Unlimited business opportunities

There are oh so many ways that businesses can use Periscope to market their brand, products and services; and I have seen just about every one of these suggestions on Periscope myself. You could offer a:

  • Behind-the-scenes look into how your product is made or what your offices look like
  • Live Q & A
  • Live tutorial
  • Showcase of a new product launch
  • Special promo code or coupon
  • Film live at an event

. . . and so much more! Truly, the only limit is your imagination.

5. A whole new follower base

One of the most surprising things I have discovered since going all-in on Periscope is the new follower base. You may think that the same people who follow you on other social platforms will be the same ones who follow you on Periscope, but I have found that most of my Periscope community is brand new to me.

This is a whole new set of business owners, marketers, bloggers, etc. that may never have found me if not for my being on Periscope and offering little nuggets of value. Now, I am moving these followers to Facebook, Twitter, my email list and more.

6. Live streaming is web 3.0 in the making

Personally, I believe that live streaming is the next evolution in how we connect, engage and eventually buy. This is going to change the way that we get information and interact with brands and businesses as well as our followers. I also think it’s going to be a major shift in how we can market our products and services.

Think about it a minute: Where can you pick up your phone, click a button and immediately be in front of a live, captivated audience that sees who you are, is interested in what you have to share and, if its members know and like you, will ultimately trust you enough to buy what you are selling?

I invite you to grab a copy of my free Periscope 101 Jumpstart Guide. It’s a great place to get the basics for moving ahead on this exciting new medium.

Related: 4 Reasons Brands Should Use Periscope