There’s no shortage of ways to reach new audiences — the challenge is figuring out which are worth investing time in and what to do with them. At USA Today Sports, where I work, two platforms we’re trying to better understand and implement into our strategies are Snapchat and Periscope. The latter launched just two weeks ago, right before college basketball’s Final Four.

I ventured to Indianapolis intent on both bringing the event to our followers on Snapchat and building a follower base from scratch on Periscope. As someone who already uses Snapchat regularly, the challenge for me wasn’t in learning how to use it, but in experimenting with the USA Today Sports account to make it as engaging and dynamic as possible. Periscope, on the other hand, was entirely new to me.

A big live sporting event seemed like a great opportunity to put these apps to work. Here’s how it went.

5 things I learned using Periscope

Write brief, compelling broadcast descriptions.

Periscope asks, “What are you seeing now?” prior to broadcasting. Your answer to that question is what gets sent via notification to your followers and tweeted from the connected Twitter account. Make sure it’s accurate and makes sense when seen out of context.

Make the broadcast available for replay.

Periscope gives you with the option to replay your broadcast after filming, but depending on how good your wifi or 4G service is, it may take a long time to save. If you’re trying to do one live stream after another, that urgency may cost you the replay function.

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