I know … you're in. You're hip. You're a cutting-edge marketer and business owner because you've done something your competitors are not yet doing. You have a Twitter handle and you're not afraid to use it (well almost). I hate to burst your bubble, but the social media digital bullet train has passed you by once again. No, you don't need a board on which to pin your favorite products or a better smartphone to post your digital pics. You need to be standing on the next social media platform, and this one is all about video streaming. It's the missing link of social media that marketers have been waiting for.

Learn more in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

This newest social media channel is called Periscope, and it's based on live video streaming. It allows you to record video and broadcast to anywhere in the world. Unlike Skype, which is one-to-one, with Periscope you can stream to the masses. Want to see what's going on in Abu Dhabi? Click on the red circles on the global map to see who is live-streaming at that moment. Notice a person live-streaming from Hawaii? Click on the person's profile and join the other 10 viewers who are following along as the broadcaster takes a stroll through the rain forest. You can chat with the broadcaster as he goes along and share animated hearts to show your appreciation. The broadcaster can see your comments as they are broadcast in front of the screen. It makes global connections—not just real through words but real through your visual presence as well. Broadcasts can also be saved, replayed and syndicated.

Periscope has so much potential that, just two weeks after its launch, the company was bought by Twitter. While reports vary on the actual price, several news sources have stated it was an estimated $100 million.

So who's on Periscope? More than 10 million people as of August, up from one million when it launched in March, and users are across a range of ages, locations and professions. Periscope has enormous potential for B2B marketers. Here are a few concepts:

1. Broadcast live from key industry events. Bring your customers with you the next time you attend an industry show or one of your regional association events. Share the products you're seeing, the sessions you attend and the people you meet on the show floor. Bring the excitement of our industry live to their offices. Are you a supplier? Highlight your booth and what you're offering to distributors. You can even provide a show wrap-up of your own "Top 10" list.

2. Give a behind-the-scenes tour or live product demo. The power of Periscope is that it's authentic and natural—not staged or rehearsed. Combine this quality with a personal tour, and you've captured your audience at "Hello." Are you a supplier? Take a tour of your factory or conduct personal interviews with the day-to-day frontline teammates that support your accounts. Have a new product? Conduct a live demo as if your customer is right in front of you (they might be—even though it's across the country).

3. Conduct your own live town hall. Would you like feedback from your customers? Use the real-time commenting feature on Periscope to field questions and build even greater engagement with your audience.

Of course, like any social media app, it's best if you know the lingo, so here's a few Periscope terms:

Scoper - A person who is on the Periscope platform

Scope - Each time you live-broadcast a session, you are creating a scope. Think of a scope as an individual broadcast session.

Hearts - One way Scopers show their love is by tapping on the screen and giving a broadcaster hearts.

Replay - Currently, Periscope gives the option for Scopers to have their broadcast recorded so other scopes can replay the broadcast.

How do you get started? Download the Periscope app, and sign in using your Twitter account or by creating a Periscope account and providing a mobile phone number. Alright future Scopers, hope to see your hearts on the next scope.

Source: Megan Pruitt is passionate about helping other social media managers stay ahead of current trends in new and emerging media. Having started four different agencies and managed the social media presences for brands like Pep Boys, QVC, Party City, Lane Bryant, Firehouse Subs and many more, she is well equipped to tackle business strategy topics for social media professionals.