We know that videos are extremely engaging in the world of social media. The latest and greatest are live streaming video apps Periscope and Meerkat.

Meerkat and Periscope are two live video streaming apps
Meerkat and Periscope are two live video streaming apps

While both apps vary (I’ve only used Periscope as of writing this), they both allow for live video streaming with promotion through Twitter. Live video streaming apps that allow users to share live video with followers around the world. Those watching the live stream can interact via chat or tweets which are visible to all viewers. Streamers can opt to have the broadcast go public or to specific viewers. You can also opt to save the video sessions to  your phone when complete to upload and share to your social sites.

Users can register with their Twitter account and set notifications so they are notified when an account they follow is having a live stream. When linked with a Twitter account, a tweet will be published to your account announcing the video. Any followers will also receive a notification.

Below are some of the many ways a dealership can use live video streaming to build engagement with followers and promote the dealership:

  • Vehicle walk-arounds: Dealers are becoming more tech-savvy and creating walk-around videos of vehicles, but Periscope allows dealers to stream live walk-arounds, allowing viewers to live chat questions which the presenter can answer in real-time. It’s a great way to interact with followers. Pro tip: Invite viewers ahead of time or schedule a private Periscope session with a lead so they can download the app and be ready to tune in when you go live.


Screenshot of a live vehicle walkaround by Eau Claire Ford in Wisconsin
Screenshot of a live vehicle walk-around by Eau Claire Ford in Wisconsin
  • Events: Let’s face it – no matter how cool a dealership is, when there’s an event, those attending expect to receive some sort of sales pitch so they may consider not attending, even if it’s for a good cause. However, by live-streaming the event, you give potential attendees a view inside the event and show viewers they’re not going to be locked in a room with a salesperson (à la timeshare) and that the event is actually a lot of fun. Pro tip: Invite event attendees to talk on camera live. This will also encourage them to share the live stream with their friends. 
  • Training Sessions: Do you have car care clinics? If so, Periscope is a great opportunity to invite customers to participate in the clinic live without having to be there. They may also be more comfortable asking questions from behind a phone screen than in person. Pro tip: Include a link to your Twitter and Periscope accounts in invitations and Facebook event so viewers can be ready to join the live viewing and send a link to the recording via social media so those who missed it can view it.
  • Service: Do you have an “Ask a Mechanic” blog? Use Periscope to live stream question and answer sessions with viewers. This is a great way to connect with viewers and have a two-way conversation with them. Pro tip: Ask viewers to suggest topics for the next video and have a set day and time to regularly stream the session. This gets them engaged and more likely to tune in to future broadcasts.
  • Testimonials: Not everyone may feel comfortable on camera, but for those who are, getting a live testimonial can be a great way to get some positive content for your dealership. Pro tip: Save the video after filming and share it to your social sites.
  • Virtual Test Drives: Sometimes it’s difficult to show off features through photos or a walk-around. Grab a designated Periscope videographer and take a car out on the road to show off features such as park assist, hybrid smart driving, back-up cameras and more! Pro tip: Upload the saved video to your YouTube channel so viewers can experience the test drive with you later on.
  • Show Off High Performance Vehicles: Photos just don’t do muscle cars justice. They’re impressive, but what’s even better is hearing the growl when the car starts up and the engine revving. Pro tip: Tweet teasers a couple of days in advance using attention-getting hashtags to grow your audience and build excitement for the live broadcast.
  • F&I Q&A: F&I can be one of the least enjoyable parts of purchasing a new vehicle. Help get customers comfortable by holding F&I sessions so customers can ask questions and get answers without any pressure. Pro tip: Include any special financing options available for people with bad credit to help them determine eligibility before their visit to the dealership.
  • Employee Spotlights: Let your employees show off their personality and grow a fan base by filming a fun Q&A with them. Be sure to include employees from all departments. Pro tip: Include how long they’ve worked at the dealership and their favorite thing about working there to promote a positive image of the store.
  • New Inventory: Take a stroll through the lot to show off new inventory. This can be exceptionally engaging to show off pre-owned new arrivals or specialty vehicles. Pro tip: Include a link to a simple inquiry form or include a phone number so viewers can easily submit leads for their vehicle of interest. Have staff monitoring your Twitter feed to respond to any inquiries submitted through Twitter.

As you can see, there are tons of opportunities you can take advantage of by incorporating live video streaming at your dealership. What are some other ways dealerships can use live video streaming? I’d love to hear your ideas!