May 28, 2020

How To Use Social Media To Grow A Podcast Audience

readers will learn how social media can be used to grow their podcast audience

How To Use Social Media To Grow A Podcast Audience

Social media can connect the world. Anyone with any interest can find a group with the same interest. Hosts should use social media to find people to listen to their podcast.

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Connect With Audience

Social media is an opportunity for a host to interact with their audience. A host can share information about the podcast or get feedback from their audience. Listeners may become more loyal to the podcast by interacting with a host on social media.

Get People To Find Content

On social media, a host can find people interested in their podcast content. By creating posts and joining communities, a host can grow the podcast's audience.

How To Use Social Media For A Podcast

Fill Out Profile

To get more views on social media, a host needs to make their profile searchable. For that reason, they need to add as much information to the profile.

Maximizing the amount of information that a host can add allows strangers to find the profile. When people search on social media profiles will show up if the profile matches the keywords. A host should add links in the appropriate place for people to find their content. To make a profile more authentic, add a profile picture.  A picture of the host's face will make potential followers feel more comfortable.

A host should make sure that every link they will post has a nice picture that will show in the post. A photo will make the link more eye-catching. The last action a host should take to fill out the profile is to pin a post. The pinned post can be introducing themselves or adding new links that a host wants new people to see.

Create Snippets

Short snippets will give social media users a preview of the podcast. A host can create short videos and share a different one each day. The audio content will stand out more than text in someone's feed because all the text posts look the same. The snippets can be the beginning of each main point made in the podcast. There are many free tools that a host can use to create snippets such as Overcast.fm

One course of action is to create threads for each episode with a link to the episode. The threads can summarize the episode with a link in the first post. The threads will stand out because threads look different from single posts.

Create Accounts For The Podcast

Having a separate account for the podcast can increase the visibility for the posts. The purpose of the podcast's account is for creating posts. The personal account will share the posts.

Sharing from a personal account creates social proof. People are more likely to share posts if others are sharing the posts. The podcast's account and personal account may have some of the same followers. These followers have a higher chance of seeing the posts. If they do not like seeing the posts twice, they can unfollow, do not worry about them.

Use Hashtags

Strangers searching hashtags will be able to find the podcast's account. A host can use hashtags that relate to the subject of the podcast. Hashtags increase the chances of posts getting support from that community. The best practice for using hashtags in a post is to have the hashtags and the link after. Having the link first would result in the link not becoming a card. The link would stay text and decrease the visibility of the link.

Ask People To Share Content

To get more views on content and create social proof, a host can ask friends to like and share their posts. A host can direct message friends the link to make it easier for their friends to share.

Follow People That Have An Interest In Podcast

How To Find These People:

1. Think of companies to sponsor the podcast. This course of action will help a host organize podcast content for that audience

2. Go to one of the company's posts. The most recent post works best.

3. Follow anyone who has interacted with the post. This finds people that have been active recently. Going by followers, a host can end up following inactive people

Benefits

Lots Of Users

Any social media platform has millions of users for any niche. A host has the potential for those millions of users to become a listener of their podcast. These users are in one place where they can find a host's content.  Having millions of users on one platform makes listener acquisition easier.

Many Platforms

There are many different types of social media platforms. A host does not need to rely on one kind of content to grow a following. A host can create content for different mediums such as video, photo, or text. At the same time, a host does not need to stick to one type of content to find listeners.

Virality

Any post on social media has the potential to go viral and viewed by thousands of people. When content goes viral more people see it. Which might lead to more subscribers. The odds of an email being forwarded enough to go viral are small.

Problems

Do Not Own Content

On any social media platform, a host does not own the content. The platform can rearrange, sell, delete any post created on their platform. A host has no say in what happens to their data on a social media platform.

Algorithms

Many social media platforms use algorithms to manage their platform. The platforms use an algorithm to curate user's feeds, manage users, and much more. An algorithm can help a host's post visibility, depending on how a user ranks in the algorithm. A host has no control over a platform's algorithm. The process of reversing an algorithm's ranking is time-consuming.

On platforms, without algorithms, subscribers see posts as they are created, no tricks. The subscribers have the ability to flag the content as inappropriate. The content is not ranked lower because the content does not meet a platform's standards.

Encouraging Other Users To Leave

Asking people to click on links conflicts with the platform's goals. The platform's goal is to keep people on the platform as long as possible. Platforms downgrade users that encourage other users to leave.

Creating posts that ask users to leave to listen to a podcast might lead to less visibility. To know if a platform has started to hide posts, make a post that is similar to a previous post with high engagement. Then, compare engagement between posts. If engagement is lower than average, the posts are being hidden. In that case, create a new account and start over.

People Liking And Sharing But Not Listening

On occasion, a post might be getting massive engagement,  such as likes and shares. The post might not be getting clicks or downloads. People tend to follow the masses. Those that are only liking and sharing will not listen because there is no proof others are doing the same. Podcast players do not show how many others have downloaded the episode. The other problem is that people might not want to listen to a podcast at that moment. Going to a different platform to listen to a podcast breaks users' routine of scrolling.

Can Not Move Audience

A host's audience on a social media platform is only for that platform. To grow a following on another platform, a host needs to start from scratch. The best situation between platforms is that some users follow a host to the new platform. Not every follower will use the new platform. The platforms won't integrate with each other because they are competitors. A host can move their podcast, email list, or blog without their audience noticing.

Control Over User Experience

Every post on each social media platform looks the same. A host can not add animation, different background colors, or text sizes. The posts are uniform. On some platforms, there is even a limit to how long a post can be. Grabbing a user's attention takes time to learn when every post looks the same.

Difficult To Organize Posts

Platforms extend their control over the organization of posts. If a host wants to arrange their posts by most engagement or by the oldest, that is not possible. Most social media platforms show the most recent post on the platform. To find a specific post, a host needs to do an advanced search or scroll through their entire history to that post. Blog, email, and podcast platforms let the content creators organize their content.

Platforms Can Ban Users

Platforms do not want to upset people because they will stop using the platform. For that reason, many social media platforms only like happy content. Some platforms will delete a host's account if the content does not fit their standards. Being banned means that a host loses the audience on the platform with no way of contacting them. If a host gets banned, they will need to build their audience on a different platform.

Comedians

Comedians are early adopters on new platforms. This is noticeable because many comedians are able to grab usernames with their own name. Besides interacting with fans, comedians share the cities they will be performing in. Some will make jokes about current events. People might find their jokes when searching for the current event. The people searching may follow the comedian if they enjoy the joke.

Conclusion

Use social media as a tool. A host can distribute their content on social media. Not depend on social media for content creation. Social media is too unstable for content creation. A new platform can show up, and if people move to the new platform, a host loses their audience. An audience is too valuable for hosts to rely on third parties that much. Bringing users to their own platform avoids those problems for hosts.

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This post is an excerpt from the Open Podcast Community book. The book is available for purchase here.