Welcome back to our Sounder Coaching Series, where we chat with experts from around the podcasting industry. This week, we’re excited to learn about social media marketing from Andrea Jones! Jones is the Founder and CEO of OnlineDrea, where she works with podcasters to build authentic listener communities through social media marketing. She’s also the host of Savvy Social Podcast and the founder of her online program called Savvy Social School.
Imagine for a second that we live in a world that is absolutely perfect for podcasters. It may look something like this: You pour your heart into a new episode and post it. The algorithm delivers it into the feed of your dream audience, who listen to it right away and recommend it to their like-minded friends. A community of people comes together around the podcast you’ve built, and there’s no marketing involved.
I’ve met with lots of podcasters through my work as a social media marketing coach, and something that many of them have in common is a longing for a world like that — where they can focus on doing the thing they signed up for in the first place: making a great show.
Here’s what I’ve found to be true: podcasters are creative and humble. They don’t want to feel like they’re bragging. They just want to do their best and get their work into the hands of as many people who would enjoy it as possible. I think that’s why the idea of social media makes so many podcaster creators break out in hives. Isn’t it just insincere marketing? They think to themselves. Isn’t it another chore they have to do?
I’m here today as part of Sounder’s Coaching Series with some good news! Social media is a powerful, fun, and useful tool that works with your goal of sharing your podcast in organic ways, not against it. I’m going to walk you through how to adjust your mindset and do just that.
1. Make it about the listener
Social media marketing is about connecting with listeners, and one of the best ways to do that is to make your social presence about them. Focus your verbiage around the benefit to the listener:
- How will your podcast make a listener feel?
- What will it help them do?
- What will they get out of it?
For example, a podcast about health and wellness might emphasize that their most recent episode will help listeners identify signs of potential injury while working out to help reduce the chance of injury.
The benefit to the listeners is clear: they get useful knowledge to prevent injury.
Language like that gives people scrolling a compelling reason to click your link and give the episode a shot. This is an especially helpful technique for creators who don’t like talking about themselves and may fall into the habit of spending a few hundred words waxing rhapsodic about how much research the episode took.
While that might be true, it’s not about the people who the podcast is actually for.
2. Always share the basics
One of your primary jobs on social media is to get your show in front of new listeners, which means it’s crucial not to neglect the basics. Don’t assume people already know who you are, what your show is about, and where they can listen to your podcast.
In each new episode post, story, or live stream, remind your audience:
- Where can listeners access your episodes?
- Is there a subscription model?
- What can they get for free?
Use your social media platforms to plug people into your show and make it as easy as humanly possible for them to listen to you. Don’t forget to include links!
3. Share more than once
This is a big one.
I think a lot of podcasters think of their social media promo as a one-and-done marketing effort, like posting to their social platforms is a box to check. In actuality, a very slim portion of your followers will see your post, so posting links to your new episode more than once is a great idea.
If you’re worried about annoying your followers, don’t. If they’ve already seen the link, likely, they’ll just ignore it without feeling any particular annoyance. I’ve found this to be true in my own business’s social media marketing.
A big caveat here is that you shouldn’t just copy and paste the exact same thing. Not only does the algorithm sometimes punish this, it may annoy people. I recommend doing a variant on the same post, switching up the copy, and maybe even using a different graphic or color scheme.
4. Enjoy the listener community!
Podcasting can be a lonely job. Usually, we’re recording ourselves for listeners we may never get to see in person. It isn’t like a stage performance where you’re in front of a live audience; it’s often you sitting alone in a room talking to yourself.
Social media is one of the best ways to bridge the gap between you and your audience. You can share something on social media and directly talk to people who like your show, so lean into the community-building techniques that let you connect with your listeners.
Try posing questions, sharing tips, giving behind-the-scenes information, posting quotes, or commenting on current affairs relevant to your show to engage the community around your podcast.
5. Network with your podcasting peers
In addition to making connections with your listeners, social media is also a powerful way to network with your peers. As much as your social platforms should be lifting your own show to help you reach new audiences, you can also use your accounts to shower love on other podcasters who you like and admire.
Using your platform to shoutout a fellow creator is one of the best ways to build friendships, network, and get that I-did-something-good-today serotonin boost that we all need in a business built around recording alone in a dimly lit room.
So don’t be afraid to connect with other show creators. Comment and engage on their platforms, give shoutouts, and show love. You’ll find that the joy will be returned to you!
6. Treat your podcast like a business
I’ve noticed that podcasts are started by creative individuals as passion projects. I honestly don’t think I’ve met anyone who’s said, “Yeah, I started my show to make money as a business.”
Marketing, publicity, and accounting come into play once that humble, creative individual realizes their hard work isn’t reaching as many people as they’d like. Then they come up against feeling like social media promotion is difficult because they don’t want to feel like they’re “selling” something.
In reality, social media marketing helps you do what you want to do, which is to make a difference and share your work. Take yourself and your time seriously. Look at your podcast like a business that benefits others. You’re responsible for growing it for your listeners, not just yourself.
7. Ask for help
Making social media work for your podcast isn’t something that’s just going to happen overnight. Like building an audience of listeners for your show, amassing a social media following will take time, effort, and care.
You’ll feel overwhelmed and in over your head sometimes, and that’s totally normal! But it doesn’t have to be forever. When it comes to social media, don’t struggle with it alone. Do research, ask fellow podcasters questions, and find a community of people who can help you along the way.
That’s actually why I founded my own social media membership community, the Savvy Social School, to help podcasters looking to build a profitable, joyful community on social media. I have tons of resources to help make social media marketing easy, and (gasp) even fun. I’d love to connect with you there if you need more help or feel free to follow my social channels!