Apparently, marketing is a huge pain in the pod. According to Podcast Trends Report 2019, podcasters list marketing and building an audience among their top challenges. We saw similar results from a recent Reddit thread that asked the podcasting community what they find most challenging. Over 50% of respondents said marketing and social media.
This is a crushing realization for me as Social Media Manager of a podcast hosting site. I see the time and energy it takes to create a good show. I want your hard work to be HEARD, but I totally understand the pain point. After hours of recording and editing, the idea of scheduling social media posts can make even the giddiest creative turn to mush.
Here at Sounder, we aim to make life easy for our podcasters. The truth is, podcasters like you already have social media marketing in the bag. Half the battle is coming up with content, which you’re already accomplishing with each new episode! SO I’ve put together a list of my favorite time-friendly social media marketing tips to help podcasters grow their reach.
You want to give listeners multiple entry points to your little neck of the internet. Set up a Facebook Business Page, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube for your podcast. Also, consider a Google Business Page, Linkedin, and Reddit account. Your niche will mainly live on two of these platforms, so after some time, you can focus your efforts there. For instance, I realized Sounder’s social media community mostly lives on Instagram and Twitter. I still post everywhere, but I make sure to drip a little more content to these platforms.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Whenever you publish a new episode, package it for every social media channel you’ve got. That means understanding the voice of each platform. Twitter loves a quick and clickbait-y caption or compelling quote. Facebook enjoys lengthier, more sentimental posts. Aim to write a few meaningful sentences with good keywords. Instagram loves a colorful behind-the-scenes image and inspirational text. Pull quotes and content from your transcript and just give a slight tonal edit. So in addition to posting a link to your new episode, you’re giving listeners and algorithms good reason to pay attention.
Tricks to master the top four social media platforms
1. Join Facebook Podcaster support groups to network with other podcasters. Online communities, such as Podcasters’ Support Group, are home to others just like you. Just reading other peoples’ comments will give you fresh ideas on how to produce, promote, and manage your podcast. These are great places to find other podcasters like you and maybe even a future guest on your show.
2. Update your personal Facebook page by listing “Podcast Host” (or whatever title floats your boat) under the “work” section of your intro and link to your podcast’s Facebook page. This establishes authority in your work AND leverages your existing following. Even if it’s your great Aunt May.
3. Crosspost your Instagram stories to your Facebook business page stories (here’s how). This way, you only have to update one platform but both audiences get nurtured with daily content.
4. Post short videos or create carousels about new episodes. I’ve noticed this form of content works well on Facebook. Carousels are graphics with quotes, lessons, or tips on them. Consider making a template on a free design app like Canva where you can swap out text easily. The video can simply be you talking about the episode.
- Embed your audio file on top of your cover art. Assuming you’re not recording live videos of your podcast (if you are, right on) one way to post audio to Youtube is by using episode art. For instance, check out Sounder’s podcast This Week in Podcasting. Each week we tweak the cover art (easy if you stick with a templated background) and embed the audio. To do this, I use kapwing.com. Once you have your video file, there is a lot you can use it for. Youtube is just one more place to post your whole episode. Here’s what friends on Reddit have to say about it too.
2. Let your show notes shine. You’re likely already writing them for each episode on the player of your choosing. Youtube also allows up to 5,000 words under each video. Adding your show notes is an easy way to attract new listeners and feature some keywords about your episode (yay SEO!). Friendly reminder: you have to put links in brackets.
3. Make every video have a visual “subscribe” button! It’s an easy way to invite listeners into your world. Here’s exactly how to add a subscribe branding watermark.
- Take photos whenever you’re recording, editing, or planning so you never run out of content. Photos don’t have to be perfect. I’ve managed many accounts, and the truth is, people really love following people. Polished brands never get the engagement or sense of community that creators are looking for. That’s why I keep it simple on Sounder’s page:
2. Use Instagram stories. It’s relatively easy to post to stories, especially if you have a personal connection with your content. You’re likely already reading funny memes. Just pop them on your stories. People watch stories A LOT. This also really helps you with the new daily Instagram algorithm, which seems to favor one post a day and as many stories as you can manage.
3. Post when your audience is looking. If you only have time to post about new episodes, fair enough! You can find free analytics on Google to measure when your listeners are online but these are the times that have always worked for me: lunchtime (around 12 pm), from 3–5 pm when people are getting antsy at work and need a distraction, and 7–9 pm when everyone’s scrolling Instagram. I also came across some new research that measured the most popular days and times people download and stream shows. Consider posting new episodes on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm, Monday morning at 8 or 9 am, or Tuesday morning at 9 am Eastern Standard Time.
4. IGTV. Remember that video file you made on kapwing.com for Youtube? Here’s another place to upload it. Add your full podcast episode to IGTV, post a preview, and share it to your story. A trifecta of content using just one file. Oh, and always make sure the link is in your bio.
- Pinpoint one or two good hashtags to incorporate into your tweets. 3. Use hashtags. I know I know. Aren’t they so 2019? Not on Twitter. Not when they have a purpose. Hashtags are your door to supportive niche communities and new listeners. Some of my favorites are: #podernfamily, #podsquad, #podpeople, #ladypodsquad, #podsincolor, and #podcastnetwork. However, each podcasting category has its very own go-to hashtags. Quickly search the hashtag you want to use, and see if it has an active audience before using. You can also make up your own hashtag for Twitter, something people will see and associate with your handle and brand.
- If you have a long tweet, break it up into a thread. Twitter only allows so many characters, but you can combat this with a thread when you have something to talk about. In this case, I wanted to tell Look Who’s Talking’s origin story. With each tweet to the thread, you can reveal new information, display different links & tags, and feature different images for variety.
Turn your audience into a lasting community
Just starting? As silly as it sounds, use your sphere of influence IRL. Your friends and family are the best place to start growing your audience.
Follow people within your niche (another place hashtags still thrive) who have similar interests and a similar follower count. Don’t waste time following users with millions of followers that won’t follow back or even read your comments.
Reach out to people! If you like someone’s Instagram post, give a genuine compliment on their picture. If you say something specific and real like, “How do you find the time to cook these delicious meals AND podcast?!” They WILL remember you! Now if you just say, “Nice shot!” they’ll forget.
Send out a direct message complementing their Instagram or asking a question about what they do. I’ve created some of the most powerful, memorable connections this way! It’s also a great way to establish a collaboration and potential cross-pollination of the community.
Forget the follower count. The deeper purpose of social media marketing is engaging and nurturing your audience so they become super fans. And, super fans, are your best friends forever. They make it all worth it.