Just like any other type of content, podcasts benefit from devoted communities. You can use podcast Facebook groups to build and grow your own community.
Your listeners don’t want to be just listeners. They want to feel like they’re a part of something – a tribe or a movement. They don’t want to just watch you grow. They want to grow with you.
If you make your listeners feel like they’re part of something bigger than a podcast, they’ll be much more likely to consume all of your content and ultimately spend money with your business. You can turn casual listeners into devoted customers who look forward to every episode and help grow your brand by sharing it with their friends.
Plus, communities help you validate your ideas. They generate valuable feedback and insights to make your podcast (and business) better.
Understanding your customer is a fundamental part of any marketing strategy. Communities give you an opportunity to learn about your customers in a way that also makes your customers feel values. It’s win-win.
I won’t pretend that building a community is easy or fast, but I promise you it’s rewarding.
Now, podcasts are one-way conversations. Unless you plan to invite all of your listeners on to your show (which is absurd, of course), you need a platform to host your community – somewhere everyone can interact and chat.
The Best Place to Build a Community: Facebook
(We discussed this topic in detail in our latest webinar. See the recording here.)
While it’s possible to build a community entirely through your own platform (like your website and email list), it’s also important to go to your customer. That is, you need to meet with your audience wherever they spend time.
Where do most people spend time every day? Facebook.
As of March 2018, Facebook has 1.45 billion daily active users. Incredibly, Facebook is still growing. That’s odd when you think about it. Who doesn’t have a Facebook account already?
To give you some context, here’s how other social media platforms measure up, according to TechCrunch.
- Instagram: 700 million monthly active users.
- Youtube: 1.5 billion monthly active users.
- Twitter: 328 million monthly active users.
- Snapchat: 255 million monthly active users.
Notice those stats are monthly. Facebook beats those platforms’ monthly user count in a single day.
On top of that, 32% of Facebook users interact with brands regularly and most will interact with brands occasionally.
With the growth and exposure of Facebook, it’s no wonder that podcast Facebook groups are so popular, and effective at connecting your podcast with your audience.
The main benefit to using Facebook groups to build a community is because it compliments your podcast nicely.
Like I said, podcasting is a one-way medium. Unless you invite fans on to your recordings, there’s no way to stimulate discussion.
Facebook groups, however, allow for continued two-way discussions. They give you a chance to interact with your fans and gather their feedback. Through discussion, you can gain valuable insights into your customers needs and problems.
How to Build Your Own Community with Podcast Facebook Groups
While it’s possible to use other people’s Facebook groups to build your community, that’s rarely the best course of action. Other people’s groups are run by other people, which means you lack control. If the group administrator closes the group one day, all your work will be lost.
By all means: Post in other people’s Facebook groups. Comment on their content and promote your own. But it’s important to start your own podcast Facebook group so you have control.
Setting up a group is fairly straightforward. Check out this tutorial to get yours up and running: How to Create a Facebook Group.
Before you start your group, understand a couple things:
First, communities take time. They don’t spring up immediately. That’s especially true for podcast Facebook groups. In the beginning, you’ll feel like you’re posting for no one, but it takes time. Even if you promote your community aggressively, it could still take months or a year before you start to get anything back from your efforts. It’s smart to open your podcast Facebook group around the same time you launch your podcast so you can build them simultaneously.
Second, people’s attention spans are limited. If you go days or weeks without engaging them, they could move on to something else and forget about you entirely. You have to commit yourself to your community or everyone will assume it’s dead.
So how do you build a great community around your podcast?
1: Craft a Clear Vision
Before open your group, it’s important to understand one thing: Podcast Facebook groups require a clear vision. (Just like your podcast itself.)
Without a vision, podcast Facebook groups feel disjointed and purposeless. You won’t have any substance to build a community around.
Your vision, simply, is what you expect your Facebook group to do. Do you want to educate fans? Inspire them to take a particular step? Get a better understanding of their needs and problems?
Your Facebook group’s topic should align with the same problem your podcast addresses. For example, a podcast about productivity would start a Facebook group about productivity.
Since we help podcast creators host their podcasts, our Facebook group – Podcast Hackers – is a place for top podcasters to share ideas, get feedback, and create awesome podcasts.
I know your main goal is to entice people to listen to your podcast episodes and drive them to your website, but you can’t do that unless you provide them with value. So your first step is to figure out how you’ll create value for your fans.
2: Engage Your Audience
Podcast Facebook groups work best when you and your community interact regularly.
Post. A lot. Daily, if you can. Twice a day is fine too.
End each post with a question. Questions are compelling calls to action that inspire people to like and comment. When people engage with a post, Facebook’s algorithm makes it more likely other people will see the post.
Facebook uses thousands of factors to determine who sees which post, but they can be broken down into six groups:
When you post, include videos, images, and links. Facebook’s algorithm favors them as opposed to text posts. Videos create the highest engagement.
Comment on every post your members create. Smash that like button on everything (unless you have to delete it, of course). Validate people by acknowledging their thoughts, supporting their content, and discussing their ideas.
As you post, make sure to monitor your group’s analytics dashboard to learn which posts perform and well and which don’t. (Only available to groups with 250+ members.)
3. Empower Your Active Members
Some of your community members who participate more than others. You’ll notice them comment more frequently than most people and even post their own content.
These types of people are extremely valuable because they engage your community for you. It’s like having free helpers.
They may have some goals of their own, but as long as they add value to the community, there’s no reason to stop them. In fact, you can encourage this behavior by acknowledging their content and comments and thanking them for their willingness to share.
4. Share Other People’s Content
Naturally, you’ll want to promote your own podcast episodes, but your fans likely consume content from other sources as well. Don’t be afraid to promote other people’s work if it adds value to your audience.
If you’re savvy, you’ll arrange partnerships with other content creators (could be writers or video creators, not just podcasters) with audiences that match yours. Agree to share one another’s new content whenever it’s published.
5. Offer Something Different
Your podcast episodes are great inspiration for your podcast Facebook group content, but it’s also important to provide a different experience. If your Facebook group posts come straight out of your podcast episodes, why would someone follow both?
For instance, you might…
- Deep dive into a topic you lightly mentioned in your podcast.
- Invite your podcast guest into your Facebook group for a community Q&A.
- Ask a question to your podcast audience and discuss it on Facebook.
A little overlap is good, but make sure you deliver unique value in both mediums.
6. Send Listeners to Your Group
Encourage your listeners to connect with your podcast Facebook groups by mentioning them organically throughout your podcast. For instance, you might quote a Facebook group member’s comment or say something like, “We had a great discussion about this on Facebook last week and the consensus was…”
You should also push listeners to your Facebook group deliberately. For example, at the end of your podcast you might say, “Thanks for listening. Join our Facebook group to talk about today’s episode.”
7. Create a Welcoming Atmosphere
Podcast Facebook groups have the same vulnerabilities of any online community: Toxic people.
The last thing you want is for your Facebook group to devolve into toxicity and arguments. You want your members to feel comfortable communicating with one another, even when their opinions differ.
You can do this by…
- Swiftly banning people who start fights or exhibit toxic behavior.
- Reminding people that opinions and experiences differ.
- Not ridiculing people for asking questions or expressing ignorance.
- Answering remedial questions (even or the thousandth time).
It helps to establish some rules for your community and post them publicly, like this:
If you keep your Facebook group a positive, welcoming place, your members will stick around.
Focus on Value
Here’s the last piece of advice we’ll leave you with: If you don’t provide value, the members of your podcast Facebook groups. They need to get something from your group. The best community leaders are in a constant state of giving – information, advice, tools, etc.
If you take time and care to thoughtfully build your community, you’ll grow your fan base, build new relationships, gain knowledge about your audience, and even pick up ideas for new podcast episodes.
For a more detailed breakdown of the advice in this article, watch our full webinar.
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