There a lot of podcasts these days, which means getting discovered through iTunes is harder than ever. If you want your podcast to be successful, you can’t wait for listeners to show up on their own. You’ll have to market your show in other ways, such as social media.
Social media is a powerful tool to reach your audience (so they stay connected with your brand) and attract new people. In this post, we’d like to share seven steps to help you promote a podcast on social media.
Step 1: Choose Your Platforms Strategically
You may want to join as many social media platforms as you can to promote a podcast on social media, but that’s rarely a smart strategy unless you’re a massive brand with a lot of resources.
Your audience most likely uses one or two social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn. Unless you have an especially niche community, you’ll get the most value out of those sites.
That said, go to your fans. If your listeners are active on a small community like BikerOrNot (a social community for bikers), that’s where you should be.
Furthermore, make sure your social networks are right for your niche. For example, an art history podcast would use Facebook and Instagram because they’re highly visual platforms with plenty of room for discussion in the comments. That niche wouldn’t work well on Twitter where users can only comment in short bursts.
Step 2: Build Out Your Profile
Before you promote a podcast on social media, take some time to fill in your profile features, like your bio, website, mission statement, industry, and any other fields your chosen social network offers. Fans use these to learn more about the pages they follow. Social networks use this information categorize your profile so they can show you to the right people.
Develop clean and professional artwork for your profile pictures and header images. Use images your audience will recognize. Don’t forget to exhibit your brand’s personality!
Facebook pages have a number of customizable fields to give your fans more information.
Instagram only has a few, but they’re still important.
Step 3: Create Valuable Content
As a podcaster, you understand how to create content your fans want to consume. Use that skill to create content for social media, as well. Post links, images, GIFs, memes, and videos that compel your audience to engage with you.
Every post is an opportunity to engage with your fans, so strive to publish valuable content. How do you make content valuable?
- Solve people’s problems. People absolutely love content that makes their lives easier, especially if it saves them time, money, or headaches.
- Leverage popular trends. Find a way to use or mention popular topics/ideas/images/videos in the context of your niche. For instance, an engineering podcast might share economic news and start a discussion about how the economy affects innovation.
- Post differently on each platform. Each social media platform has its own special uses. Instagram is for visually pleasing content. Twitter is for short comments and links. There are other niche platforms, too – like Dribbble, Goodreads, Quora, or Curbly – and each require unique posting strategies.
- Solicit feedback from your audience. Often the best way to engage your fans is to ask for their opinions. People love sharing their thoughts (positive and negative, so prepare yourself).
- Consider running giveaways and contests. These are powerful ways to engage people because everyone likes winning. They tend to score higher engagement metrics (likes, shares, and comments), which improves the performance of your other posts. Use them sparingly, however, so that you don’t attract a crowd who only follow you for the free stuff.
- Stay on topic. Don’t stray too far from your niche or you might alienate people. Your podcast’s profile is not your personal soapbox.
- Provoke thoughtful discussions. People are more likely to become invested in your brand if you entice them to participate by answering questions. Ask questions that inspire them to offer their thoughts. Then reply to their comments to keep the conversation going.
- Avoid controversial topics. There’s no use starting a heated debate (or worse – a fight) if you don’t have to. Stay away from topics like religion or politics unless your niche relates.
Any time you share content, make sure it’s visibly appealing. Only post high quality, professional images that capture people’s attention. Canva is a great tool for creating stunning imagery. No design skills required.
Oh, one last point: In order to promote a podcast on social media, you must proofread your copy for spelling, grammar, and clarity. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who doesn’t understand your niche as well as you.
Step 3: Create a Social Media Content Calendar
Just like you create a podcast editorial calendar for your podcast content, you’ll want to do something similar with your social media publishing schedule. This is a key technique to promote a podcast on social media.
A social media content calendar helps you stay consistent. It gives you structure so you can create quality social media content quickly.
For instance, asking questions is a simple and powerful way to engage your fans, so you’ll want to ask at least one or two questions per week to stimulate discussion. You might dedicate Tuesdays and Fridays to question posts. On Mondays you might share an inspirational quote. One Fridays you might share a piece of industry news.
Even if you don’t give each day a theme, create your content in advance. It’s usually easier to brainstorm lots of content ideas at once, rather than try to come up with them as you go. Keep a document somewhere with links, images, videos, and notes to pull from when it’s time to make a post.
Here’s an example of how one brand lays out their social media content calendar.
Use a tool like Buffer or Edgar to schedule batches of social media posts at once, at least a week at a time or for the duration of a marketing campaign. This way your posts will publish on their own and you can focus on engaging your audience.
Step 4: Engage with Your Audience
Social media follower don’t just want to read and hear what you have to say. They want to engage with you. In order to effectively promote a podcast on social media, you also have to chat with your fans.
Like their comments. Share/re-tweet their content. If someone says something particularly insightful, create a discussion post on their topic (don’t forget to credit the originator).
One great way to engage with your audience is to host Facebook Live sessions or Twitter chats where you answer your fans’ questions and respond to their comments. You could even invite your episode’s interview guest to join to really add value.
If you create a strong, healthy, inclusive community, you’ll attract new fans like a magnet. They’ll see right away that you aren’t just trying to promote yourself. Admittedly, building this type of community takes time, but it’s an extremely valuable asset once you do.
Step 5: Promote Your Podcast
You may be hesitant to plug your own show (no one wants to be too self-promotional), but that’s the whole point!
Use your social media soapbox to announce new episodes, recap old episodes, and hype future episodes. Post links directly to your web pages where they can listen to your episodes, as well as images with quotes from your show and audio snippets that pique your fan’s interest.
Before you post links to your new episodes, build some hype by teaser a day or two beforehand. You might share an insightful quote from an upcoming guest or post a short snippet of the recording. This makes your listeners look forward to the new content.
Whenever you promote a podcast on social media, make sure you’re maximizing hashtags. Hashtags are tools people use to sort through social media content. It’s very important to put yourself in front of people who are specifically looking for content like yours. (Add hashtags to your profile’s bio as well.)
Most importantly, share multiple times. Don’t assume people will get tired of you. Most people don’t see everything that crosses their feed anyway. On Facebook and Instagram, a user’s feed is controlled by an algorithm that considers lots of variables, so you’ll want to try multiple times to get their eyes on your content.
Step 6: Seek Cross-Promotional Partnerships
One of the best ways to promote a podcast on social media is to partner with other content creators to leverage their audiences. This is especially useful for new podcasts who don’t have a large following.
The process is simple: Find content creators (they could be podcasters, but they don’t have to be) whose audiences overlap with yours and ask them to share your content in exchange for sharing theirs.
Target creators with followings about the same size as yours. If their audience is far bigger than yours, they won’t want to work with someone who can’t promote them well. If their audience is far smaller than yours, they won’t be worth your time.
Step 7: Measure Your Results
The last step to promote a podcast on social media is measuring your work.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offer advanced analytics to help you measure the engagement of your social media content. Use these tools to identify what works and what doesn’t; what your fans like and what they don’t care for.
Facebook’s analytics dashboard is quite sophisticated.
If you use a social media platform that doesn’t come with built-in analytics, take notes as you share content and promote your podcast. Which posts received a lot of likes? Which were shared? Identify patterns in your fans’ behavior so you can serve them their favorite content.
Effective Social Sharing Techniques for Your Podcast
Now that you understand the basic steps of promoting your podcast on social media, let’s dive into some actionable strategies.
1. Highlight your guests
Your guests are important promotional assets. Some people will listen to an episode specifically for that guest, even if they’ve never heard of you before. Plus, your guests will promote their appearance on your show to their existing audience. Make sure to put them front and center.
Bonus tip: Send your social media post copy, images, videos, and whatever else you have to your guests. Ask them to post this pre-made content to their audiences.
2. Publish a video podcast
A video post is just a video version of your existing podcast episode. It’s as simple as adding a static image (like your podcast artwork) to your audio file. Then publish it on YouTube with a good description, including links to the podcast directories where they can download your show, as well as your podcast website.
If you want to boost your YouTube presence and create something else to share, consider capturing the video of each episode participant. Your videos will become engaging and you can share clips all over social media. You’re already doing the work, you might as well turn on the camera!
Social Media Examiner posts their entire podcast as a video.
Tim Ferris, however, posts clips of his episodes as videos.
Did you know? Castos users can automatically post their content on YouTube. We convert your podcast audio files to beautiful looking videos and automatically publish them to the YouTube channel and/or playlist of your choice. Learn more about YouTube Republishing.
3. Use the right hashtags
Hashtags are easy ways to add your social media content to categories. Anyone browsing that hashtag will see your content, as will anyone who searched for that phase. This is an easy way to boost your posts’ exposure. Hashtags work on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and many other platforms.
Besides, you’ll probably end up using the same hashtags for every post, so once you know them, adding them is quick and simple. Keep an eye out for good hashtags as you browse content that’s similar to yours.
Furthermore, consider using a branded hashtag. This kind of hashtag is usually your name or something similar that reflects your messaging. Encourage your fans to use it whenever they post about you to increase your exposure.
For example, the Almost 30 Podcast uses the branded hashtag #almost30nation on every post.
4. Tag everyone involved
If you’re promoting an episode that includes a guest (or multiple guests), make sure to tag everyone. This notifies them of your post and gives your followers an easy link to learn more about that person. Your guests will love the exposure and will surely reward you with a share.
5. Run a giveaway
Giveaways are powerful ways to boost engagement and get clicks. Ask viewers to share a link to your episode to enter, thereby driving traffic to your show. If your episode has a guest, ask him or her to share the giveaway as well. Be careful, however, because giveaways tend to attract anyone who wants free stuff, not just fans.
6. Make a blog post for each episode
Each episode of your show deserves a page on your podcast website. This page should include the following items:
By creating a page with these assets, you now have another thing you can share. Post links to the page on your social media profiles. Encourage your fans to read your notes and transcription if they can’t listen to the audio.
Spend time creating your podcast, not transcribing it. With Castos’ transcription service, every episode you publish on the Castos platform can be automatically transcribed into a full, word-for-word account of your episode. Learn more.
7. Use lots of images
Social media is designed for imagery. Tweets with visuals are retweeted 1.5x more than those without. Images on Facebook receive 37% more engagement. Your podcast may be audio, but you can’t leave out the images. Every post should have some kind of visual element. (We’ll discuss some options in the following tips.)
8. Pull quotes to create images
Quotes are easy and engaging social media images. All you have to do is grab a powerful line for your episode and slap it on an image with your logo. Add a picture of the speaker and some branded fonts and colors to spruce it up.
If you make a lot of these, create a simple template in Photoshop or Canva. This will help you quickly create multiple quote images per episode.
This is another reason to publish a complete transcription with each episode. You’ll be able to copy+paste quotes right from the text into your quote template.
9. Create audiograms
A podcast audiogram is an image that’s converted into a video and layered with other elements on top, such as a waveform and/or transcriptions. This combination of visual arts is unique podcasting and highly shareable.
Since audiograms are technically videos, they work on every social platform – on desktop and mobile devices. And yet, they still seem like something made just for podcasts.
Here’s an example of an audiogram. This is not a static image, so click the play button.
#ArtificialIntelligence has a growing role in predicting, preventing, and treating COVID-19 cases. Listen to my conversation with my friend, James Manyika, where we discuss biological sciences and investing in our technological future. https://t.co/Gwoah4NSDS. @McKinsey_MGI pic.twitter.com/ee3DnjW8Df— Kevin Scott (@kevin_scott) August 13, 2020
10. Use people/faces in your imagery
The science is pretty clear that images of people do better on social media. Why? Because our brains like faces. We find them compelling. Whenever possible, add people to your images, like your host, guests, or anyone mentioned. The goal here is to humanize the episode, but don’t over do it by loading 10 people into the same picture.
The Armchair Expert Podcast is great about putting their hosts and guests in every single photo, thereby making you feel like you could be part of their interview.
WTF with Marc Maron is great about this too. Each post promoting a new episode is a simple photo of the host and guest. It’s simple, but powerful.
11. Tag any brand mentioned in the episode
Every bit of exposure counts, so create a post that tags each person or brand in the episode. For instance, if you recommend MailChimp, tag MailChimp, even if they weren’t a participant in your episode. They might do you a favor and retweet!
12. Stay active in the comments
Don’t forget about your posts soon as you release them into the world.Keep your notifications on so you are aware when people leave comments. Engage with these comments to make your fans feel connected to you and your show.
13. Promote everything you do
Your audience loves your podcast, but they also love you. Don’t be afraid to promote everything you do – your books, courses, memberships, live events, articles, and anything else.
Keep in mind that your audience isn’t just a way to drive traffic to your show. It’s an asset that should support your entire brand. Your followers want to know about everything you do.
14. Promote your old episodes
Just because you’re working on new stuff doesn’t mean your old episodes should be forgotten. Social media is a big, noisy place. Your audience may have missed an old episode. Or maybe they weren’t fans at the time.
Use the strategies we outlined above to promote your old episodes often, especially if they performed well when they were released. But don’t pretend that they’re new. Be upfront that you’re plugging old content.
15. Ask questions (and engage with your fans)
By their nature, questions invite engagement. A simple question can make your audience feel like you care about their thoughts and opinions. It can also make your fans feel like they are part of your show; a function of the experience. It’s thrilling when someone with moderate fame actually engages with you.
As a creator, asking questions is a great way to get feedback. You could learn what your fans think of a past episode or source new topic ideas. Plus, engagement with your posts affects how each social media platform ranks your content. More engagement = your posts appear higher in your followers’ feeds.
How I Built This is great about asking questions, almost every day. Their posts consistently get likes, retweets, and lots of comments.
16. Create a social media schedule
A social media schedule has two benefits:
- It keeps you posting every day so your audience never forgets about you.
- It turns social media marketing into a cler process, which is less overwhelming.
If you create multiple social media posts for each episode, your content calendar will fill up quickly. We recommend using a social media scheduling tool so you can see and fill your gaps. For instance, if you notice an empty day, you might use that slot to promote an old episode or ask a question to your fans that doesn’t relate to a specific episode.
Promote a Podcast on Social Media Key Takeaway
One thing is clear: If you want to promote a podcast on social media, you’ll have to invest time and energy. There’s no shortcut. But in time, you’ll build an engaged community that eagerly awaits your new episodes and shares your content with their friends.
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