Last updated on November 27th, 2019
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.
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.