With over 1.5 million podcasts available (My Podcast Reviews), you want to find ways to grow your podcast outside of Apple, Spotify, and other listening platforms. What’s a great channel to do this? Social media.
Podcast listeners are more active on social media, 94% being active on at least one social media platform vs. 81% of the entire population (Podcast Insights). And podcast listeners are also much more likely to follow their favorite brands (Podcast Insights).
But, it’s not as simple as just throwing some posts about your podcast on Instagram or Twitter and hoping your listens spike. To use social media as a podcaster, you need to find out where your audience is living on the platform, the type of content they want to see, and how to engage with them. Below we’ve outlined six key tactics to grow your podcast on social media.
1. Engaging Content
When promoting your podcast, you don’t want to just share your podcast link; you want to put out content that will:
- Encourage your audience to interact with you;
- Spark interest in your podcast series/a specific episode.
Audiograms and quote graphics are two great ways to do this.
Promoting your content with audiograms works so well because they give your listener a peek into your podcast through an engaging quote or section of the episode. The strategy here is to really find a section of the episode that either conveys a story or sparks interest in your audience.
Some Quick Tips on Audiograms:
- Leave your audience with some sort of emotion; this can be shock, curiosity, inspiration, sadness, etc.
- Make sure to have bold titles and fonts;
- Brand it to your podcast;
- If applicable, have pictures of your guest or whoever is speaking so your audience can put a face to the voice;
- Try to keep the episode quote under two minutes (30 seconds to one minute is an ideal length). Also, note that Instagram only allows one-minute videos in their posts.
Another way to share content from your episodes is through quote graphics. Quote graphics should be branded to your podcast series and/or feature images of your guests (if applicable). Similar to audiograms, the goal of quote graphics is to start a conversation. Pull quotes from the episode that are eye-catching will make audiences stop scrolling and engage with your content–hopefully resulting in a new listener!
Make sure to avoid using an overly lengthy quote, as you don’t want to overwhelm your audience.
Leveraging your guest networks is a key way to grow your podcast, especially on social media. When you feature a guest on your show, it opens up the possibility of having access to an entirely new audience.
After you’ve recorded and published your episode, ask your guest to promote it across their social media channels. By doing this, you’re boosting listeners for that particular episode, increasing awareness for your podcast, and converting some of your guests’ audience into your audience!
Make sure to provide your guest with links to the episode, promotional content, sample posts, and your social handles!
3. Contests and Giveaways
Who doesn’t love winning a contest?
Social media contests are a fantastic way to boost reviews, ratings, and subscribers/followers for your podcast. Incentivize your followers by offering some sort of prize, whether it be swag, a gift card, product, etc. and then ask them to subscribe/follow your series and/or leave a rating and review!
To verify, you can ask followers to screenshot their device and direct message you as their contest entry. However, you decide to format your contest and what you ask of your followers is entirely up to you! Just make sure to follow regulations for hosting social media contests; here’s an example of how Global News ran their contest.
4. Cross Promotion
If you want to find a way to engage with other accounts and reach completely new audiences aside from your guest networks, social media cross-promotion is perfect for you.
Cross promoting on social media is pretty much what it sounds like; you collaborate with accounts that will promote you and your podcast while you promote them and their CTA. This is a great way for you to reach a new, relevant audience for free.
Two ways to find potential accounts to collaborate with are by searching hashtags that coincide with your content or going through the followers of accounts that are similar to yours. You can either automatically reach out to the account to discuss a collaboration or (and we recommend doing it this way) follow them and begin building a relationship by engaging with their content, leaving thought-out comments on their posts, etc.
Some things to keep in mind when cross-promoting:
- Make sure to find accounts that have a similar audience to you or who would be interested in your podcast (otherwise, it’s not going to be overly beneficial for you);
- Find accounts that have a similar audience size. You want the reach to be fair;
- Make sure that the other account doesn’t just tell audiences to check out the series, be sure to provide reasons like why they should listen, how they’d find value, what they will get out of it, etc.;
- Provide some sort of creative. This could be an audiogram or quote graphic, as we discussed above.
A great thing about social media is that it’s filled with so many different communities and groups. As a podcaster, you can use this to your advantage. Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (lists) are specifically valuable when it comes to finding communities.
Search for relevant communities that would be interested in your podcast content. Join or request to join the group and begin engaging with other members. Be cautious not outwardly to promote yourself and your show right away; this will quickly turn off other members. Some groups even have rules where you are not able to promote yourself at all to avoid this.
If you want to grow your podcast, you will have to get creative. Some things you can do are:
- Share your podcast and ask for honest and raw feedback. Although you are promoting your series but asking for advice from the group, it comes off as authentic. It’s also a great way to gauge how your audience feels about the content you are creating.
- Share content from your podcast that you think could be valuable and useful to the group.
- For example, if you’re talking to a freelancer on your podcast and share it with a group filled with freelancers, you might make a list of the key takeaways from your guest and share it.
- See if the group has an “Introduce Yourself” post or request. This is a post where you can share a little about yourself and also add a link to your series for the group to check out!
6. Never Stop A/B Testing
And lastly, never stop A/B testing. When promoting your podcast on social media, you need to take the time to test out different tactics and then analyze what is resonating most with your audience.
One great tool to use when it comes to A/B testing is Chartable. Chartable assembles all of your podcast analytics, but more relevant to social media, it offers a service called SmartLinks. These are sharable, trackable URLs that will direct listeners to their preferred podcast app and then collect the number of clicks and downloads from these specific links. You can use SmartLinks to track things like which tactic, account, or copy is performing best for conversions on your podcast.
To Wrap Up
Social media is an amazing tool for podcasters if used right. Throughout this article, we listed six different tactics you can use to grow your podcast using social media. This is just a starting point for your series; remember to continue to test and engage with your audience to see what tactics are performing best.
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Alison Osborne is the Head of Marketing at Quill Inc., a podcast production company that works with corporate brands on launching and growing their podcast. Previously the co-founder and CMO at Origins Media Haus (a production agency acquired by Quill Inc), Alison is an experienced marketer specializing in podcasting, content marketing, and data-driven results.