by Andréa Jones
Improve Your Listener Growth by Using Social Media
As podcasters, you probably already understand that social media is such a powerful tool for increasing your audience and keeping in touch with your listeners even when they’re not listening to your show.
Even so, I don’t know very many people who got into podcasting because they love social media. Most likely, you’re a podcaster because you care about something, you want to talk about it, and you like connecting with people; social media can seem like a chore. But it doesn’t have to.
If you’re struggling to leverage your social media connections into a larger audience for your podcast, I’m here to help!
Here are some of the most important things you need to know to increase your listenership with social media.
How Podcasters Can Use Social Media to Boost Listenership
1 – Know Your Audience
Focus on the end-user and make it clear why your content is worth their time.
Growing an audience starts by knowing your audience. You wouldn’t walk up to a total stranger and try to get them to listen to your show, so don’t make the mistake of presenting content to an audience you don’t understand. If you know who your followers are, you can figure out why they’re engaging with you in the first place, which is critical if you want to provide them with content they’re looking for.
Basically, ask yourself what’s in it for them.
This means looking at your podcast less in terms of who you are and more in terms of what you can offer, why it matters, and who you’re providing it to. A little demographic research helps, but plain-old listening works just as well.
While we’re on the topic, be sure that you’re clearly communicating the value you’re providing in the podcast in the description or social media copy you’re using. Lead with value. What will they learn? Any advice that you can share to make your audience’s life easier? What problems will they overcome?
2 – Create Content that Converts
Make good content that people will want to talk about.
Social media for podcasts is a bit of a dance, because social media is such a visual and textual platform, whereas podcasts are inherently about audio. So when I share a podcast online, I love using audiograms to add a visual element. You can use a tool like Headliner to make a simple, beautiful, visual representation of the audio wavelengths in your show that bridges the gap between audio and social media content. Plus, Headliner is free!
Something else to think about is making content that works for you.
If you write a long social media post chock full of useful information and publish it, it’s not going to do any work for you if you don’t also include clear calls to action.
Reminders to like, share, or comment are terrific, but I especially love asking people to share content with people they know. Word-of-mouth referrals are almost priceless because they’re so much more trusted. Getting people to share your content, either in person or through an online recommendation, review, or tweet, is super useful. According to the Canadian Podcast Listener, the most impactful way to get more listeners is through word-of-mouth. The second most impactful is social media. Finding a way to combine those two marketing strategies is a blend that will maximize your results.
3 – Be Actively Social
Social media is like dating — you’ve got to woo your audience.
Remember earlier when I said you wouldn’t walk up to a stone-cold stranger and pitch them your podcast for no reason? That’s because social media is a lot like dating. When you start to date someone, you don’t just try and jump into bed with them in the first five minutes of meeting them. Relationships take work! You have to woo your audience, be supportive and interesting, and only then will they feel comfortable to actually pull the trigger on something more serious like giving you a subscription or a listen.
I love Gary Vee’s “giving without expectations” philosophy when it comes to relationship marketing. Your bottom-line goal should be to provide value before you ask someone for something like a sale, a subscription, or a listen.
“In order to build any type of relationship that gives you the air cover to be able to ask for something down the line, you should always be the one providing the value upfront. You might not always get what you ask for, but at the end of the day, the absolute worst-case scenario is that you had a positive impact on somebody through your actions, and as a human, that should just make you feel good.”—Gary V.
Your goal should be to add value, not to just throw your content into the world and expect people to care about it.
4 – Know Your Numbers
Know thyself to grow thy podcast audience – Hamlet, probably.
I’ve made a lot of comparisons between content marketing and in-person relationships in today’s blog, but one of the interesting differences between online and real-life relationships is that social media gathers objective data that measures your growth.
After all, if you want to improve, the first step is to know where you are. Exactly where you are.
I prefer an integrated tool like Social Report to keep on top of my metrics from one place across all platforms. Having everything in one place gives you a bird’s eye view of your social landscape, and it saves you time and energy.
However, when tracking your progress, do remember that leveraging your podcast on social media is a numbers game. You’re providing value with the end goal of turning that relationship into something that helps both of you. It’s a win-win that you can track.
If you’re feeling daunted by your numbers, remember that your end goal (getting people to listen to your podcast) isn’t an A to B progression. There are almost always intermediary steps between when a person first encounters your content and when they convert to a listener. Identify some of these middle steps that support your brand goal, such as commenting, following, and DM’ing, because they’re great stepping stones to get your listeners down the content marketing funnel.
Leveraging and growing your existing social media audience is such a great way to improve your listenership. Identifying your goals, knowing your value, and stressing the way you can benefit your listeners (rather than the other way around) is a powerful way to increase your audience, grow your podcast, and have a lot of fun connecting with people in the process.
Remember to add a call to action to your social media content. “Like, share, or comment” is terrific, but also ask your audience to share content with people they know.
Andréa Jones is fiercely committed to helping businesses and podcasters build profitable communities online through simple social media solutions. Named one of Social Report’s top marketers to follow in 2019, Andréa’s passion for keeping social media simplified shines through for her full service clients and students as well as on her podcast – the Savvy Social Podcast.