Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
Social media is the go-to way to promote your podcast, grow your audience, and nurture a community around your niche.
All you have to do is make an account for your podcast on all the social media platforms, start throwing out some posts, and job done!… right?
Auddy recently hosted a webinar where we discussed how to promote your podcast effectively on social media. We covered topics like:
- What platforms should I be posting on?
- Does every podcast need a social media presence?
- How to manage your workload and avoid burnout
- How to create optimised video content
- How to build trust and form a community
- How and why to create a social media strategy
- What to do if you’re gaining popularity on social media but it’s not translating into more podcast downloads
- What podcasts can you check out for social media marketing inspiration?
- Are social media ads worth it?
And plenty more!
Here are some of the top takeaways from the webinar…
1. Follow your audience
Most podcasts aren’t active on all social media platforms. Unless you have an entire army working on your podcast, you probably won’t be regularly posting on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Reddit, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat… it’s just not going to work.
“Unless you have unlimited resources and unlimited time and an awful lot of help, then it’s not sensible to try and cover all bases,” says Susie Brown, Auddy’s Head of Insight.
Instead, start small. Pick one or two platforms to focus on first and you can always branch out to more once you’ve found your feet.
But which platforms should you choose?
While it is worth having a think about which platforms you use (and know how to make the most of), you need to identify which platforms your target audience is using. If you’re making a basketball podcast and there’s a huge community of basketball fans posting videos and following hashtags on TikTok, then it would seem strange to then start posting content only on LinkedIn, right?
Remember, it’s much harder to create a community from scratch on a platform your audience isn’t showing much interest in – gravitate to where they’re already hanging out instead.
Susie Brown, Auddy’s Head of Insight, recommends learning as much as you can about your audience through the data and tools available online.
“The best way to [find out about your audience] is on Spotify for Podcasters.” she explains. “If you haven’t already, you should claim your podcast. This will tell you a bit more about location and gender and age. You can get location information from your own hosting platform, but the only place you can really get gender and age information is from Spotify.”
2. The stats
It’s worth us digging deep into some of the key statistics Susie shared in our webinar, as they will help you to work out which social media platforms align with your podcast’s target audience the most.
LinkedIn – most people on this platform are 25-34 years old. Not many people are over the age of 55. Podcasts about business or self-improvement tend to gravitate towards this platform as LinkedIn is all about careers and progression.
TikTok – this platform has the youngest profile. About half of its users are under 29 (Snapchat also has a predominantly younger audience). It’s also worth noting that 60% of TikTok users are female and an enormous amount of users are based in China.
Facebook – over 40% of its users are over 35 years old or over. It’s also the fastest-growing platform among the 65+ age group. Nevertheless, there still is a significant number of younger people (18-34) still using Facebook. In fact, the biggest age group is men age 25-34.
Instagram – there’s pretty much a 50:50 gender split on this platform. Over half of its users are under 35.
YouTube – this is the world’s second most used social media platform. Rather importantly, it’s also the biggest platform for podcast consumption in the USA. With this in mind, it’s really important to at least consider uploading your podcast episodes to YouTube.
Pinterest – they have a predominantly female audience, mostly in the USA. They have a decent spread across all age groups and very engaged users, so Pinterest shouldn’t be overlooked by any means.
3. Nurture your listeners
“Social media is obviously about building your audience, but it’s also about maintaining your existing audience,” says Sophie Paluch, Auddy’s Acquisition and Partner Manager.
At Auddy, it’s Sophie’s job to support all of the fantastic shows on our network. This means she knows a thing or two about how podcasts can grow and develop over time – and how social media plays into this.
In our webinar, Sophie highlighted the importance of using social media not only to attract new listeners to your podcast, but to retain your current audience. Let’s explain how…
Imagine somebody stumbles across an episode of your podcast on Spotify. They have a listen, they enjoy it, and they might even intend to listen to some more episodes at a later date. But people are busy. It’s easy to get distracted. And most podcast listeners tune into multiple shows, which means you’re up against plenty of competition. However, if at the end of your episode you ask people to give you a follow on social media, you’re essentially offering a way for them to keep in touch with you. To stay in your loop. And now that they are connected to you via social media, they will receive regular updates and reminders about your latest episodes. They may even grow to really love your show as they learn more about your personality and see you engaging online with your niche. And, rather than being a one-off listener, you’re much more likely to retain them as a loyal follower.
“TikTok is great for [retaining listeners],” Sophie adds. “So many podcasts I listen to are on TikTok now and I forget that they’re out, and then I see their TikTok post and I think ‘Oh, a new episode’s out!’.”
Building trust between you and your podcast fans is really important if you plan on creating a sustainable, popular podcast. The more your fans get to know you, the more invested they will become in your podcast and its success. And it works the other way too – the more you know about your fans, the more you can adapt your podcast to their needs and preferences.
Misael Tujillo, Auddy’s Senior Marketing Manager, encourages podcasters to use social media as a chance to gain feedback and ideas from their existing audience. He recommends creating polls and asking your audience questions such as:
- What do you want me to change about my podcast?
- What kind of guests do you want?
- What bits should I cut out of my podcast that you aren’t enjoying?
4. Look at the data
Speaking of feedback, you shouldn’t only be gathering qualitative data, but quantitative insights too. It’s important to track how your social media posts are doing because you don’t want to be putting tonnes of effort into something that’s not actually helping your podcast to grow.
“Each [social media] platform has really, really good analytics,” says Susie. “Engagement as an umbrella is what you’re looking for.”
This involves tracking things like the number of followers you have on social media, the number of likes, clicks, shares, comments… all that sort of stuff.
“Or you can just look at individual posts and see how people are engaging with those posts,” Susie adds. “On the back of that, you can really start to see what is working best for you. You’ll probably find that images and videos work more strongly than pure text.”
Other things to think about are:
- Is there a time of day that you seem to be getting the most engagement? Or a specific day of the week that you should focus on posting?
- Are longer or shorter posts more popular?
- Does certain copy seem to be more popular? For example, is your audience more engaged when you ask questions? Or if you use emojis?
5. Give to your community
People are unlikely to (a) follow you on social media, and (b) engage with your podcast unless they are getting something in return. So, in other words, you need to be a proactive member of your podcast’s niche. You need to form relationships and be prepared to provide for your community.
“Your podcast can’t exist in its own bubble, which won’t go anywhere,” says Sophie. “You have to start looking at what other podcasters and other people are doing in your space. A really good example is the parenting space. We have a podcast on Auddy called Two New Mums and the girls [hosts Jennie Longdon and Amy Voce] are great at following other parenting podcasts, engaging with them, commenting on their posts, retweeting their posts. They are really in that community.”
If you’re not sure what you should be posting, and how to provide value, consider:
- Sharing useful tips or advice with your niche – for example, if you have a business podcast you could share the top 10 things you’ve learnt as an entrepreneur
- Don’t just rely on people finding you on social media – go to them. How many members of your community do you actually talk to? Share their posts? Comment on their tweets? Build a relationship with members of your niche.
- Think about the consumer. People might not want to share a post where you’re hard-selling your latest podcast episode, but they’re much more likely to share, say, a meme or a relatable story that they think their friends will enjoy.
- Make your content irresistible – perhaps you’ve posted a clip from your podcast that leaves things on a cliffhanger. People will then feel inclined to check your latest episode to hear the full story.
Creating engaging content and building trusting relationships with your audience will also help with another aspect of podcasting: monetisation.
If you’ve taken the time to get to know your audience, you’re more likely to find brands that they will actually be interested in. This means adverts and podcast sponsorships are likely to be much more successful.
6. Lean into your strengths
It’s no secret that video-based content is really paving the way in the social media sphere at the moment.
TikTok is booming, with more than a billion monthly users. “TikTok has the highest engagement rate per post than any other platform. And I’m not just talking about podcasting – just generally the engagement on their posts,” Susie explains.
Similarly, Instagram is currently prioritising reels (their version of TikTok videos) in their algorithm. And Susie adds: “YouTube also has extremely high engagement levels. Adding video just instantly does make [your content] more engaging.”
So, in other words, now is a great time to be creating video content for social media.
There are many ways to do this – you could simply film your podcast episodes and upload this to YouTube. You could cut up smaller clips to share on TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, or another platform. If you can’t film your podcast, you could always share ‘behind the scenes’ footage of you editing content, or you could create animations if you have the skills and time to do so.
TOP TIP – Optimise. While video content is big at the moment, it’s not enough to knock something up, post it on social media, and wait for all the views, likes and shares to come flooding in. If you want your content to do well, you need to optimise it.
Some things to think about are…
- the length of your clip – the shorter the better, generally
- accessibility – does it have subtitles?
- Does your video have an enticing thumbnail/cover that people will feel inclined to click on? For example, have you included a juicy quote that people will want to find out more about?
- Do you end with a CTA (Call To Action) telling people what to do next? Something like ‘listen to the full episode at …’
- Are you making the most of your platform? Think about things like hashtags, tagging relevant accounts, and incorporating trending sounds, memes etc.
This might all sound promising, but what if you can’t produce video content? What if you don’t have a camera, or you don’t have time to be filming footage?
If this is the case for you, consider using more text-heavy platforms like Twitter or Reddit.
Misael explains: “If you don’t have the time to do everything, then actually starting and looking at places like Reddit and Twitter and using their search functions to see what conversations are already existing are a great way to start letting people know that you’re part of that audience. Not necessarily preaching to them, not just saying ‘listen to my podcast, here’s the latest episode’. Joining those conversations when it’s relevant.”
Sophie also points out that some people might not want to make video content. “A lot of people got into podcasting because they don’t feel very comfortable in a visual space. They don’t want to make video. They don’t want to be on screen,” she says. “You can use [text-based platforms] to your advantage if you don’t feel comfortable putting yourself on video or doing behind the scenes clips.”
We cover these platforms in much more detail (particularly Reddit) in our webinar, so do have a watch if you’d like to know more.
It’s also worth remembering that social media changes. The algorithms never stay the same for long. Trends change. People change. And you and your podcast will have to change. So, a social media strategy that works well today may not be successful tomorrow. Video probably won’t be the dominant medium forever. So, if you want your podcast to grow via social media, you need to be willing to adapt.
7. Use paid ads wisely
So far, we’ve spoken a lot about organic social media, but there is another side to consider: ads.
Maybe you aren’t sure if paid social media ads are worth it, or you’ve dabbled into this world but had very little success.
Speaking about Facebook, Susie says, “The Facebook content algorithm will always prioritise content from your friends and family and it will deprioritise commercial content. So, any kind of content that says ‘buy this…do this…listen to this now’ Facebook will deprioritise, so it’s quite likely that no one will see your post on Facebook unless you promote it. So, in other words, if your audience is on Facebook and you want to reach out to them, you are going to need to pay for Facebook advertising.”
On most social platforms you can be very targeted with your ads – narrowing down what location, specific interests etc. you want to focus on.
“Don’t spend your money on advertising if you haven’t done a strategy. Don’t just throw your money at these companies because they’ll happily take it and show it to all the wrong people,” Misael says. “Really understand what you’re going for, what your keywords are, what your key demographic is, what countries they’re in, and have that all sorted before you let go of your hard-earned cash.”
That’s 7 highlights from our webinar on social media for podcasters. We go into these points much more thoroughly in our webinar, plus we cover many more tips and topics.