Tackling the Monster that is Social Media
If it’s not already obvious, social media may be one of the single most important tools you will use to expand your podcast’s brand.
Even here at Jam Street, we have been able to significantly grow our audience organically through social media, and word of mouth.
What’s not already obvious is how to actually use social media in the most effective way possible to help your brand grow.
Well, there are several strategies that we have used at our company that have helped us gain new listeners, and stay connected with our current audience.
Unique and diverse content
Leveraging any guest that we may have
Let’s tackle that first point of content, which is probably the most daunting task of all when it comes to social media.
At the bare minimum, you should use all of your social media accounts to promote your new episodes. The content for this can include pull quotes, which is an excellent way to give your audience a taste of what’s to come in your episodes.
There are a few ways to share pull quotes.
As an image
As an audiogram, or headliner.
Here's an example of sharing your pull quote as an image:
Video is an interesting thing when it comes to podcasts, because it’s not something traditional podcasters usually utilize. However, it's still important to note that it does have potential considering 73% of U.S. adults use Youtube on a weekly basis. Having short segmented videos to promote new episodes on Youtube, and even your audiograms, can be a great way to give your audience a diverse type of content. But that can be an entirely different blog post of itself.
Here's an example of using video to share you pull quote on youtube:
Continuing with content, we tackle captions. Yes, we know it's tempting to go crazy and write a novel length caption that has an equal amount of hashtags, but in reality that can hurt your podcast more than it can help.
At Jam Street Media, we like to keep things as short as we can without limiting the quality of the post, and the information we are trying to share. I mean let’s face it, most people don’t have the time, or attention to read more than a sentence or two. In fact, according to Oracle, the average person’s attention span is about eight seconds.
Plus, it's different for each platform that you may use, and each also present their own unique challenges. For instance:
Facebook: 40-80 characters. Some studies have shown that posts at this length receive 88% more engagement than those with more, or less.
Instagram: 135-150 characters. We know Instagram to be all about visuals and aesthetics, but whatever the content you are posting, your caption has the ability to add context and really help your podcast’s engagement.
Twitter: Luckily, Twitter caps you 280 characters. Even then you don’t want to hit that character length. Research shows that tweets with 100 characters receive a 17% boost in engagement.
Let’s take a quick beat and discuss hashtags. Personally, I have found that hashtags prove a bit useless for Facebook. However, for Twitter and Instagram they are great to be seen and to grow your audience.
Twitter recommends that you use no more than two hashtags for each post, which is what we go by as a company. If you’re stuck like glue on what hashtags to put, head over to the trending page and do a keyword search on what’s trendin
Instagram is an entirely other monster, because they do end up shadow banning people who stuff their posts continuously with the same 20 hashtags. (They see that as spam.) At Jam Street we say no more than 15, but other studies show 5-10 hashtags might be the sweet spot. Be creative though, and come up with different hashtags each time.
Okay, we are almost done talking about content, I swear. Hopefully, your attention span has lasted longer than eight seconds.
Utilizing the additional tools that some platforms have to offer will be great in engaging with your current audience. Whether that be offering a poll, going live, or encouraging your followers to ask you a question it can all be useful in making your audience feel like they are a part of something.
Here's an example of using a poll on both twitter and instagram:
You should always prioritize quality over quantity, don’t just post for the sake of posting. If there is one thing you should always do when cross promoting your episodes, it’s to make sure that visually it is different. Chances are you have followers that connect with you across each platform, and you don’t want them seeing the same post three different times.
Now, let’s move on to how active you should be. This one is a little bit less convoluted and long-winded.
I'm going to give you our company standard, because this is how we have found success in growing our audience.
Twitter: Be active at least 3-4 times a day.
Instagram: Post 3-4 times a week, and be active on your story an equal amount.
Facebook: The same as Instagram.
How active you are doesn’t have to depend on just posts that promote new episodes. It can also be your interaction with your followers.
Liking people's comments
Answering their questions and responding to comments
Giving a follow back to fellow podcasters who do the same
Interacting is great for keeping up, and expanding your fan base. You should monitor your social accounts daily for any questions, or comments from your followers so that you can reply in a timely manner. Followers love when you give a simple thanks for the follow, and a like on a comment means a lot more than you think.
Finally, the last thing to help promote your podcast through social media is leveraging any guest you may have.
If you have a guest on your episode that has a significant following, it would be a huge bump in your engagement if they promote your podcast. The idea is that it will send people not only to our social media pages, but to your podcast landing page as well. More engagement can equal more listens and downloads.
Make it really easy for your guests too, by providing them with whatever assets they need to post. That includes the caption!
Those are just some of the ways that Jam Street Media has been able to find success using social media to grow not only our brand, but our podcast brands as well.
Again, social media is quite a beast to slay and with the algorithms always changing so are your strategies. In the end, it’s all about finding and understanding what works best for you.