This is the beginning of a series of posts aimed to demystify social media for podcasters, beginning with Facebook.
Do you often feel like Facebook is being shoved down your throat?
It’s everywhere, all the time…Facebook, Facebook, FACEBOOK!
And although at times it might get annoying, it really is a place that we as podcasters, as independent media creators must pay attention to, whether we like it or not.
Our job as new media pioneers is to inform ourselves and make educated choices as to how we engage with our audience, as well as refine the ways that we share our content with the world for optimal engagement and results.
We need to do it. No one else will do it for us…unless you are willing to fork out some serious cash for a killer PR person 🙂
The promotional lines get blurry with podcasts and podcasters
Part of the beauty of podcasting is that we are not mainstream media. We are “rebels” if you will about the way that we offer our content to the world.
We do things in a much more personal way with our audience, which includes promoting our content in the way that we want to.
I venture to say that most podcasters are not fond of hearing ads in podcasts, although at the same time we long to get some sort of sponsor…Oh the wonderful paradox!
Why I’m bringing this up is because our indie nature sometimes gets in our way of the best practices to reach our audience.
Facebook Needs To Align with Your Audience
Or any social platform for that matter.
When was the last time that you asked yourself where your audience was hanging out?
In fact, who is your audience? Have you broken it down yet?
- male or female?
- how old?
- married or single?
Those are just some very easy questions to start to ask to get to know your audience better. Instead of getting caught up with To Facebook or not To Facebook, get back to your audience.
Where are they? Are they hanging out on Facebook? or maybe Twitter? or not active in social media at all.
You can create some pretty easy free surveys using Survey Monkey.
Are YOU your audience?
There are many times that as producers we feel that we know exactly what our audience is thinking.
A lot of the time this can be the case, since our audience generally is interested in the stuff that we are podcasting about.
we also have to be open to the fact that this might not be the case.
Just because you personally really hate Facebook and everything that it stands for, does not mean that your audience hates it.
Just because you find Twitter so easy and accessible does not mean that your audience does as well.
As new media pioneers it is part of our job to test what works best to create some sort of results, whether it be growing your listener base, getting more comments from your audience, or even something as simple as requesting ratings or reviews in iTunes.
Test your Calls To Action
It’s rare that you, podcasting genius, do not ask your audience to do something, such as: listen to my show, review me in iTunes, subscribe to my show, or send me feedback.
Have you ever tested what works?
Try the following basic tips for a while to see where you get the most bang for your buck in social media.
- Use bit.ly and create different bit.ly links for each of your episodes that you are posting on social media, depending on the platform you are using ie. bit.ly/yourpodcastepisodenumber-fb, bit.ly/yourpodcastepisodenumber-twitter
- Create a bit.ly link for your about section in social media accounts.
In the website section in your twitter account paste a bit.ly link specific for twitter. This would mean that you create a bit.ly link for your podcast website, customize it (bit.ly.com/yourpodcastfromtwitter). You can do the same from your about page in your Facebook Page or Profile or other places like Google+ or YouTube.
Give it a go for a month and then check out the data. See how many people clicked through, and where they were coming from most consistently. This can also help you see if your social media updates are actually converting folks.
Once you see the data, it will help you clarify or completely shift your game plan, then you can begin to concentrate on the things that are working for you and letting go of all those that suck all of your time and yield no results.
Ways to gather data via your self hosted podcast website
There are quite a bit of you that have your own WordPress installation for your podcast website. There are some really great tools you can use to check out where your audience is that are totally free!
Pretty Link (wordpress plugin): This is such a fantastic plugin to track where people are coming from, just like bit.ly but more branded for your site. You can create unique url links for almost any url that you desire that will start with your domain name.
EXAMPLES: Put in your latest episode url and create a simpler link such as http://yourgreatpodcast.com/96 or get your iTunes Podcast url and create a pretty link like http://yourgreatpodcast.com/itunes
Pretty link has great analytics which you can check from right within your WP dashboard.
Google Analytics: A great way to gather data. Totally free. Please refer to my data from Google analytics to see where my traffic comes from. It’s kinda obvious where my peeps are hanging out!
ADVANCED TIP: Create a landing page within your podcast website that is specific for people coming from social media. (You would also add this specific link to your profile in any of your social media sites)
On this page you can say things like “Hello Facebook friend! so great to have you come check out the site! Here are a few great things to do while you are here: Get to know what my podcast is about (link to your about page,) listen to my latest episode which is about xxxxxxx (link to episode) and/or subscribe to my email list where you’ll get updated whenever I publish a new episode! Thanks for coming by! “
Keep an open mind and do your podcasting marketing homework!
Are you ready to give some of this a try?
Let us know in the comments!
If you already have data, why don’t you leave us a comment and share what trends you’ve seen for your podcast.
Coming up we’ll be posting a series focusing primarily on diving deeply into Facebook promotion and offering totally simple ways to grow your audience and drive engagement…that is if your audience is hanging out there 🙂
Image credit via CC The Calm After The Show by Thomas Hawk