How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Podcast

Maria Theo

Maria Theo

Creative


Podcasts have become one of the most popular ways to consume content. Most folks have a favorite show and would eagerly seize any opportunity to tell you why they love it and why you should listen, too. So it’s no surprise that brands have started creating podcasts of their own to help build their audience and foster brand affinity. Just take a look at our friends over at HubSpot and Privy who have both launched branded shows; you could spend days with their content and still not get enough.

But once you’ve created an awesome podcast for your business, how do you make sure people “see” it? Spoiler alert: you’re going to want to use social media.

The internet is chock-full of things to read, watch, and listen to — so, it’s important for you to find your own corner, or niche as we like to call it, no matter how big or small and promote your content there.

Now, without further adieu, let’s dig into all the ways social media can help promote your brand’s podcast.

General social media best practices

Let’s dive into some tried and true tactics that you’ll want to use to promote your podcast on social media.

Keep promotion close to home

For a B2B or B2C business, the goal of making a podcast is to give your audience more opportunities to spend time with your brand and build affinity for it. When thinking about your social media strategy, all the decisions you make should be in service of that goal.

One question you might be asking off the bat is whether or not your podcast should have its own social profiles. In our experience, the answer is no — at least for most B2B businesses making podcasts, and especially when you’re just starting out.

Your branded social profiles have an audience that has already expressed interest in your business and content. Why not leverage that existing audience? Starting from scratch can be a long and rocky road compared to relying on your tried and true fans. This will also help improve your show’s association with your overall brand — which is ultimately what you’re going for.

As an example, Red Hat software is currently several seasons deep into their “Command Line Heroes” podcast, which is promoted via their branded social profiles. Recently, they noted a 96% brand recall when listeners were asked to identify the brand behind the show. Now that’s what we call a success!

Another downside of building new social profiles for a brand new show is that your concept hasn’t been proven and your audience might not be large enough to support dedicated pages. You’d be doubling your team’s workload for a concept that hasn’t been truly vetted.

As your show matures and your audience grows, there might be a case for breaking out of the brand pages and developing a unique presence — but in most cases, your branded content should sit with your established pages and audiences.

When promoting your podcast on social media, at the end of the day you’re really just promoting your business. The podcast is an extension of your brand, not necessarily a brand in and of itself.

“When promoting your podcast on social media, at the end of the day you’re really just promoting your business. The podcast is an extension of your brand, not necessarily a brand in and of itself.”

Create social posts based on each episode

Now that you know where to promote your podcast content, the question is — what do you promote?

You don’t get people’s attention for very long on social media, so you want to make sure that you are getting the most out of the time that you have. When crafting your social media posts, you want to pull out the most interesting tidbits of each episode. You can look at every post you make about your podcast almost like the first sentence of a story. It’s a hook that entices followers and fans to consume more.

If you’re not a part of the production process or on the show itself, make sure you listen to every episode from start to finish so you can understand the narrative and identify key themes. What is the overarching message and supporting ideas? Did your guest gush about their cute dog? Did they share the story about how they first broke into their current industry? Ask yourself — why would someone want to listen to this episode? From that answer, start to build your social media content.

Look at how Serial promoted their upcoming season. Their first episode tells the story of what happens after a small town bar fight. So, what did they post on social media? Check it out.

It’s a simple yet eye-catching video of a quintessential small town bar, with an accompanying caption that gives the context needed. Adding supporting content like this helps paint a picture in the listener’s mind and evoke associations that could make them feel more connected to the content. When creating posts about your podcast, you want to set the scene and leave your listener wanting more — and simple posts like this one will do just that.

Another way for you to create social posts from your podcast is to create images or video clips of the episode. Take a look at this post from our friends at Privy.

This post is great for several reasons. For one, it is very eye catching with its bold colors and animation. Thanks to the captions, it is accessible for everyone. And last but not least, the clip is engaging — it uses a relatable reference to pique interest and pull you in.

The best part is, a post like this can be repurposed across multiple social channels. We just saw the example on Twitter, but this same post was also used on Instagram. Reposting content across different platforms is helpful because it keeps your messaging consistent and reaches a larger audience without extra creative legwork.

Now, if you’re wondering how you can make something like this, worry not. There are a ton of apps that can help you do this. For example, Headliner is a handy tool for creating social images out of audio clips. And the good news is, you don’t need to be a designer or audio editor to use the app. If you’re just beginning the journey of promoting your podcast on social media, this type of creation tool is a great place to start!

Make unique content to support the show

Beyond creating content that is pulled directly from the episode itself, you can also create content that is relevant but not overly promotional. Remember, you want to create as many opportunities for someone to spend time with your brand.

Once you have a few episodes under your belt, try creating a blooper reel of edits from the cutting room floor. You could even have some fun with it and get edgy with the edits. Take this video we made after filming Brandwagon. (We know it’s not a podcast, but the same idea applies!)

Pro-Tip
When recording your podcast, get video of the session to increase the opportunity for content creation.

Posting videos like this to promote your podcast will help build anticipation and enjoyment even before an episode comes out. Additionally, including social posts like this throughout your distribution plan will keep your podcast consistently top of mind.

You can also repurpose your podcast by turning the show notes into a blog post. This doubles as another way to promote your episode and drive listeners to your site. Not only that, but it opens up the option for folks looking to consume your content in a different way. Check out our example from “The Brandwagon Interviews” podcast. Once you have that, you can easily break the blog post down into an Instagram story or Twitter thread. Doing so makes your content more accessible and helps you get more exposure.

Match your tone to each platform

When making content for your podcast, think about how each post can be amplified by the platform you’re using. Each platform has different best practices that you should keep in mind when creating your content.

While some best practices are more tangible and concrete — for example, the word count on Twitter or giving photo credit on Instagram — some are a little more nuanced.

For instance, you might recall the #DollyPartonChallenge. It was a social media challenge started by the legend herself that asked participants to post pictures of how they represent themselves on popular social platforms. This fun challenge took social media by storm because everyone who saw this post immediately understood it and was able to recreate it.

While there’s no definitive “right” and “wrong” way to craft brand content for different channels, a few general rules of thumb apply. For example, LinkedIn is a more professional setting for buttoned-up content, while Instagram is a great place to showcase your brand personality. When posting on the multiple platforms, keep these nuanced differences in mind. This could be as simple as customizing the text on your posts to match the tone and audience of the platform; doing so will help your posts resonate more strongly.

Make it easy for your team and guests to share about it

You’re making a podcast to support your brand, so it makes sense that you would want your employees to help amplify your reach and share episodes, right? Definitely!

Social sharing might seem like an easy ask for marketers, but not everyone has a knack for creative writing. To help employees spread the podcast love, do the heavy lifting and write social posts for them. This also ensures the messaging stays on-brand and your teammates get the relief of not having to craft a social message from scratch. It’s a win, win.

Having folks reshare your business’s social message is another way to leverage your team to help get more eyes (er, ears) on your podcast. When a new episode is released, drop a message in your team Slack channel or via email with the link to the post so that it’s easily accessible and easy to share. Often, employees aren’t on social media during the work day and might have otherwise missed the post, so giving your team a friendly nudge is a great way to move the engagement process along.

Did you know you can also use in-app notifications to alert your team about new posts? When you create a post from a business LinkedIn profile, there is an option to notify your team. Simply press the button and a notification will automatically be sent to your colleagues letting them know the post is there and prompt them to share it. It’s such a low input, high output step you’d be hard pressed to not bake it into your workflow.

Similarly, you want to make it as easy as possible for your podcast guests to share about the episode as well. Think about what you would want to share on your profile and create that for your guests. Pre-written posts, behind-the-scenes photos that feature them, and unique clips from their episode are all things you can share with them. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for guests to promote their episode, and providing high-quality content will make it hard for them not to want to spread the word.

Include a call to action

No matter what channel you’re using, a strong call to action is a key element to social media success. Remember the end goal: engage listeners with your show and build brand affinity.

How do you do this? By building an audience and directing them to your podcast — preferably on your own branded channel. After someone has been “hooked” by your social content, they are likely going to be looking for a place to get more. Make sure you’re one step ahead and include a link to listen on your site in the post.

“No matter what channel you’re using, a strong call to action is a key element to social media success.”

Why direct folks to your website? Having a central hub for all of your branded show content is a surefire way to showcase your brand and build a raving fanbase. Better yet, include a video on the landing page and use an email capture form to help build an owned list of subscribers to nurture with exclusive content and first-alert notifications.

Not only will your audience enjoy the content you shared, but they will also be able to learn more about you and what your company can offer them. Not to sound like a broken record, but it sounds like we’ve got another win-win on our hands.

Another way to perfect a strong call to action is by incorporating engaging language like action words and personalization. Addressing folks directly by using words like “you” and tapping into the novelty we all crave by using words like “new” will help make your copy more persuasive and drive viewers to take action.

Platform-specific elements for podcast promotion

Each social media platform has its own unique marketing features. Facebook started the trend with event pages and groups, but now there’s something to use on almost every platform that can help get your podcast content in front of more people.

Here are some free features to consider when promoting your podcast on social media.

Facebook

If you’re going to be promoting your podcast on social media, we suggest using video as your primary medium. Over 500 million people watch video on Facebook every day. That’s a lot of viewers! With that, the average engagement rate for videos on Facebook is 6.13%. It might sound like a low percentage, but when you’re working with an audience of 500 million, 6% still presents some pretty good odds of someone engaging with your content.

So with this in mind, create video content to promote your podcast. Instead of just posting an audio clip, film the recording sessions and use a video clip of you in the studio. Or, try a Headliner-style graphic (we chatted about this one earlier) to immediately stand out on the feed.

Facebook is also a great platform to re-purpose the unique content you already made for promotion. The blooper reel or funny edit you made can be showcased here. Upload the video with a funny caption and pin the post to the top of your timeline. That way anytime someone comes to your page they’re greeted with a laugh and a reason to stay for more.

“Create video content to promote your podcast. Instead of just posting an audio clip, film the recording sessions and use a video clip of you in the studio.”

Twitter

Speaking of pinning posts, there’s the option to pin a tweet on Twitter. Pinning a tweet automatically glues that post to the top of your feed so that it’s the first thing someone sees when they get to your profile. And it really does help boost engagement! After an experiment Buffer ran, they found that pinned tweets lead to 10x more conversions.

But not all pinned tweets are created equal. That same study showed that the best pinned tweets are the ones with high engagement and a strong call to action.

To get more eyes on your podcast, choose a tweet about your most played episode or the tweet that announced the series. If it’s what people are going to be seeing the most, you want to make sure you’re putting your best tweet forward.

LinkedIn

Go live on LinkedIn! Several other platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, have experimented with and launched “live” features over the years. While the “newness” has somewhat worn off on other platforms, LinkedIn Live is still fairly underutilized and a great way to capture attention and grow your professional audience.

When you go live, LinkedIn automatically notifies everyone who likes your business page. Host a live recording of an episode or hold a live event to announce the debut of your podcast. It might seem out of the box, but when it comes to promoting your podcast, why not make the biggest splash you can? You already have a great audience and the more you engage with them, the more chances they have to build their affinity for you.

And of course, don’t forget those in-app notifications that we touched on earlier! These alert your teammates about new page posts, making it easy for them to share with their connections and amplify your reach.

Instagram

When promoting your podcast on Instagram, use Instagram Stories. There are a lot of built-in tools that will keep your audience engaged.

One feature that is particularly helpful for generating buzz is the countdown sticker. When promoting a new episode, make a story a few days before it drops and add the countdown sticker. Your followers will then be able to tap on the countdown, set a reminder for when it finishes, and get a notification when your new episode is released. We did this for our series Brandwagon.

The cool thing about this feature is that you can see how many folks tapped your countdown and set a reminder, giving you more insight into how effective your social efforts are.

Other Instagram tips include adding a link to your podcast channel in your bio, showcasing video or audio clips as posts to entice listeners, and promoting show content with a dedicated hashtag, like we did for our Change the Channel event #WatchCTC.

For the record, hashtags are effective on all social media platforms — but their level of effectiveness changes frequently. To stay up to date on which ones work best, regularly google the top-performing hashtags for your industry. That way you always stay on top of the algorithm!

Get social and grow your podcast

Is there a better way to support your podcast that you’re super proud of than with a grade-A social media treatment? We think not!

Remember: quality over quantity. Don’t feel pressured to go all in on all platforms at once. If your brand naturally has a stronger presence on any particular channel, lean into that area. Do what works best for your brand and don’t be afraid to try new things or pull back on what’s not working.

Hopefully, with these tips and tricks you are on track for creating the social campaigns of your marketing dreams. So don’t waste any more time. If you’ve got a great podcast, start promoting it on social media and making your niche the most entertained corner of the internet there is.

Maria Theo

Maria Theo

Creative

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