How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Podcast (or Not)
How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Podcast (or Not)

How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Podcast (or Not)

Social media is a great tool to promote your podcast…but it’s not the end-all, and it’s definitely not something that you can rely on to grow your podcast or business.

But it’s still important.

This week on the podcast, I’m sharing why social media can’t be the end-all of your marketing strategy and what you can do to make your own time on social media more effective.

This episode is a really great reminder of getting your head in the right place when it comes to social because that’s not the place to solicit for sales. But your audience still expects you to show up there.

Mentioned In This Episode

Transcript:

Welcome to episode 175 of The Content Experiment Podcast, a podcast for podcasters that supports the idea that content and marketing are ever-moving targets and it’s okay if you don’t feel like you’re doing it ALL right, ALL of the time. You have permission to experiment with little tweaks and changes in your content to find what works for you, what increases value for your audience and what grows your business. And most importantly, what feels good for you.

I’m Abby Herman, content strategist and consultant for podcasting business owners who want to make their podcast, their primary content marketing tool, feel easier and more streamlined so they can get back to serving their clients and making those sales. Because your podcast is your primary marketing tool and you want to leverage it to grow your audience, authority, and business. I’ll show you how, while you do business in a way that works for you–I can help by supporting you through building a content and marketing strategy, taking care of the podcast management for you, or giving you the tools and resources to take this on yourself.

Today’s episode is the sixth in the 7-episode series on minimum viable content marketing, with just one left to go in two weeks. And today we’re talking about something I don’t often talk a lot about: social media.

It used to be that it was relatively easy to get noticed on social media. Just join a few key Facebook groups and comment strategically and you were good to go.

In 2022 it’s not that simple. Not by a longshot. Today you have to be really strategic and even more so… realistic about your social media platforms and what to expect there.

Here are some things to know about social media before you expect big things to happen there:

You can’t post and run. You need to engage.
You’re not going to get new followers, or make sales, from your social media posts.
You don’t have to be on all the platforms. In fact, you shouldn’t be on all the platforms.

Let’s start with the last one first. You do not need to be on all the social media platforms.

If you’re like me, you get pretty overwhelmed by social media notifications. It’s a huge distraction and it creates a rabbit hole–multiple rabbit holes–any time you log into your social platform of choice. In fact, it’s so distracting for me that I have all social media notifications turned off on my phone (and I leave my phone on silent mode nearly 24 hours a day so I can’t hear other notifications…but that’s another story).

If you’re trying to be visible and active on all the social media platforms, you’re probably feeling pretty frazzled. I would too! It’s a lot to keep up with, especially since all the platforms are different and you’ll want to create custom content for each one, most of the time. You have to log into them all multiple times a day to engage with people…or maybe you’re not (which is a problem I’ll address a bit later). But if you’re trying to use all the platforms you’re at least having to create content for them. Which is a challenge.

So stop. Stop trying to be everywhere. You build more momentum and more engaged audience members when you focus.

Have you ever heard of Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball? Where you pay the minimum payment on all your debt except one, and you throw more money at that one. When it’s paid off, you start paying off the next debt…continuing with the minimum payment on everything and putting what you were paying toward the now paid-off debt to your new focus.

The better your focus, the faster you knock out that debt.

It’s the same idea here. You get so much more traction when you focus on doing one thing really well.

So when you’re deciding which social media platforms to focus on, I want you to think about a few things:

Where is your audience hanging out? Where can you find your ideal audience?
What platforms do you LIKE to use? What will you actually use?
What platforms do you have no interest in at all?

When you know the answers to these questions, you can really focus your social media marketing.

To find out where your audience is hanging out, I recommend you ask them! Using my free Ask Your Audience challenge, send them a survey! And if you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I don’t recommend you send a survey to your entire email list or ask people on social media. Nope, you’re going to curate a specialized list of people to survey. Get access to the Ask Your Audience challenge at thecontentexperiment.com/ask.

Once you know where your people are hanging out, think about which platforms you actually want to use. If your audience is on Twitter and Twitter is not something that makes sense to you or that feels good at all, I recommend thinking about another platform. (Honestly, there’s no sense in trying to use something that you hate. This is how I felt about Clubhouse the one time I tried to listen into a client’s Clubhouse room. It was so overwhelming…the length of time the room was open, the number of people present, the technology the client was using…that I just could never see myself actually using it. And I never logged in again. Thankfully participating in the client’s room wasn’t actually part of my role; I was just checking out how it all worked!)

So while it’s really helpful to know where your audience is, you’re not required to actually use that platform. You’re really not required to do anything. Except pay taxes, of course.

Pick one or two social media platforms that you enjoy using and use them, consistently.

Share your podcast episodes when they go live, with a direct link to where the episode lives on your website. And also share content that complements your episode. Audiograms, pull quotes from the episode, even resources that you share during the episode are helpful. For our clients, we also try to share podcast episodes where they’ve been a guest because that provides social proof and supports other podcasters, which is super important.

So now that you know what social platforms to use, let’s talk about expectations because I feel like this is where we really get hung up a lot.

Here’s the thing: You’re not going to gain new followers or make sales from your social media posts. Let me repeat that: Social media is NOT the place where you’re going to gain new followers or make sales. Full stop.

Like I said earlier, it’s not easy to get noticed on social right now. It used to be, but it’s really not as simple as posting anymore.

Why not?

Because it’s too noisy online, because algorithms prevent most of your followers from even seeing your posts, because you’re not being consistent, because people are just scrolling and not stopping to read, because you’re on the wrong platforms, because people are busy, because you’re selling on social and not connecting…I could go on and on.

It’s time we all adjust our expectations of what social media can do for us and our businesses.

Social media is for being SOCIAL. Interacting with people. Sharing the human side of things. Creating posts that allow you to generate some conversation. And really understanding that even if you’re being social and creating posts that are intended to generate conversation, chances are that only one to two percent of your followers will actually see what you post.

So is it totally pointless to even share your podcast episodes on social media? I don’t think it’s pointless at all. I think that people, our audiences, expect to see us post online. I think it’s really important because prospective clients are looking for us online, on social media. And maybe they’ll follow you and maybe they’ll like a few of your posts. Maybe seeing a post will be a good reminder of something that you offer or spark them to check out an upcoming event you’re hosting…because they’ve heard about it on your podcast or in your email–two things I talk about in previous episodes, episodes 171 and 173.

And that brings me to the third thing you need to know about using social media for your podcast: One of the best ways to defy all the things I’ve said here and to actually get noticed online or let social work to your advantage is to stop posting and running and start engaging with other people in an authentic and strategic way. And by authentic and strategic I mean you’re not trying to sell to others and you’re actively trying to connect with people who you can help and whose content you enjoy.

If you’re not engaging with people, you’re not using social media to be social. You’re vomiting content at people. You’re pushing out instead of pulling in. If you’re not commenting on other people’s posts, sharing them, responding to comments on your own posts…how can you expect others to engage with you? You can’t.

Do you like to be sold to? I don’t. I like to connect with people and create relationships with them. I like to work with people who I know and who I have similar values with.

So what can you do? Start commenting on other people’s posts. Search out people with complementary businesses as yours and share their content. Reach out to those people and ask them for a virtual coffee chat. NOT to sell to them or ask for referrals but to genuinely connect.

People buy from people, and in this small business world, people want connection. Yes, even introverts. And social media is a really safe place to start making those connections.

The three big ideas I want you to remember and act on from this episode are:

You can’t post and run. You need to engage.
You’re not going to get new followers, or make sales, from your social media posts.
You don’t have to be on all the platforms. In fact, you shouldn’t be on all the platforms.

I would love to hear your takeaways and thoughts on using social media for your podcast. Do me a favor and take a screenshot of the episode on your phone and share it over on Instagram stories. Tag me at thecontentexperiment. The more you share, the more we can get the podcast into the hands of more business owners, just like you, who need to hear the message that they are not alone.

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