Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
So, you’ve set up some social media accounts for your podcast. You’ve started posting regularly. But you’re not seeing much growth. No new followers. Very little engagement. And most importantly, no new podcast listeners. Why could this be?
A big part of social media that many people overlook is community management. And a social media account without any community management is a bit like running a shop without any staff. You’re not going to get very far.
But let’s start from the beginning. What exactly is community management?
Community management is all about interacting with other social media users. It can come in various forms. From replying to people’s tweets, to creating polls on your Instagram story, it’s all about building a relationship with your audience.
This is vital if you want to grow your audience and turn them into loyal listeners. Here are a few reasons why:
You need credibility
Let’s imagine you’ve just created your own fitness podcast. You’re going to be giving people THE BEST tips for working out at home. You’d like to promote your podcast on Instagram. But there are already lots of fitness influencers in this space, with tonnes of followers and a much higher status than you.
So, why are people going to listen to your podcast? Why will your advice appeal to them?
Starting off is always difficult, but in order to ‘win’ some listeners over, you need them to:
- Know who you are
- Know what you offer
- Trust you
That’s where community management comes in.
Even before your first podcast episode has dropped, you should be engaging with your audience on social media. Join their conversations. Share their posts. Attend their live events.
TOP TIP: Make sure people remember you. When you’re engaging with other accounts, avoid churning out impersonal, predictable messages. Nobody is going to remember who put a thumbs-up emoji in the comments section. If you want to build brand awareness, write something meaningful. You could:
- Share your own experience
- Draw attention to yourself in the comments by sharing a joke, or a relevant funny story
- Continue the discussion by asking a question
- Share a piece of advice or a relevant tip
- Don’t just tell them that you “love this post!”. Explain why.
This means that when you start talking about your podcast, people will value what you have to say much more. They won’t be thinking, “sorry, who are you? And why should I care about this?” Instead, they’ll be thinking: “This person always has useful info to share – maybe I’ll check their podcast out.”
You are nothing without your listeners
Whether you have 10 listeners or 10,000 listeners, you need to spend time communicating with them and showing them that you are genuinely thankful for their support.
Not only does this help to turn the odd listener into a loyal fan, it can help you to draw in new listeners too. If people can see that you’re building a supportive, proactive community, the curiosity kicks in and they want to be in on the fun as well.
Once you have established a good relationship with your audience, these people are more likely to then recommend your podcast to others. And you should never underestimate the power of word of mouth. After all, if a podcaster recommends their show to you, versus a friend, who are you more likely to believe?
You will be rewarded
Social media is a two-way relationship: you have to put the work in if you want anything in return.
In order to demonstrate this, let’s use Instagram as an example.
Adam Mosseri, the current head of Instagram, recently explained that one of the ways Instagram’s algorithm ranks content is by identifying “your history of interacting with someone”.
In other words, Instagram figures that if you spend lots of time engaging with somebody online you’re probably going to want to see their latest post, so it will be ranked higher in your feed. This then sets off a chain reaction:
- Interact with user
- User then sees your content
- They engage with the content, and may even share it with their followers
- Your reach grows, exposing you to more potential listeners
- As you receive more and more engagement, Instagram starts favouring your content
- You get upgraded to Instagram’s Explore feed
- Even more accounts to see your content – and these are people Instagram specifically believes will be interested in you and your podcast
- You’ve successfully reached more of your target audience, simply because you took the time to send a message to one of your followers, or to comment on their latest post. That’s the power of community management.
While we are using Instagram in this example, all social media works in a similar way. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook: they will all reward you if you put more time into community management.
So, you might think, “I don’t have the time to be engaging with tonnes of people online. What’s the point, anyway?” But you need to consider the bigger picture. If you plant a tiny seed and spend a small amount of time nurturing it, the potential is huge.
It’s all about balance
If every single post you churn out on social media is extremely sales-driven, people are likely to get fed up. If you hound them too much, they might even start unfollowing you. And we don’t want that, do we?
Using your social media accounts as a sales tool can be a dangerous game if you end up pushing things too far. Generally, people don’t want to be told 10 times in a row to “Please please please listen to my podcast! Here is the link! Listen now!”
You need to find a balance between building relationships versus promoting your work. Funnily enough, if you step back from telling people to listen to your latest episode, and instead use some of this time to meet new people online, to converse with your community, and to earn people’s trust, you may see an increase in listeners anyway. After all, social media is supposed to be social. People are looking to connect with others and to share stories.
Give it a try and tell us how you get on!
If you want to create the best podcast possible, community management can help you achieve this because it allows you to gain feedback from your listeners.
Spend some time interacting with your audience online, and ask them what sort of content they would love to see next on your show, or who they are dying for you to interview. Make it clear that you value your audience’s opinion, and that you’re motivated to provide them with the best show possible.
As more people get involved with your podcast on social media, the more people will become invested in its success. This can lead to a better listener retention rate because people will become more committed to your show, and more interested in your podcasting journey.
Hopefully, you now understand the importance of community management. It’s a powerful tool if you’re looking to build a loyal following around your podcast.
If you’re not sure where to start with your community management, here are 3 tips to take away:
- Before you post something on social media, spend 20 minutes engaging with your followers. Reply to some messages, comment on a few posts, and then publish your own content.
- Think carefully about what social platforms you’re using. Which ones are the most popular among your target audience?
- Encourage conversation. End as many of your posts as possible with a question, or some form of call to action. Get the ball rolling.
You’ll be the community management King in no time.