In many businesses, having an online community is common – and it makes sense, because these communities foster engagement and excitement and can translate into more sales in the business. A question we get asked often is, “how can I engage my online community with my podcast?”
We often see the posts and content related to the podcast falling flat in the online community where it is being hosted. Let’s talk about it and share a few tweaks you can make to your own strategy so you can increase your engagement from your online community around your podcast.
To give you a bit of context in case having an online community is new for you, here are just a few of the most common groups/platforms being used:
- Facebook groups
- Mighty Networks
- LinkedIn groups
Here are the most common missteps we see that are decreasing engagement with the podcast inside these online communities:
Posts follow the same format each time:
Businesses put so much effort into their regular content, but that doesn’t always extend to their podcast promotions.
If you are posting the same graphic each time, with the same format of caption each time (“new episode just dropped!” is a common one we see) eventually your audience will become so used to it that those posts fade into the background and don’t capture anyone’s attention.
Think about the idea of a “pattern interrupt” – this could be switching up the colors you normally use, posting videos clips or gifs instead of the same still image, using photography, etc. (if it makes sense with your branding, we’ve seen the most success with funny gifs that catch peoples’ eyes, or gifs from well known shows or movies, too! Have fun with it.)
Posts are simply an announcement, with no directive or question to engage with:
We shared the text we see all too often above – “new episode just dropped!”
Why does this fall flat? To put it simply, if there’s nothing for your audience to engage with… they won’t engage.
With anything you post online, including your podcast promotions, you need to ask yourself “what’s in it for my audience here?”
Call out a pain point as the ‘hook’ at the top of your caption (or in the text on your graphic). Share an end result that you know your audience is looking to achieve. If you have any great quotes from your episodes you could play with those as well.
Take a look at the ‘makeover’ below:
Original text: “new episode just dropped! Click the link below to hear our interview with (name) about (topic).”
Revamped text: “Have you been trying to (result)? (Name of guest) is sharing how they (their result) – check out our conversation on the (podcast name).”
Your posts don’t create collaboration or co-creation with your audience:
To expand on the question above (“what’s in it for my audience in this post?”) – you can include your audience in what you are doing, which creates buy-in and more interest from them. This could look like:
- Surveying your audience for topics
- Surveying your audience for guests they’d like to see
- Letting your audience name something or vote on a part of the show (we’ve seen hosts run competitions letting their community name themselves or give a name to podcast listeners with a lot of success!)
- Invite community members to ask questions live or submit questions for episodes
- Run a giveaway when group members share their favorite episodes
We recently did a revamp of the posting strategy for the Optimize Yourself podcast’s Slack channel. To start, we challenged them to switch up their visuals and the format of their posts – they are experimenting with different imagery and gifs to be more eye catching.
In terms of their text in the posts, they are leading with questions for the audience to respond to, vs. promoting the new episode link first. And, they are also posting conversation starters without the link to the podcast, but are then responding to the people who comment on the post inviting them to check out the episode if that particular topic interests them.
So far, they’ve increased their engagement 3x (and counting!)! Next up, we’ll be building out a campaign to get their audience sharing the podcast on social media to drum up additional online engagement and new listenership. Stay tuned for more updates! The exciting part is that the increased engagement and energy from their community puts them in a perfect position to do a social sharing campaign.
If you have an online community but are having trouble getting them to engage with or connect to your podcast, your strategy may just need a refresh. Use the recommendations above to get started and if you have questions or want to take a deeper dive, send us a message to chat!
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