Growing Your Podcast Community With Social Media
Communities are social units that foster connection with others by sharing common interests, goals, and attitudes. Having a social media community around your podcast material is one of the most effective methods to break through the noise and gain a devoted audience. It's not enough to have a large social following — you also need an engaged social media community. These people will sing your praises, share your content, and buy the services you offer.
And who doesn't want that?
However, creating an engaged social media community is tricky. Building a thriving podcast community doesn't happen overnight.
The good news is if you do the right things and approach them with the right mindset and noble intent, you can convert your social media platforms into spaces for your loyal listeners to share their brand experience with you.
How to build a social media community for your podcast online?
When expanding your podcast, having an unforgettable presence online is a great resource. It's a quick and inexpensive approach to growing your social media community and establishing brand recognition.
Let's take a look at how to build a social media community. And don't worry, this applies to any social platform you want to establish your community on.
Figure Out Your Why You're Building Your Social Media Community?
When creating your social media community, your first goal should be to find ways to help your podcast community members rather than yourself. It’s definitely okay if your social media community has several goals, however it’s ideal if you focus on a single goal that represents the value.
Yes, you can have a several goals for your community. However, it's best to focus on just a few linked to specific actions you want your community to achieve.
To figure out your ‘why’, consider the many online groups you're in – what's your reason for being there? Maybe you'd want to create a social media community where you can share podcasting tips with your audience. What are you passionate about enough to create your own online community around it? In any case, it's a good idea to start with a motivating cause for creating a community.
Figure out your ‘why,' and imagine your goals from your audience's point of view. Thriving online podcast communities are managed by individuals who have a strong sense of purpose. As a result, attract an engaged community that shares that mission.
Pro Tip: Your social media community's goal should be tailored to your target audience's needs and clearly communicated to your newest members.
Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is vital in ensuring that they're the ideal people for your community. You're not talking to anyone if you're talking to everyone. When you know your ideal audience, you can focus on engaging with them and only them.
You don't want to appeal to the audience as a brand. You'd like to appeal to a set group of people who are likely to conduct business with you (your ideal social media community member should also be your target consumer), as increasing sales is one of community building goals.
So how do you figure out who these people are? Try targeting their pain points and identifying their roadblocks.
Social media should not always be used to sell; instead, use it to communicate with your followers and learn about their problems. There are several creators in similar niches to yours, so to differentiate yourself, you must enhance their experience by solving unique problems. This would help you create a social media community trust and raise brand exposure.
Lastly, if you know your audience well, you will also know what types of clients you don't want. (OMG, you can NOT want customers? Yes, you can!) But that's a broader narrative about branding and positioning in general. To summarize, avoiding people who are not your target audience will help you create stronger relationships with those who are. (After all, nothing is perfect.) You should better understand your community's goals after mapping out your client persona.
Choose A Podcast Community Platform
With your goal and key people in tow, you'll want to choose where your social media community will live. So the first question you should ask before choosing a social media platform is: where is your audience?
It's essential to understand where your audience is and choose accordingly. For example, if you're in the fashion niche, Pinterest and Instagram would be the preferred platform to create your social media community. Take a look at your current website traffic. If most of your visitors are females drawn to the aesthetics on each landing page, then Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are excellent platforms for you.
Another thing to consider is the number of people you want to engage, the type of conversations you want to include, how easy it'll be for individuals to join, and whether it will be a free or fee-based community. If your social media community consists of a few hundred people, a group chat on Telegram, WhatsApp, or another messaging tool will probably be more suited. A subreddit or Facebook group is likely a better fit for a much larger community with hundreds or thousands of individuals.
These are a few examples of free platforms. However, if you want to run your own private social media community, you'll need to pay for a hosted website and may want to consider charging folks a membership fee to join.
Here are online platforms you can get into to build your social media community online:
Twitter Communities are similar to Facebook groups in that they allow people with similar interests to interact and communicate. Community moderators can set the rules and ask people to join. Initially, it was challenging to create a community, but now anyone can create it.
To start your own Twitter community, you'll need to meet specific requirements:
- Your Twitter account must be public; if you switch to the protected option, you'll lose admin privileges
- Your account must be 6 months old
- A verified email address or phone number should be linked to your account
- Your Twitter account should have two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled
- Your Twitter account mustn't violate or have a history of violating any of Twitter's terms of service
If you meet the requirements, fill up the Twitter interest form, which requires your verified email and the topic of the community you want to create and what type of people you want to join your community. After filling in all the needed details, click on ‘Submit’.
Twitter will review your account and your community interest topics once you submit the form to take further action. Once your community has been approved, you may start posting for the people you ask to join.
I know this platform is not for everyone. Before you get in there and try this one, I want you to assess yourself first with these questions and see if this is a good fit for you.
- Is Twitter used by the individuals you wish to influence and engage with?
- Do you know what Twitter is and how to utilize it?
- Is your group topic something you're passionate about – and that others are as well?
- Do you have the time to create and maintain a Twitter Community?
Whether you answer “no” to most of these questions but are interested in the notion, see if anybody you're a fan of has already formed a group around it. Joining someone's community might be a better fit for you. Grow your audience by interacting with other podcasters: follow your peers on Twitter, participate in community discussions, and highlight work you admire.
Building an audience is essential, but ultimately, publishers should strive to build a community. Chat rooms also aid in the development of the audience into a community. You can make several efforts to maintain or engage these users through chat rooms. Users would interact with one another, starting dialogues, debating, discussing, and drawing conclusions. Chat rooms transform your website into a go-to source for knowledge on a specific genre.
Conversations can bring people together. And that's precisely what chat rooms do. It allows like-minded individuals to connect. You have an audience when you chat with the user; when they start communicating with you, you have a community. And the interactions aren't just one-on-one; they're with people from different walks of life drawn to your platform because of a common interest.
Numerous online community chat systems are available, and your individual needs and tastes will determine the best one for you. Some popular choices are:
- Discord is a popular chat platform primarily used by gamers and many other communities. Discord offers text and voice chat, allowing users to create and join servers for different communities.
- Slack – I use this to communicate with my team since it's a business-oriented chat platform often used by teams and organizations for communication and collaboration. Slack offers both text and voice chat and the ability to share files and integrate with other apps and services.
- Telegram is a messaging app that supports text and voice chat, file sharing, and creating large groups with thousands of members. Telegram has end-to-end encryption, allows self-destructing messages, and is open-source.
- Reddit – a platform that consists of communities of interest called subreddit, allows users to post text, images, videos, and links and discuss in the comments.
Remember, the best community chat platform for you will be determined by the type of community you want to start or join and the features and functionality most important to you.
Having a Facebook page for your podcast is a smart idea. However, anyone may become a fan of your Facebook page. And people prefer to feel like they're a part of something exclusive. That's why starting a private Facebook group is a terrific idea. To begin with, connecting people with similar interests develops a “super brain” larger than oneself. By allowing your audience to explore your podcast themes in greater depth, you open the door for others to establish relationships.
Here are other benefits of starting a Group instead of a Page:
- Control – Establishing a group and acting as admin gives you better control over who is in your group and what members discuss.
- More Organic Reach – community groups are more likely to have more engaged and interested users, especially if you set it up as a closed group. Facebook's algorithm works to show users only the most relevant content on their news feed, and an active community will help boost that.
- Notifications Sent to Members: Unlike with a company page, group members will receive notifications for member activity and posting in the group.
- Better Interaction with your Audience: Community groups are a central location to interact with customers, hear feedback, and discover insights.
However, simply starting a Facebook group won't attract your target audience and convert them into super fans. This is where putting in place the proper growth and promotion strategy comes into play. Whether building a community from scratch or maintaining one, follow these foundations to grow a thriving Facebook group for your podcast.
Decide the Purpose for Your Social Media Community
Before you start your group, you need to figure out why you're starting it, what it will provide, and who you're creating it for. Nothing in this world should exist without a purpose. So, the first step when creating a community on Facebook is to bless it with a unique goal.
This will make it easier to locate your target audience and help you determine the exact type of connection and relationship you want to have with your members or for them to have with one another. Only then will you create a meaningful atmosphere in which like-minded individuals may appropriately connect and collaborate to achieve a greater goal – building a better and stronger community. To help you decide on the purpose of your Facebook group, answer these questions:
What is the main goal of your group? To connect with others? What is your niche? What subject matter or topics will your group cover?
What type of content will members get? Exclusive content they can't find on your show? Group discussions?
Is the group just for your existing listeners? Or do you want to attract Facebook users that might not be aware of your podcast?
Should you answer most of these questions, you're likely to end up with a strong and thriving podcast community in no time.
Set fixed targets
If you want to develop a healthy, fast-growing community that will not dissolve in a short amount of time, you must have many like-minded people talking with each other, keeping your postings engaged and active. To do so, you must be able to find these individuals and persuade them to join your podcast community.
The right mix of individuals can make or break your Facebook group's success. So the key is to keep unwanted users out and attract a lot of like-minded ones who will be willing and eager to participate and keep your group alive and your postings engaged.
Send listeners to your Facebook group
Many Facebook group owners make the mistake of looking at them in isolation and relying on Facebook search for growth. There are numerous effective methods for promoting your Facebook groups and attracting new members. One hint or call to action is often enough. Here are other approaches to promoting and growing your Facebook group:
- Your Facebook page – if you already have a page for your show, you can use your page to promote your new podcast community. This is one of the quickest ways to gain initial traction to your group.
- Simple invite – nothing can go wrong if you old-school. Send out invites to people in your emailing lists or even friends list. Make sure to ask them to spread the word to their friends who might be interested in your brand. You should make your group's goal as clear as possible, so new members know what to expect.
- Cross-promotion – you can find similar groups on Facebook or other social media platforms you're in and ask them if they're up for cross-promotion. This can be an effective strategy for building your members, just remember to find the right groups to pitch this idea to.
Give your group members the content they want/need
Your private Facebook group members need a reason to join your group. That implies you must provide them with services that no one else can. Sharing stuff you don't publish anywhere else online is a terrific way to thank your group members. This allows members to get to know your show better and encourages them to participate and return to the group frequently. Another approach is to provide “first looks” at exclusive episodes.
Another foundation of your Facebook group should be high-quality content. When it comes to any social media format, quality content is what it's all about. Only with the appropriate, original content can you create a thriving community that will expand naturally, add value, and keep your audience involved. Creating original content is essential, but don't forget to upload and share appealing and engaging content from other sources.
Setting a theme for each day of the week is a simple approach to encourage involvement and let members know what to anticipate. Think about what your users are more likely to enjoy. When people love your group's content, they're more inclined to invite others with similar interests. This is an excellent method to increase its organic reach and encourage more individuals to join it.
As your social media community grows, keep track of how the posts you generate are performing. Once you've determined what types of content elicit engagement and spark conversations among your members, you may prioritize those posts. It's about keeping your group alive and maintaining high involvement.
What should you post in your Facebook group for engagement?
Posting content your members will be interested in is the key to increasing engagement in a Facebook group. Consider the following:
- Share your experiences or expertise on issues connected to your organization's goal.
- Pose questions and make polls on issues related to your niche or field of interest – this increases conversation among members and interaction between them!
- Share engaging videos, such as behind-the-scenes clips, interviews, or unique content you've generated.
Set Up, Organize, And Onboard
After you've decided on a platform, the next step is to nail out the specifics of what your members will see and experience after they join.
Here are some tasks to keep in mind
- Set up: Name the group, customize branding colors and imagery, and check member settings are correct.
- Organization: What channels/rooms/threads exist? How will you start and encourage interaction?
- Onboarding: What's the first thing members will see when they log in? Are the community rules displayed publicly? Do new members receive any unique email sequences?
How you handle each of these will depend on the type of podcast community you want to build.
As more individuals join your social media community, you'll realize how important it is to organize the community and the content published inside it. Every organization needs at least some devoted community management. One of the most common reasons an online community fails is a need for more active administration. Communities require someone to look after them.
Whatever the situation, the bottom line is accountability. You'll need someone to maintain, care for, and engage your podcast community. What you put into your online podcast community engagement strategy is what you will get out. Don't be overwhelmed if the task seems daunting. Many thriving podcast communities have started with just one community manager. The key is to determine what you need. You may be able to begin with a small and flexible team, but you should be prepared to add more people or devote more resources as the workload grows. Identify your gaps and the abilities you already have on your team, and then fill them.
Even if a lot of people are involved, divvy tasks and responsibilities so that everyone knows what they're meant to do. You might want a whole department to be involved in your social media community, but it doesn't imply it has to be owned by that department. If an issue arises, you will know who to turn to. Make sure someone or a department owns the social media community – you'll need a final decision-maker to guide the team through the process.
Structure A Social Media Community Engagement Plan
People usually join communities to expand their expertise, engage with others, and establish their brand. Unfortunately, these same people may become distracted and need to remember why they joined, particularly if they need help finding something to captivate them on their initial visit. There are many moving components to capturing their attention, but it all boils down to one question: Is your material valuable to them?
As you develop your strategy, keep these three pillars in mind: find, connect, and collaborate. Is it simple for your user to participate and collaborate once they discover the online community you created? Once there, students should have numerous opportunities to participate and contribute. So it's all about creating a location that encourages them to interact.
Think through these questions as you build your social media community engagement approach:
- How will you make it human-focused so it's about your members' needs?
- What's in place to make them feel like they have a voice?
- Have you created a centralized, topic-based area for them to get what they need?
- How will you convey value via calls-to-action (CTA) in an easy to understand way?
Set Guidelines And Enforce The Rules
While you want community members to be free to express themselves and participate in debates, you also want to ensure that the community is being used for its intended purpose. You also want to ensure no room for toxicity to thrive. Misuse or abuse can cause the group to lose focus and perhaps drive away some members. This is why, from the start, you must establish clear rules and principles.
For example, you should inform people about the kind of content they can and cannot share, whether self-promotion is permitted, and what is expected when interacting with other members. In addition to outlining the guidelines, state the consequences for breaking them. Finally, your community manager or moderator should be equipped with the essential tools and features to appropriately and swiftly enforce the rules.
Lead With Service And Value
Your fans don't join your social media community simply because it seems like a fun thing to do. They join because they believe there's something of value they can get. They may have joined to learn more about your company's products and services. Or they enjoy the ability to participate in important discussions about a common issue relating to your brand. Members will only stay if they believe they're getting something in return. That implies you must always be adding value to the community. And how do you go about doing that? By being of service.
- Share important information and advice that members of your podcast community can benefit from.
- Respond to questions and concerns as soon as possible.
- Encourage members to express their opinions and thoughts.
- Remind users that you appreciate their engagement in your community and that you are there to help them on their
- membership journey.
Show that your community is safe for people with like minds and establish a culture that promotes inclusiveness.
When members perceive the value in your social media community, they are more inclined to return and participate in discussions, and they may even invite others to join.
Launch, Promote, And Track
Once the loose ends are tied up, you’ll need to launch and promote your community. When the time comes to launch your community, it will not grow from the ground up. You could have the best community idea in the world, but it won't matter if your users, audience, or prospects are unaware of it.
Here are some ideas for promoting your social media community after it's live:
- Inviting individuals who fit the description of your community member to join
- Asking that current members refer others in their circles
- Informing your audience about it and the benefits of membership
- Forming relationships with relevant influencers
Keep an eye on your analytics, whether you're using Facebook group insights or statistics from your preferred platform. Any sudden increases or growth trends should be outlined.
Face Your Fears And Reframe Problems As They Come
You now have everything you need to start your own vibrant social media community. However, knowing how to develop an online community may not be sufficient actually to build one. This is a potentially nerve-racking notion for a lot of people!
The following are some of the common roadblocks I often hear:
- What if I announce my social media community but no one joins?
- What if it's too much for me to handle?
- What if folks are too busy or want to avoid experimenting with something from Facebook?
It’s normal to have some fear around creating a new podcast community online. It makes you human. However, here’s what I’ve learned watching hundreds of successful online communities thrive: the probability that any of these will happen is low. With the appropriate strategy and fitting platform in place, you can develop a social media community that's so valuable that you can charge for it and so well-designed that it essentially runs itself.
The critical thing to remember right away is to embrace experimenting, stay interested, and reframe your concerns as a fascinating puzzle to solve. There isn’t a single thing you’ll be doing in building your online community that someone else hasn’t faced before you and overcome. Your mindset will make all the difference.
Here are some best management practices now that you've built this fantastic, thriving, engaged social media community.
- Develop a consistent voice – be sure to have an authentic voice and tone. Your community would appreciate honesty and dependability.
- Be responsive – your followers must know that you care about their comments and aren't only there to promote your brand.
- Engage with followers – the more you engage with your followers, the more they feel appreciated and compelled to continue participating. Engagement begets more engagement.
- Share strategically – 80% of the content you share in your podcast community should be helpful to and cater to your audience's interests; only 20% should be about promoting your show. Again, all content should be authentic. However, 20% can promote your business and provide value by including a discount or a special offer.
- Use CTAs – you could include a persuasive CTA that inspires your audience to learn more about you and your show so that it could lead to future interaction.
- Feature recurring topics – consider having recurring topics or a post series that fans and followers can look forward to participating in. This also encourages more recurring engagement.
- Use a personal identifier – think about using a personal identifier, such as initials or a first name, with your replies. This makes the interaction more human and increases affinity, especially in conversations on social media.
- Monitor reaction – lastly, pay attention to what posts and content are resonating with your audience, your own channels, and competitor channels. Then, optimize your post content strategy accordingly. Again, posts should always provide value to your followers rather than just being in service of the business.
Creating, establishing, and sustaining an active social media community for your podcast is a labor of love. Starting with a firm foundation and understanding your community's target audience and purpose, then building the social media community with consistent engagement and innovation, is the key to success.
More Resources from UpMyInfluence: