There are tons of podcasters that are currently using Twitter as another way to enhance relationships with existing listeners as well as to extend their reach.
In this post we’ll assume that you already know about Twitter and either already have a twitter account or are ready to jump on board. The following tips are offered as specific opportunities aimed at podcasters to best use this medium in order to enhance the work you are already doing.
Why Are Your Podcasting?- Although this question may seem like it’s not really relevant to this Twitter post, it is truly the foundation from which you build your Twitter strategy. If you have no idea why you are podcasting and just kinda wanna play with the medium for a bit, then Twitter doesn’t really need to be a strategy.
The more value, importance and specificity you bring to your work as a podcaster, the easier it will be to build a Twitter presence and community.
If you are podcasting as a hobby, having your personal Twitter account be the account you use to post Twitter updates about your podcast is not a problem at all. If you are hoping to grow your podcast into a recognizable brand and business, having a specific twitter account for your podcast will be the best option.
One very important question to ask is: how much time are you honestly able to devote to Twitter?
Is Twitter already part of your lifestyle? Is it part of your work flow? How comfortable are you navigating through Twitter and all the Twitter clients and applications? If you aren’t comfortable, are you willing to invest time to learn?
I use my personal Twitter account for my podcast. Although there have been times that I wish I had separate Twitter accounts, the answers I came up with regarding how much time I was willing to spend on Twitter clearly showed me that managing more than one account was just not going to work for me.
Twitter is very personal and it must align with your lifestyle and how much the service works for you. Consistency is key. If you have seen twitter strategies out there that call for a certain way of doing things that you can only keep up with for a few weeks or perhaps months and then they go by the wayside, it’s not going to work. Sustainability is power and honesty is the way to harness that power.
I would venture to say that the reason that you are on Twitter at all is to in some way connect with people. One of the most amazing attributes to podcasting is its ability to create a deeper and more responsive community than almost any other type of media out there. There is greater personal connection, communication and accessibility between the host and audience. Given those two statements, Twitter is wonderful way to strengthen those relationships.
Here are 3 tips to cultivating that conversation
You might think that I’m about to tell you to ask your followers to re-tweet your twitter updates, but no! I’m offering that YOU re-tweet other podcasters whose work aligns with yours. If you find something interesting that your community has updated, re-tweet it. In essence simply re-tweet the things that matter to you and that which you are passionate about, specifically having to do with the subject matter of your podcast.
Why it matters: It’s not all about you. This cast light on those support your podcast. You naturally inform your community and drive relevant informative conversation.
2. Create A Twitter List For Your Podcast Listeners
I did this for my podcast and it’s the best way that I’ve found of keeping up with my listeners.
If you don’t know what twitter lists are, check out this definition and tutorial HERE.
Now, no matter how little time I have to go on twitter, even if I don’t post a twitter message myself, I can very easily scroll through the list stream to check on what’s going on with everyone in my community.
Why it matters: It’s an easy way to create a mini community within twitter- they engage with you, plus they get to know each other. It’s one of the easiest ways to auto-magically gain an engaged community that already has something in common (by simply having anyone interested add the list to their own twitter profile.)
3. Answer or Comment On Your @ Replies
Basic. Self explanatory. Good manners.
Why it matters: It’s an opportunity for one on one communication. It shows that you listen and are willing to engage.
Twitterquette: If they are re-tweeting something you’ve said, offering praise, or perhaps you’ve waited a bit too long to reply, this is the time to send a DM (Direct Message). Not everyone needs to see thank you for xxxxxxx, and you still get an opportunity to connect with your audience.
A really great way to propagate your work further through the twitter-verse is to use Hashtags. If you don’t know about Hashtags you can learn about them HERE.
One of the best features about Hashtags is that you can subscribe to them via your Twitter client. Like the Twitter lists, they are a crazy efficient way to see what’s going on within a conversation that you are interested in.
How To Use Hashtags As A Podcaster?
Why it matters: It’s an easy way to create an intimate conversation whose subject matter is important to those involved. As much as this is about the way that you use your hashtags, the magic is in the way others use hashtags. That’s where you will begin to see the kind of sophisticated conversation you can have on twitter
I’m sure you are aware of the tons of Twitter clients that are out there to both consume and create a better workflow with Twitter: Seesmic Desktop, Hootsuite and Tweetdeck being the most widely used.
This is all great for ease of workflow and time savings. As podcasters, most of us are not to the point where we do podcasting for a living and that may not even be something we strive for It’s challenging, it’s time consuming, and any little bit of extra help we can get when it comes to workflow is a god-send. Automating certain parts of your podcasting workflow can be incredibly powerful. Automating your Episode’s Blog Post or your a direct link to your newly published Episode can be awesome. It can help you to engage with the community with more personal twitter updates, as you don’t have to worry about letting folks know the basics, because the automation has taken care of that for you.
Automation gone bad: It absolutely can go bad, especially when you start to schedule twitter updates just because you can. I find that when I read twitter streams I can smell when the user is all automated. I generally don’t follow those people. I’m already overwhelmed with the Twitter stream, I don’t want robots taking part of it more than necessary ;)
Why it matters: Time saving, ease of workflow, set it and forget it.
Most podcasters at some point become crazy obsessed with their stats. If you would like to dispute this little fact, I’d suggest you ask our support staff to provide you with some details of the AMOUNT of tickets that come in when the libsyn stats are having issues ;)
Maybe this little tip will guide all stat-aholics to try another lovely way to track your stats: Bit.ly.
I got myself a bit.ly account and have created a format for my bit.ly links that I use when I post new episodes or blog post links on Twitter. Each bit.ly link obviously begins with http://bit.ly.com/ but after the slash I add the episode number plus the level of the yoga class, so my bit.ly links look like this: http://bit.ly/86-level-2. I like that because my listeners know by looking most of the information that is relevant to the episode.
Why it works for me so well, is that I get to see how much traffic (if any) I get from any Twitter post. I get an opportunity to test the kind of Twitter posts that people respond to the most, I get to see if my post was re-tweeted and I also learn what doesn’t work.
Why it matters: more stats, deeper stats, powerful knowledge to use as a producer. Using the same bit.ly links helps you see the overall reach of your episode, especially if you’ve been meticulous about using the same link in more than just one social media setting.
Star Your Awesomeness- I can't remember where I came upon this tip but thought it was so easy and totally cool. Anytime that someone tweets about you, your podcast, your work, be it as an @ reply and RT or an original twitter post star it. This will passively build you a testimonial page of you as an expert of whatever your chosen niche.
Why it matters: All of your awesomeness is showcased in one special place. It helps solidify your expertise.
You don’t have to go very far to be able to do this. Twitter builds a fancy pants little widget box for you to post on your website showcasing all the love. You simply have to go to http://twitter.com/about/resources/widgets and you can find great resources to personalize and build widgets, both for your website and for Facebook.
Here is my LOVE widget below ;)
Make sure that you are using the proper link to market your podcast episodes so that they are counted in your stats as well as avoid 404 errors. If you have any questions about that, please refer to this blog post, addressing proper link usage for libsyn.
I hope that you’ve found these podcasting Twitter tips helpful to you!
If you have any fancy Twitter tips that have been working for you as a podcaster, please share them below in the comments! There’s nothing like community to uplift us all!