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Facebook For Podcasters (Part 1)

As podcasters, any social media strategy we choose to use to help us better connect with our audience is all about OUR unique and individual audience.

There are certain podcasts whose audience is primarily voice feedback and emails, others are all about twitter conversations, for others audience engagement is solely within the podcast webpage and comments on the blog, while others have their own social network communities (ning sites, forums) that are highly active.

Each podcast and its audience is unique.

In this post we’ll talk about podcast audience engagement via Facebook as another opportunity to develop deeper relationships with your current audience and perhaps facilitate a wider reach for your podcast through examples and general tips.

The main focus will be on Facebook Pages.

This in no way means that you MUST have a Facebook Page as a podcaster. This is a uniquely individual decision that matches your workflow and your existing audience engagement. In a later post we will focus more on the differences between Personal Profiles vs Pages vs Groups.

Key Ideas For Facebook For Podcasters

Here is a bite size synopsis of the basic key concepts to keep in mind using Facebook Pages. As you delve into the post, we'll address each of the following bullet points a bit more fully.

  • Be authentic: Don’t get a Facebook Page if you hate Facebook. Don’t get a Facebook Page if your audience is not there! Use your time effectively in a way that aligns with your workflow.
  • Use what’s there! Fill out as much information as you can. Use all the functionality of the Pages before you start to get creative.
  • Put in the time: The beauty of a social network is that you participate in it. Be engaged. Do it up. Don’t expect to get tons of folks to start Liking your page just because you put it up. Like anything else, you have to put in the time to see the results.*
  • Facebook changes all the time: Be willing to roll with the punches.
  • Have fun! If it’s not fun, don’t do it.

Who Is Your Audience?

In the Twitter for Podcasters blog post I asked one main question: Why are you podcasting? In this post I ask another: Who is your audience?

This is particularly important for Facebook if you plan to invest some time developing that community. Even though almost the entire world is on Facebook, is your audience active on Facebook?

Some podcast's audience want nothing to do with Facebook. They would rather gather anywhere else but there. Those podcasters although they may have a Facebook Page are not really engaged on their Page. Any extra time invested in Facebook would take away valuable time they could apply elsewhere to cultivate audience engagement.

Before you invest your time and effort on Facebook, either do some research yourself, or ask your audience if they are active on Facebook. It doesn’t hurt and it could absolutely save you tons of time.

It’s not only about your audience but about yourself: are you comfortable on Facebook? Are you willing to delve into and make this a place to have your community live? If you cannot stand Facebook and never go there, then don’t start now. Be authentic to yourself!

Take the Time To Effectively Use Your Facebook Page

Your Facebook Page’s importance relies on your willingness to take the time to fill out all the necessary information, including the optimal tabs that are relevant to your podcast.

Add Your Proper Information

Edit your Basic Information from the left hand navigation. Please fill your podcast info. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gone into a podcaster’s Facebook page only to find this Basic Information such as email and website missing. If you are not going to fill this out, at least put a link to your podcast’s main site! Here is the top information needed:

You can add all that information and more within your Page on Basic Information on the left hand side navigation.

What Is Your Podcast About?

A quick summary of your podcast will do so much for potential listeners (filling out the About section on your Facebook Page).

It's always great to be introduced to a new brand/person/business in the form of a quick description on their Facebook Page.

You can let folks know about your podcast in these places within your Page:

  • The About section within Basic Information
  • The About section from the left hand navigation on your Facebook Page
  • A customized landing page (we’ll talk about this in another post)

Facebook Photos and Videos

Uploading media to your Facebook Page is a gold mine for your audience. You can supplement your existing content or add Page specific content for your audience.

Here are some ways to leverage your media:

  • Upload your logos and artwork to your Facebook pictures. (Great way to have folks steal your information). You can always add a hyperlink to each pic to drive back to your site!
  • Share any pictures where you have in some way engaged with your listeners face to face.
  • If your listeners send you pictures ask permission to post them to your Facebook page.
  • Post pictures of events, workshops, meet-ups relevant to your podcasts’ subject matter.
  • Create screencasts, tutorials or how-tos specific to your Facebook Page
  • Create Facebook Page specific videos engaging with your audience.

Testimonials/Reviews

(Update: in true Facebook fashion they removed the testimonials/reviews tab as a feature for your page. C'est la vie.)

You know how important iTunes reviews are for your podcasts. Even though Facebook reviews are not quite as important in terms of getting your seen more they are an excellent way for folks to share how great you are! If people want to know more about what others think of your podcast, you can simply link straight to your Testimonials Page on Facebook.

There is no real “Testimonials Page," it’s actually called Reviews, and you can add the ability for your fans to review you simply by adding that tab to the left hand side column as you are editing your Page. I don’t think many podcasters use this functionality very much. It’s so easy, especially if your audience is already active on Facebook.

How do you get people to review you? The tried and true way, you ask them :)

Get Them Landing Where You Want!

If someone who has not Liked your Page lands on your Page, what do you want them to see?

  • Your information?
  • Your wall posts and links?
  • Everyone’s wall posts and links?
  • A specific landing page

This is strictly up to you. You can also choose to have folks land directly on your information page, or even perhaps design your own iFrame fancy pants landing page. The sky’s the limit! Those settings are accessible via your Manage Permissions settings within your admin panel of your Page.

That’s just the tip of the ice-berg when it comes to the power of Facebook, or should I say what’s possible with Facebook ;)

Facebook is CONSTANTLY Changing.

Before even beginning to delve into Facebook practices, know that they will change. They always do. Usually Facebook settings, Pages, Groups, Profiles, permissions, applications, usage, privacy, whatever you can think of regarding the platform will change, more than likely just as you finally got the hang of it.

Whenever researching Facebook practices on your own, make sure you pay attention to the date tutorials/tips where posted.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE FACEBOOK TEAM BLOG

Being podcasters we know about RSS, right? Using your RSS reader of choice subscribe to the Facebook blog. You will get a head’s up regarding up and coming changes, and at times you may have the ability to beta test possible new features. You’ll be in the know before a vast amount of people about Facebook!

If you wanna get crazy in the know, subscribe to the Facebook Developers Blog.

There’s a lot more to come, so I hope you come back to check out Facebook for Podcasters Part 2 + more! We’ll be covering: automation, tagging, growing your Likes, customizing your Page and Profiles/Groups/Pages.

If there’s anything else that you’d like to learn about leave it in the comments, we’d be happy to serve!

-Elsie Escobar


Wade-O Radio App Featured On The Wall Street Journal...And More!

When rain comes in the form of the Wall Street Journal it pours publicity ;) This is what happened to Wade Harris as his App Wade-O Radio was featured on the Wall Street Journal.

In an article by the Journal titled "App Watch: Getting Religion on the Go" Wizzard Smartphone App Producer DJ Wade-O shares how technology is enhancing the way God's Word reaches people beyond the church. According to the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Harris says his Facebook and Twitter updates are a testimony of his faith and a part of his ministry.

“I have a ton of friends on Facebook and Twitter, who maybe they don’t go to church,” he says. “I’ll send stuff out to people just maybe as an encouragement.”

The Growing Publicity Snowball

After his feature on the Journal a ton of other niche specific publications picked up the story and continued to fuel the fire of recognition for The Wade-O Radio App.

The Houston Chronicle: Christian rap radio app featured in Wall Street Journal report

DaSouth.com: Wade-O Radio app featured in Wall Street Journal report

Rapzilla.com: DJ Wade-O Featured in the Wall Street Journal

Congratulations Wade! So great to see stuff like this!!!!

Wanna get the Wade-O Radio App? You can get it through iTunes HERE or subscribe to his podcast HERE.


If you'd like to be part of the growing community of Wizzard Media App Producers you can sign-up HERE!


Twitter For Podcasters

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.

The Foundation

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?

Using Specific Twitter Account For Your Podcast

  • A great opportunity to solidify your brand online.
  • Easy way to get organic SEO for your podcast.
  • Simple way to create brand awareness through custom twitter backgrounds, links and strategic use of your twitter profile

Using Your Personal Twitter Account For Your Podcast

  • Ease of use (you only have to sustain one Twitter account)
  • Your audience gets to know YOU.
  • A great opportunity to branch out into more than ‘just’ your podcast.
  • You naturally build a personal brand- YOU

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.

Tools For Your Podcast Twitter Strategy

Community

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

1. Re-tweet

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.)

TIPS:

  • Periodically send out a twitter message asking if there are any of your listeners following you that you don’t know about.
  • Mention the twitter list in your podcast.
  • Occasionally post to twitter information and links to the existing twitter list.

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.

Hashtags

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?

  • Use general podcasting hashtags ie. #Podcast #podcasting #podcaster.
  • Create your own community podcast Hashtag. This has worked wonders for some!

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

Automation

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.

There are some Twitter applications that allow you to schedule tweet and have more than one person (teams) manage your Twitter account (s): Hootsuite, SocialOmph, FutureTweets, plus more.

You can also set up other social media platforms and CMSs to automatically send out a twitter message whenever you update them, without even having to be on Twitter: Facebook, Wordpress, etc.

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.

Tracking Your Podcasting Reach

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.

Fundamentals of Expertise: Testimonials

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 ;)

One More Thing...

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!

-Elsie Escobar


Podcast Clean-Up: Don't Use That Link!

Do you want to make your downloads count?

Are you making sure that you are using all the proper links in as many channels as you can so that they do count?

Do you know the proper link to use, when you are sharing your links on your site, Twitter, Facebook, or any other sharing platform so that your downloads are counted and you don't get any 404 errors?

Here is THE link to use when you are sharing your links on line:

http://traffic.libysn.com/accountname/filename

That link is the permalink to your file. That link will not change. Wherever you share that link, your audience will be able to go to your file and download or stream your content.

Interesting....

Have you noticed that when you click onto that link you are redirected to another link that looks something along these lines:

http://hw.libsyn.com/p/3/9/1/391271669968b057/yourfilename+othernumbersandlettersandsymbols

If you write or paste your traffic.libsyn.com link onto your browser it will redirect to that link as well.

*That link is A TEMPORARY LINK! It can change!*

This information is very important, because if you use the http://hw.libysn.com link directly (meaning you copy the link from your browser's address bar) and use that link to share on your site, or Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else, anyone that downloads or streams your media directly from those links will not be counted in your stats.

Another less than stellar thing that can happen if you link directly to the http://hw.libsyn.com link is that it can lead to a 404 error message. As stated before, the hw link is TEMPORARY and it can change.

To clarify:

  • The http://traffic.libysn.com link IS THE PERMANENT LINK AND DOES NOT CHANGE
  • The http://hw.libsyn.com link IS NOT PERMANENT AND IT CAN CHANGE.

Where do you find your traffic.libsyn.com link?

Once in your account, under the Publishing Tab/Previous Posts, when you hover over any one of your previous posts you will get a few options pop up

Click on the LINKS option.

Once you do that more choices will be revealed, including the traffic.libsyn.com link!

Copy and paste wherever you desire. That's it!

Wrapping it up

As a way to make sure that all of your stats count and you don't get 404 messages from your files, please make sure that the links that you use to share your files in any online platform are the links formatted: http://traffic.libsyn.com/accountname/filename

I hope that was helpful!

Please share your thoughts regarding this issue, especially if it doesn't make sense. :)

Hope you hear from you guys soon!

- Elsie Escobar