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Twitter Followers vs Podcast Listeners-A Podcaster Perspective

This post was originally published by Rob Walch on the Podcast411 blog and is being republished here with his permission. It's a great look at Twitter from the podcaster perspective.

I am heading back from BlogWorld NY 2011 - It was a great show (sans the last keynote).

One of the things that stuck with me from the show was a side conversation I was in about the importance of growing your twitter followers as a podcaster and needing to put more efforts into that goal. I thought that stance was wrong. But I did hear it repeated over and over about the importance in social media that Twitter had and I as a podcaster needed to put more efforts into growing my twitter followers.

Luckily I am in a position where I can actually look at the numbers of lots of shows and see what the correlation is between Followers vs Listeners. I looked specifically at a dozen key shows and compared the number of downloads they get per episode (average of last 3 episodes at least 30 days old) vs the number of Twitter followers they had.

Here is my conclusion after looking at the data - The number of Twitter Followers has almost no relevance on the number of downloads per episode you will get.

That's right, Twitter Followers do not carry over into Listeners. And one might even be able to argue that if you spend too much time growing your twitter base your show will suffer and you will hurt your download numbers.

Some will say that is BS and Twitter is vital to your shows growth. However the numbers do not bear that out.

Let me break down exactly what I found.

  • For 3 shows with over 150,000 downloads per episode - One had over 400,000 followers, One had 200,000 followers, and one had 2,971 followers.
  • For 3 shows between 100,000 and 150,000 downloads per episode - One had over 1.75 Million followers, One had over 1.4 Million followers, and one had 48,000 followers.
  • For 3 shows between 20,000 and 80,000 downloads per episode - One had 146,000 followers, One had 3,853 followers and one did not even have a twitter account.
  • For the 3 remaining shows: one had 7,996 downloads per episode with 3,681 followers. One had 3,421 downloads per episode vs 35,467 followers and the last one had just 585 downloads per episode vs 33,000 followers.

No matter how you slice the numbers one thing is clear - Twitter Followers do NOT equal Podcast Listeners. The two most popular producers on Twitter had a greater than 10 to 1 ratio of Followers vs Listeners, yet one of the top 3 most downloaded in this group had a 100 to 1 ratio of Listeners to Followers. The worst of the group had over 50 Followers for each listener.

I am not saying to quit twitter or stop tweeting - just that as a podcaster it is all about the download and it is safe to say you can stop sweating about the number of followers you have and go back to worrying about putting out good content.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or shoot an email to rob AT podcast411.com


Rob Walch is the Vice President of Podcaster Relations for Wizzard Media / Libsyn. Rob is Co-Author of the book Tricks of the Podcasting Masters - Que 2006, which was an editors pick as a Top 10 Reference book for 2006 by Amazon.com. Rob was listed as the 5th most influential person in podcasting according to the book “Podcasting for Dummies” – Wiley Press 2005. Rob's podcasts are Today in iOS and Podcast411. You can find him on Twitter @podcast411.

attribution for podcast pic: By Yagraph (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


Apple Says, Want Your Smartphone App To Be Featured in iTunes? Drive Usage

One thing that has not been covered from the podcasting perspective has been rising in the ranks in the iTunes App Store.

Wait, what? Why would that matter to you as a podcaster?

Here at libsyn one of our offerings is smartphone apps. We have producers with either both Android and iOS versions of their apps and others with a presence in just one marketplace. While right now we are submitting just to the Android market, the tips and info below can help in both marketplaces.

Apple has unofficially reached 500k of approved iOS apps in the App Store, so any new ideas to get your app higher in the rankings in order to increase your chances of being discovered by potential audience users are GOLD.

Who doesn’t want a larger audience?

About a month ago it appears that Apple changed the way that they choose to feature apps and have them go up in the rankings. It used the be pretty close to the way that podcasts are featured, but now there is more. According to this Macworld article:

Though it is not yet clear what tweaks Apple has made, it appears that factors such as active usage of an app has become more important in these rankings, rather than just raw numbers of downloads.

Now that's something interesting "active usage of an app has become more important."

Key Ways To Increase Usage To Your App And Drive Discoverability

The following tips are focused on driving folks to launch and use your app.

  1. Publish episodes consistently.
  2. Add juicy extra bonus content and tell your audience about it! Check out this post for a TON of awesome ideas.
  3. In each episode share with your audience the interactive features of your App: one tap contact via email, FB, and twitter, and encourage them to contact you through the app.
  4. Publish random App specific content so folks launch your app more.

Have an Android App? You can apply these same practices to your Android App, as the Android Market may be doing the same thing!

In addition to usage the long standing way to increase your ranking in the App Store is to encourage your audience to rate and review your app.

Podcasting became so popular because it offered a a very personal and immediate way to engage with the audience. Podcasters make themselves available more: there are shownotes involved, emails exchanged, often times voice mail feedback, plus more. The libsyn smartphone apps are exactly the same, they offer that direct interaction that you already have with your audience, with added opportunities to further interaction with your listeners via bonus content.

Those that want your podcast Smartphone App will use it, so the potential to increase your visibility can absolutely happen.

What? You don't have a Smartphone App? Well then what are you waiting for? Email us at talktous@libsyn.com for more information! We'll be waiting for you!

-Elsie Escobar


Rob Walch at Blogworld Expo NY 2011 #BWENY

Rob Walch at Blogworld Expo NY 2011

Our very own Rob Walch will be speaking at Blogworld Expo NY May 25th!

Check out Rob here:

Yes, Virginia, They Do Pay For Advertising- The Big Advertising Panel

Yes, "they" do pay "real" money to advertise in digital media - and they're paying more every year. Join this panel of experienced content producers with real world practice of selling their content as they share their thoughts and answer your questions about advertising in digital media.

Rob and David Prager will take on this topic at 2:30pm on May 25

3 App Building Stories- The BYO, The Platform Partnership and The Outdoor Shuffle

There are many ways to make an app: build your own, partner with someone, or outsource entirely. In this panel of people from each path, you can finally understand the ins and out of each approach and pick you path to the app economy. There is no better way to learn than from someone who has been there before and this panel brings it all.

Rob, Jeff Hamilton and Jason Hoch will delve into the nitty gritty at 3:45pm on May 25

Podcasters Represent at BlogWorld NY!

After you've taken in all of Rob Walch's sessions, here are a few more from some awesome podcasters addressing some pretty cool subjects :)

There are TONS more that were not mentioned and so worth your time! Check out the full BlogWorld NY 2011 Schedule HERE!


Mommy Podcasts: Providing What Money Can't Buy For Mother's Day

Community, Communication and Support

Even though there are times that as a Mother I want stuff ie. clothes, jewelry, gadgets, etc. what I long for and desire the most as a mother you can't really buy anywhere.

Mothers desire connection

Primarily connection with other Mamas. There are times when I feel like I'm the only mother in the world that is going through whatever I'm going through at the time, toddler tantrums, explosive messes that refuse to get cleaned up, child ailments, sleepless nights...I could go on and on ;)

Mothers long for communication

I often times simply want to share with someone, someone that gets how hard being a Mama truly is, or how incredible the world is as seen through your child's eyes, or simply talking about something that is not at all child related with another woman!

Mothers need support

At first I thought I could do it all- by myself. I had up to this point set my mind to anything I desired and simply done it, often times to the chagrin of those that were closest to me. Why would motherhood be different? Well, it seems like this whole mothering thing works sooooo much better with support, help, advice, and encouragement.

What if you don't have a built in community of Mothers that can be available at any time?

Mommy Podcasts to the rescue!

You need to feel supported and heard? How about feeling that you belong?

Check out these Mommy podcasts that will provide you with at least a little bit of recognition and entertainment, but most of all moments of knowing that you are not alone!

Manic Mommies

The trials and tribulations, joys and triumphs of Erin and Kristin - two working mothers trying to do it all (and do it all well, of course)! Shows feature honest, funny chats about motherhood, pop culture, and the crazy act of balancing work and family. Regular features include guest interviews, advice from parenting coach Kathy, and pediatrician Dr. Rob. Not just for "working" moms - for all moms and dads! Driven by our Chevrolet and our fabulous Gal Pals.

New Moms, New Babies: Tips, Tricks, Sanity Savers

Real Moms. Real Stories. A weekly podcast by new moms, for new moms with tips, tricks and sanity savers on sleeping, feeding, crying and more! Guests include, doctors, pediatricians, authors, experts on child seat safety, strollers, baby carriers, activities and more! Friendly advice, various perspectives and relevant information to get you through those first years.

PregTASTIC Pregnancy Podcast

PregTASTIC is the weekly podcast by pregnant women, for pregnant women about the fantastic journey to motherhood. Full of expert information and friendly advice, opinions and different perspectives for soon-to-be moms. Weekly guests include doctors, doulas, authors etc. Hosted by "real" pregnant women with the same joys, concerns and swollen feet as our listeners.

Full Time Mom

The Full Time Mom Podcast is the weekly audio journal podcast of Stephanie Ravenscraft. In each episode, Stephanie gives you a very authentic and transparent look into her pursuit of being the best wife and mother that she can be. This is not your typical “mommy podcast.” It is a known fact that Cliff likes to talk a lot. While Stephanie regularly co-hosts, with Cliff, on a large number of gspn.tv podcasts found at http://gspn.tv/shows, this is a podcast where Stephanie has a chance to share everything that is on her mind. Be prepared to be entertained, encouraged, and inspired by this show. [update Full Time Mom's last episode was published on January 6, 2012]

This is by no means a full list of Mommy podcasts out there. As a Mama and as a podcast addict I have waaaaaay too much on my plate to give each and every podcast due diligence, so, this is when I say:

Do you have a favorite Mommy podcast that is not on this list and absolutely MUST be heard or seen?

Please leave it in the comments below! Remember it's all about community, support, and communication!

Happy Mother's Day!!!!!

-Elsie Escobar