So you’ve created an amazing podcast (if you have questions on that, start here), or maybe you found one that impressed you so much you want to spread the word. It’s worth it to put some effort in: podcasts are a large and growing digital media.
According to Edison Research, the percentage of Americans 12+ who listened to at least one podcast in the past month has almost doubled since 2008, from 9% to 17% by January of 2015. That includes a 2% growth from 2014 to 2015 alone.
But how do you effectively share podcasts? You may be used to sharing video and text, but podcasting is a world all its own. You can’t wait for an audience to find you through search engines, and podcast directories won’t do the job on their own – you need to reach out.
Good news is that you’re probably already communicating to a large audience through social media platforms, and podcasting is becoming increasingly easy to integrate into your overall social media strategy. Let’s review some of the best places to start.
iTunes is the #1 place for podcasts, with over 1 billion podcast subscriptions. Once your podcasts are on iTunes, people can opt to listen to your show by searching the podcast directory.
If you want to share someone else’s podcast on iTunes, especially a specific episode, here’s how to do it: search for that podcast on iTunes, by opening the app and using the search bar. Once you find the podcast, find the episode you want to share. At the end of the episode name you’ll see a button called “Get” which would allow you to download that episode. You want to click the dropdown menu to the right of that Get button, and choose Copy Link.
Stitcher is probably the #2 way for people to listen to podcasts. It’s a growing platform because it focuses on in-car listening (their app now is part of some BMWs), and mobile devices. Stitcher is available on Android devices, and iTunes isn’t.
If you want to share a show on Stitcher, you can do so from your computer without having to go to the app on your phone. Simply go to app.stitcher.com, sign in, and find the episode you are looking for. There are a few share buttons with links for Facebook, Twitter, and others.
TuneIn connects users to podcasts as well as online radio on a model similar to Songza. It even has some of the functions of a DVR, enabling users to record a show and listen to it later, as well as pause and rewind live programs. It’s an easy-to-use platform when compared with iTunes and may well be the model for the future of podcasts.
Now let’s talk SoundCloud. Started in 2007 in Berlin, SoundCloud now includes not only a streaming service, but an online community all it’s own as well as being a distribution platform that gets you access to a wide range of social media. SoundCloud has more than 175 million users every month, and 12 hours of audio are uploaded every minute.
Spotify, by comparison, has 50 million users with only 12.5 million paying for unlimited audio each month. SoundCloud is intuitive, and built on a stable platform. It also provides detailed analytics and embeddable players designed to promote sharing.
Social sharing apps that work well in conjunction with SoundCloud include Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ and the big kahunas of social media: Twitter and Facebook.
- Twitter welcomed SoundCloud as its first partner for streaming in 2014. With Twitter’s new audio cards, SoundCloud users can share podcasts directly onto their followers’ Twitter timelines on both iOS and Android devices. Even cooler, if someone likes what he or she hears, they can dock the audio card and return to it. Keep in mind when sharing podcasts on Twitter that hashtags are king – use trending hashtags to ensure you reach the largest audience possible.
- Let’s face it: everyone is on Facebook. But while you can put photos and video directly onto Facebook, you have to use a third-party service to post audio. SoundCloud allows you to directly post to Facebook several ways, as does ReverbNation. Other streaming music services that also have integrated options for sharing audio include Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, Rdio, Slacker Radio and Google Play. And if you have a Facebook Groups page as well as a Dropbox account, you can share Dropbox folder content on your Facebook Groups page.
Now that you’ve got a few ideas for sharing podcasts on Soundcloud, what about getting listeners engaged? One of the great benefits of social media is that users can add value to the product, usually through comments. Good news: thanks to timed comments in Soundcloud, podcasts are no longer a solitary experience.
Timed comments let listeners leave comments within the track at a certain point in time to be read as the track plays. Listeners can even preview individual comments while listening by hovering over the avatar of the commenter.
Sharing podcasts on social media is a direct route to a huge potential audience. In the first quarter of 2015 alone, Facebook had 1.44 BILLION active users. Twitter represents 232 million, LinkedIn 187 million, while Instagram has 200 million and Pinterest has 72.8 million. Learning to reach out can be fun as well as challenging – and if you ever need some help learning the ropes, we’re here for you!