As a content creator, if you really want to build and maintain an audience, it’s not enough to just produce the content. You really have to hustle and push hard on promotion. Whether it’s paid advertising or taking advantage of free channels, plugging your content can often require more time and effort than actually creating it.
That has certainly been the case for the podcast. Back in March, I wrote about our plans for promoting Bring Your Own Movie. The team and I sat down to identify our target audience, craft our brand’s voice, decide on the best promotional channels (for us, it’s social media), understand our marketing goals, and create a promotion calendar.
And although I had a background on social media advertising, I didn’t have much experience managing a brand’s social media page. So, this was a fun challenge for me and an opportunity to learn new skills.
We started out strong. We were very regular with our social media posts across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We were seeing good engagement with likes, comments and shares.
And then, as so often happens, life got in the way, and our busy schedules were making it hard to coordinate podcast recordings, let alone keep up with promotional efforts.
But when we decided in late June to switch from a bi-weekly episode release schedule to a monthly one, we knew more than ever, that it was imperative that we bump up our activity on social media. We needed to keep our audience engaged in between episodes now that they were going to be a month apart.
So, we regrouped, nailed down a new promotional schedule and, most importantly, made it clear who would be in charge of what. For the last two months, we’ve successfully pushed out regular posts from our social media channels.
Diving into the Metrics
With the logistics of promotion smoothed out, it was finally time to address something we’d been neglecting for far too long — analytics. Afterall, with the amount of time and energy required to produce and publish our social media posts, shouldn’t we make sure they are working?
And what does it mean for them to be “working”?
Well, back in March when we were putting together our marketing strategy, we did identify our key goals:
- Primary goal: Getting people to download and listen to our podcast
- Secondary goal: Getting people to connect with our social media pages
- Secondary goal: Encouraging people to engage with our social media posts
- Secondary goal: Getting iTunes reviews
For my first look at the metrics, I focused on one of our secondary goals — engagement with our social media posts. Why not start with our primary goal? Well, with the tracking capabilities available to us, it’s difficult to identify whether or not a certain social media post directly resulted in an episode download. We can try to make correlations, but that analysis will take some time, so I wanted to start with some concrete metrics that I could more easily and quickly pull and analyze.
The theory is that an engaged audience is one that will keep listening to the podcast and hopefully share it with their friends. And from a more technical perspective, for many social media platforms, engagement does influence the algorithm and can help get your posts in front of a larger audience.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all allow you to look at a variety of metrics on your posts. For Facebook and Instagram, I focused on reach (number of unique people who saw the post in their Feed), reactions/likes, and comments. For Twitter, I looked at impressions and engagement (number of times a user has interacted with a Tweet, including all clicks anywhere on the Tweet, retweets, replies, follows, and likes).
It was interesting digging into the results and identifying some patterns. There were some similarities across the platforms and some big differences. Here are the highlights from my analysis:
- For Facebook, posts where our guests were tagged saw the most engagement.
- Shares can also help increase reach in Facebook.
- Instagram posts with popular hastags helped increase reach.
- Instagram posts with tagged users also saw high reach and likes.
- Twitter posts where users with big followings are tagged receive a high number of impressions and engagement.
- The live-tweet thread also received a high number of impressions and engagement.
With the findings above, we are now armed with some “quick wins” to maximize engagement:
- For Facebook, find more opportunity to tag people in our posts, especially past guests.
- For Instagram, increase our usage of hashtags, especially popular ones and tag users when applicable.
- For Twitter, find more opportunity to tag users with a large number of followers. Also, try more live-tweet sessions.
With this initial analysis completed, I will now take the time to dive into our episode download metrics. I’ll see if there are any patterns regarding when people download our podcast episodes and look for any correlations between social media posts and spikes in downloads.
This dive into the metrics has been an interesting intersection between my old life as a marketer and my new journey as a content creator!