This post continues the Podcast Seminar series. This week we cover the topic of Spreading the word through Social Networks.
First off, what is a social network? Here’s a good definition from Wikipedia, “communities of people who share interests and activities or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others.” (You might get this term confused with social media; I know that I do. The great part is that the two are connected. According to Wikipedia as well, “Social media is an umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio.” So, because you have a podcast AND you are thinking about using a social network, the buzz term social media is now yours to throw around how you see fit. Now back to social networks.)
Secondly, what are some social networks that you can use to share interests and activities? There are a lot of them to choose from and depending on your location in the world, some might be more popular than others. Here’s a short linked list of ones that might fit you:
- Facebook – originally for college students, it’s now open to all
- MySpace – The grand daddy of social networks, great for musicians
- Twitter – The original Web 2.0 social network
- Pownce – Share files and music with your followers
- Plurk – Very recent entry into the social network race
- Jaiku – Purchased by Google, what are they planning?
New social networks pop up every day, and thanks to Ning, you can even own your own social network that is just for you and your listeners/viewers.
Now the third, and most important topic on Social Networks, how do I use them? Too many times I see posts on the social networks that I frequent that are just promoting their blog posts or latest episodes of their podcasts. Social networks are about more than just sending out a note that you have a new blog post. It’s about engaging an audience and sharing, as the definition above implies. If you do a podcast about a certain subject, like marketing, ask questions about marketing. Share what ways you’re using the topics in your podcast in your business. Give examples of how those in your network could use your latest podcast to make them money. Again, the word is engage.
So let’s look at an example someone who engages his audience, and in my opinion does social networks correctly. That person is Jason Calacanis. Jason uses Twitter to blast out information about his latest venture, Mahalo. But he also talks about his dogs, interesting articles, holds giveaways and he engages the community in a conversation. He’s there to market his company for sure, but he’s also there to comment and respond to those he is following and are following him. He’s even termed a name for the group, Jason Nation.
And finally, for Heaven’s sake, do not employ a bot to constantly make post on your behalf. There are tools that can help you more productive when interacting on social networks, but a bot is not engaging anyone in conversation.
So are social networks important for your podcast? Sure, but make sure the social networks that you choose are not just used as a cheap press release medium. If you’re excited about using social networks to promote your podcast and build a community, there are others out there that can help you in the best ways to leverage social networks. One person you definitely have to check out is Chris Brogran and definitely sign up for his newsletter.
That’s it for the topics that I had planned for the Podcast Seminar series. Next time I’ll wrap it up and give a sweeping over view of everything covered.