Episode 11: Social Media is Scary! (But Necessary!)

This is a RadioPublic embed for Scoring Magic, “Social Media is Scary! (But Necessary!)“.

Date published: 11/23/2019
Written by: Anne Baird, Katie Youmans
Produced by: Wil Williams

Sometimes you’re a social media grandma. And that’s okay. Like everything with Hug House, our first step in finalizing our social media strategy was to identify our shortcomings and reach out for help–and then the second was all organization. We promise, running your socials doesn’t have to be as scary as it seems.

  • Read the Edison Research’s 2019 “The Podcast Consumer” report here

Transcript

ANNE

Listen… if you want to get more people to subscribe to your podcast, you HAVE to put stuff out there about it on the internet. It’s not opinion, it’s just fact. You gotta. It’s 2019. Come on.

ANNE

This week on Scoring Magic, we’re going to talk about how to market your podcast, specifically… on social media.

[INTRO MUSIC]

ANNE

First, let’s do some housekeepinggggg! We are now… less than two months away from the release of the first episode of VALENCE. Oh god. Oh no. It’s so close. [laughs] Oh no. Oh no. Oh, the reality just hit me and, oh no . . . two months away, and we still have a lot to do.

ANNE

We’ve started fulfilling on Indiegogo rewards for Season 1 of VALENCE, and we have… like half of the season recorded at this point? Not in order, which we’ll go into more in the episode we’ll have out soon on doing Live Table Reads and Remote Recording, but overall like half of the content. Which is wild, and so nerve wracking, and also amazing? Because we’re… actually doing this. We’ve got this!

ANNE

Our theme song composer Raul Vega should have the theme song back to us by Thanksgiving (that’s uhhh November 28th in case y’all aren’t American) and I am bouncing in my seat right now thinking about finally getting to hear it.

ANNE

We’ll likely have a trailer out and a RSS feed available for VALENCE before Christmas, so keep an eye out on the show’s Twitter feed, @VALENCEpod, for updates on that.

ANNE

And on that note, I said we’re going to talk about social media. And we are! But first, I’m going to hand you off to the amazing Katie to talk about our story from the beginning.

[STAR WIPE NOISE]

KATIE

We’ve talked a lot on Scoring Magic about trusting your team and playing to everyone’s strengths and asking for help when you need it. Guess what. We’re about to talk about all that some more.

KATIE

When we were just starting out, divvying up tasks, I took on the responsibility of running Hug House’s social media. This was perhaps . . . not my best idea. While I do technically have an Instagram account, I only use it to follow tattoo artists I might want to reach out to one day when I have money again. And while I have a Twitter, I use it almost exclusively for goofs like the one I posted the other day, jokingly asking for offers of marriage, lands, and goats.

KATIE

But I added the Instagram app on my phone and I taught myself how to use TweetDeck and I read other podcasts’ social media posts to get an idea of what worked best, and I tried. We set up a schedule of types of tweets – #NewCandler posts, audio drama Sunday shout-outs, #MakingMagicMonday posts, things like that – to tweet from which account on which day, and I did my best to follow it. I really did.

KATIE

The problem was that I don’t use these platforms, and so they don’t feel intuitive to me. And trying to jump in and learn them while also feeling pressure I’ve put on myself to do well for all of our accounts and grow our audience and not make any missteps that would give myself away as a bumbling fool . . . bad. It bad. I don’t react well to feeling foolish, especially when in a very public sphere. My response to that feeling is to get angry at myself, but it spills over onto everyone around me in little ways, in spite of my best efforts to keep it from affecting anyone else.

KATIE

Not being instantly good at something frustrates me, but letting anyone know that I’m not good at something is worse. But in situations like these, trying to sweep my difficulties under the rug only makes them worse. Don’t try to power through on your own and insist on doing a task that makes you miserable and that you’re doing poorly at just because of pride.

KATIE

I talked with Anne and Wil about it, about how I felt like I was failing at running our social media, and in turn, risking damaging others’ perception of Hug House. It was not an easy conversation for me to start, but Anne and Wil were extremely understanding, and on board with shuffling around responsibilities so that Anne, who is much more familiar and comfortable with these platforms, could take over our accounts.

KATIE

And now, Anne’s going to take back this episode, because they’re the one who actually knows things and can give you some useful info about managing your show or network’s social media!

[STAR WIPE NOISE]

ANNE

Pew pew pew! Alright y’all. So Katie gave you a rundown on how we started out doing social media for Hug House and Scoring Magic and VALENCE. She mentioned a lot of fun words like Twitter and Instagram and Tweetdeck, some of which you might be familiar with, you’ve probably definitely HEARD of at least one of them, but not everyone actually uses them. And that’s where I come in. 

ANNE

In some magical miracle, I managed to convince my grad school this past spring to let me take a Social Media Strategy course that I was not qualified for, but that I knew I would be able to ace because I’m a millennial and I live on social media. That’s not something everyone my age has in common, but the odds are that.. Yeah, you probably know something.

ANNE

But not every social media platform is the right fit for your podcast. Take Facebook, for example. We don’t advertise our shows on Facebook. Why not? Because Facebook is a garbage site and I don’t want to use it and also fuck Mark Zuckerberg. 

ANNE

The other reason is that our target audience isn’t really on Facebook, so we focus our attention in other areas like Twitter, where our efforts will reap more benefits. I DO use Facebook for some other podcasts I manage social media for and for my day job’s company. But I still hate it.

ANNE

I’ve also found that, while there are a lot of podcasters on Instagram, it doesn’t really make sense for us to be spending time making graphics for an audio medium.

ANNE

So Twitter it is! I run three accounts for Hug House: The main Hug House Productions account, the Scoring Magic account, and the VALENCE account. Wait — four. I also run @AskHaloInc. This will be important once VALENCE comes out, but for now we can focus on the three main ones.

ANNE

We have bi-weekly releases for Scoring Magic, and soon VALENCE will get added to that schedule on the off weeks so it’ll be weekly episode releases. We also do #MakingMagicMondays where we shout out some resource that we use to create VALENCE and Scoring Magic and run our company. Every Thursday we have a post on VALENCE for #NewCandler, usually with some aesthetically appealing photo and a quote or saying that’s applicable to the show. And of course, Sundays are for #AudioDramaSunday.

ANNE

It’s important to interact with the community from your podcast accounts and to recommend other creators and shows in your tweets! Talk about your favorite podcasts and tell people why you love them. That’s what makes people want to interact with you, and therefore gets you more views on your social media which in turn equals… more listeners!

ANNE

Another thing that gets you more listeners? Having a WEBSITE. You can use WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, heck, even Tumblr, to make a site. It doesn’t have to be a paid domain or anything fancy, just a place for people to find your cast list and a description of the show and the transcripts you should definitely have for your podcast what are you waiting for why don’t you have TRANSCRIPTS?

ANNE

Alright. Before we move on, it’s time for an unsponsored shout out to our friends at RadioPublic. RadioPublic has a function where you can create what they’re calling a “PodSite” using your RSS feed’s information and basically operate a website through RadioPublic. It’s not free, but damn if it isn’t the coolest thing. You can do SO MUCH with it. I had a meeting with Joshua Rae, one of the company’s relations associates, to go through some podsite examples and I can’t stop thinking about how I wish more podcasters use them!

ANNE

(But also, RadioPublic, if you wanna sponsor us for real, hit us up because we will happily talk about you even more!)

ANNE

Let’s talk about why it’s important to have a website. I’m me, so I’m gonna hit you with some stats. You didn’t think you could get through an episode hosted by me, Anne, Master of Spreadsheets and Airtable and General Nerd Shit, without me giving you some numbers, did you?

ANNE

According to Edison Research’s 2019 “The Podcast Consumer” report, which is linked in the show notes, the top reasons why people don’t listen to podcast are because… they don’t know how to listen to a podcast, or they don’t know how to FIND a podcast. So let’s ignore the “how to listen to a podcast” issue because there’s not much I can do on that front and focus on FINDING podcasts. The report also touches on that, and we can learn a lot from what it says: The sources most used to FIND podcasts to listen to are searching the internet…and social media posts.

ANNE

Which brings us back around to the importance of using social media and having a website! But just having a website and social media accounts isn’t enough. You have to USE them. 

ANNE

Including transcripts of your podcast for free as text on your website isn’t just great for accessibility, it also increases your Search Engine Optimization, which is Internet Marketing speech for “makes your website pop up higher in Google when someone searches for it”. The words in the transcript are tied to the website, so if someone searches words that appear in your podcast, then the podcast is likely to show in their search results!

ANNE

And the same goes for accounts on sites like Twitter! You should make a post on whatever social media platforms you use for every episode release. Remember: the second highest way people find new podcasts is from social media posts. So make sure you have a lot of them!

ANNE

Okay so all that is a lot… how do I do it all but not spend every waking hour on social media? SCHEDULES. ORGANIZATION.

ANNE

Here’s a throwback to my episode on finances: Stay. Organized. I schedule all the tweets that need to go out every week for Hug House, Scoring Magic, VALENCE, and Radio Drama Revival. It’s the only way to keep a handle on it.

ANNE

By scheduling posts like.. A month in advance, I can spend 5 hours in one day doing all of my social media posting for the week, and the rest of my time can be used for interacting with people and replying to tweets and messages. Honestly, I never thought I’d be the one to say “use a schedule” because I used to be the biggest procrastinator and only operate off a checklist, but now that I’m doing it I’ll never be able to go back.

ANNE

We’ve about reached all I can say about social media without getting too technical, so let’s just hit on a few more misconceptions about social media: You don’t need to reply to people’s messages and such right away. Also, please don’t do that, because it’s all public. If you respond to something outrageous while you’re angry, you’ll just say something stupid and start up discourse that you don’t want to be involved in.

ANNE

On that note, guess what? YOU’RE ALLOWED TO NOT REPLY AT ALL. AND!!! YOU CAN BLOCK PEOPLE! No one is entitled to your time and attention unless you want to give it to them. You are allowed to say “oh, actually? Fuck this.” and not interact.

ANNE

And some final sage words of wisdom: Please do not pop into my DMs unprompted with links to your podcast on iTunes— sorry, Apple Podcasts. Please. I beg of you. I won’t listen. Do not do this to critics. They won’t listen. They don’t want that. 

ANNE

Wil is going to do an episode in the near future on press kits and press releases and best practices there, but just keep that in mind. And read reviewers’ and journalists’ guidelines on how to submit tings to them before you do it, because they also won’t . . . they also won’t respond if you do it wrong. Because they know. And they talk to each other.

ANNE

Overall, this is… a lot to grasp. And that’s okay! You don’t have to run social media for more than one account. Focus on the one for your show and work your way up from there if it comes to it. You can always ask a friend or collaborator to help you because you’re not in this alone. And hey, you may find that you’re actually quite good at it, but you won’t know until you try, right?

ANNE

Scoring Magic is a Hug House Production! You can find out more about our work at HugHouse.Productions. And if you want to learn even more about what goes into VALENCE and get extra behind-the-scenes content for both VALENCE and Scoring Magic, check out our Patreon at Patreon.com/HugHousePods. Our music this week was by Broke for Free and Kevin MacCleod.


Credits

“Budding,” “The Gold Lining” by Broke for Free Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Support Scoring Magic by donating to their Tip Jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/scoring-magic

Find out more at https://scoring-magic.pinecast.co

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