Social Media for Podcasters: How to Become a Micro-Influencer in an Hour a Week

Andrea Jones. Photo courtesy of Andrea.

Andrea Jones. Photo courtesy of Andrea.

Don’t have a massive following on social media? No worries! Who needs a million followers anyway? Right now, sponsors are loving micro-influencers, people with smaller but loyal followings. This is, of course, is fantastic news for podcasters. 

On episode 31 of Podcasting Step by Step, I talk to Andrea Jones, founder of the Savvy Social School and the Savvy Social podcast, about how we, as podcasters, can grow our influence — and our podcast audience — via social media in only an hour a week. 

Subscribe to Podcasting Step by Step for free.

Why podcasters make the perfect social media influencers

“A lot of companies right now are looking for micro-influencers who have a high rate of engagement. Because their people are actually paying attention, versus these mega-influencers who have over 100,000 followers, but when they post something maybe 200 people will pay attention.” 

Podcast listeners are incredibly loyal. Think about how much time you spend reading a blog post. Compare that to a podcast listener who will dutifully tune in for an hour a week and buy that affiliate product the host mentioned.  

Andrea’s sponsor, a social media scheduling tool, came knocking on her door because she has a niche topic that is a perfect match for the service and because Andrea has an engaged audience. 

“They wanted a podcaster who they could grow with. So it wasn't about where I started, it was about where I’m going. And so if you’re a podcaster and you’re, like, ‘Man, I just don’t have the numbers yet.’ If you could show any sort of upward growth, a lot of brands and businesses…that’s exactly what they’re looking for.”

What is engagement, anyway? 

Engagement shows people are paying attention to your posts, and the quality of engagement matters more than quantity. Likes, comments, follows, direct messages, are all forms of engagement, and there is actually a formula to calculate your engagement rate on social media. 

“Engagement rate is how many people engage with your posts in comparison to the number of followers you have,” Andrea says.

“For example, if you have 100 followers and you got 10 ‘likes’ on a post, that’s an engagement rate of 10 percent. So 10 percent of your followers liked a post. That’s actually a very good engagement rate. Industry standard right now is about 1 to 2 percent across-the-board.”

How to increase your social media engagement

Creating content your ideal listener wants to see is priority number one. But for your posts to get the most organic reach (that is, the most views without paying for ads), you need to serve your content in a way that makes social media platforms happy. 

LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter…they all want you to spend as much time on their platforms as possible. This means they reward content that hooks people. 

Video and ‘announcement’ content are killing it on social 

“If you have a podcast, using an audiogram is a really great way to get attention,” Andrea says.

“When you’re scrolling through Instagram and you stop and you look at a picture, maybe you look at it for a second then you move on. Whereas with a video, if you stop and you look at it…the algorithm goes, ‘Hey, this person stopped on this post in particular for maybe 30 seconds. This must be important content. We should show it more.’ And so video is a really great way to encourage that kind of ‘eyeballs on your content.’” 

People also love ‘announcement’ content: You’re getting married, changing jobs, launching a podcast. 

“That's the kind of content that instantly jumps to the top of the feed. If you can celebrate some sort of milestone…any of that type of content is really popular right now. And so that can help as well, but as a general rule of thumb, if you can create content that people actually want to engage with, that they actually stopped and they looked at it, that is what the algorithm is looking for.”

How much time should we be spending on social media? 

“I usually sit down on Friday and write my posts for the next week,” Andrea says, “So an hour writing those posts and then I spend about 10 to 20 minutes a day actually going out and networking on social media and that’s per platform.”

So, after you spend that upfront hour creating your content, the majority of your social media activity should be spent engaging with others.

“Spend most of your time connecting with new people. If you ‘like’ their picture, or you left a comment, or you follow them, or you left them a direct message, they’re going to go, ‘Who is this person?’ And they’re going to look at what you do, and if they like it, great, they may connect with you, listen to your podcast, follow you.”

When should we post on social media? 

You don’t have to post every day, just be consistent with the days/times that you do post. This will help you analyze your social media performance later. 

“You really want to have that consistency so you can see the data, and the great news is that Instagram’s analytics will tell you, after you start a consistent posting schedule, when people are actually engaging with it,” Andrea says. 

“So even if you decide you’re going to post Monday, Wednesday, Friday, but you go into analytics and you go, ‘Oh look, Thursday for some reason is getting a lot of engagement,’ you can now switch this Friday post to be on Thursday now.”

What should we post on social media? 

Reduce decision fatigue by assigning themes to different days. 

“As a podcaster you can pull these topics from podcast episodes and you can outline them per day,” Andrea says.

“For instance on Monday, you’re sharing your new podcast episode. On Tuesday, you can give a tip of the day based on that podcast episode. On Wednesday, you can share a quote from that podcast episode. On Thursday, you can ask a question based on that episode’s topic…If you get stuck here, one of the things I teach in the school is to just do a brain dump. Literally start writing and give yourself 15 minutes and see what kind of topics you can come up with. But generally speaking, you can pull these topics from your main content.”

Where do we find our ideal listener on social? 

You don’t have to be everywhere. If you’re looking to use social to grow your audience and don’t know which platform to choose, hang out on Instagram and/or LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is especially great for people using their podcast to grow their business because you can search for people based on their job title. 

“Let’s say you teach yoga instructors how to build yoga businesses,” Andrea says. “Then you can literally go on LinkedIn and search for someone’s job title, like yoga instructor, and connect with them. And if you have a podcast about starting a yoga business, they’re probably going to be interested.”

When it comes to Instagram, hashtags help like-minded people find each other. 

“For instance, Beyonce’s community calls themselves The Hive so they have claimed the hashtag #beyhive. That’s not a search term but they’re using it amongst themselves as a member of the community,” Andrea says. 

“That’s a really interesting thing about Instagram — it’s not just search terms. It’s kind of like an internal language that your community members are using and you just have to figure out what that language is.”