Just a small note: a few people got in touch about this article in order to disagree strongly, especially in ways that I think slightly missed the point. So here’s a small follow-up blog to read after, if you are gripped by anger.
I am currently away on a small domestic holiday (is that what you’d call a ‘staycation’?) which involved, at its onset, a three-hour drive on Saturday morning. In order to smooth the boredom of a long drive (long by British standards, I should add; sorry Canadians) I tweeted a call for podcast recommendations.
Now, I’ve done this before, so I knew what would happen.
At first there were a trickle of recommendations from vague acquaintances and other Twitter followers, and then, over the course of the day, a deluge of almost 20 podcasts/podcasters swooping in to recommend their own shows. It is the inevitable consequence of tweeting anything with the word ‘podcast’ and the word ‘recommendation’ in the same sentence. If you are ever looking for a bit of positive affirmation that you are not entirely alone on Twitter, give it a go.
But it does get me thinking about how thankless and unforgiving social media marketing for podcasts is. I’ll keep these observations to Twitter for this blog post, because Instagram and Facebook and TikTok are riddled with their own unique set of dumb quirks that make them near useless tools for the average podcaster. But Twitter has its own discrete eco-system for podcast promotion, an almost circular back-scratching process wherein ‘podcast accounts’ (i.e. any account that is named for the show, rather than the host or producer) follow one another and accumulate only that weird legion of followers who will follow back anyone who follows you (and who are totally devoid of utility as a promotional tool). So here are a few thoughts about podcasts and Twitter (some of them just observations, some of them tips):
- I am not convinced that the ‘podcast account’ is a useful tool for podcast promotion. Certainly it would be better to have…