Everyone wants to feel like they belong to something. Joining fan clubs, church groups, and even recovery organizations are ways people satisfy that desire. In world where people are more connected on Facebook than to their next door neighbors, building community from your podcast has become more important than ever to reach a new audience and turn existing listeners into ambassadors for your show.
Here are 11 Ideas For Building Community From Your Podcast
Social Networking ideas
1) Facebook Group – Groups have taken the place of Facebook Pages for interacting with fans. While you don’t have as much control in a Group as you do a Page, members feel like they are part of the community because they can post, invite their friends, and the activity is more likely to show up in their timeline. If you haven’t started a Facebook Group for your podcast then this is an easy step towards interacting with your most passionate listeners.
2) Unique #Hashtag – Twitter, Instagram and Facebook all utilize this feature. Using a unique hashtag helps identify the few individuals in your sea of followers who are truly listening. Ask them to share your #Hashtag on social media and start a dialogue with them.
3) TweetChats – This is a great way to get your listeners to show up and interact. Encourage them to join you on a certain date and time by using your unique #hashtag so everyone can follow the conversation. Services like TweetChat.com make this easy to do and posting some of the responses on your website (or talking about them in your next episode) are sure-fire ways to make people feel special and that they belong to the community.
4) Members only site – Similar to a Facebook Group, starting a members-only site gives your audience a place to hang out. They get a private place to chat with each other and brings them back to your site for additional content, information, and community.
5) Forum – This ain’t no FAQ board! People love to dig into the forums and answer questions on behalf of the site owner (admit it, you’ve done this too!)
6) Smartphone app – Mobile phone usage is on the rise. As prices for app design drops you will see more and more podcasters creating an app for their “inner circle”.
7) Local MeetUps – Start a MeetUp group in your town (MeetUp.com) or schedule one when traveling to other cities or attending a conference. There is nothing better than getting together with fans at a local bar or restaurant.
8) Conferences and events – Why not create your own conference or event? Having a “season finale” party for your tv show themed podcast gives die-hard fans a reason to come see you and join the community.
9) Launch a cruise – This idea will absolutely take your community to the next level. Cliff Ravenscraft organized the GSPN.tv Community Dream Cruise in 2013 and John Lee Dumas will embark with a few dozen members of his Podcasters’ Paradise community in November 2015.
10) Chachkies and Memorabilia – Customized t-shirts are much cheaper than a Caribbean cruise and easy to give away. Pat Flynn sends a t-shirt to everyone who submits a question that he uses on his Ask Pat podcast. Some other items you can customize that your community would love are:
- Drink koozies or beer steins
- Screen savers
Don’t discount this idea. People will pay good money to wear their favorite motorcycle or hard liquor logo on their chest – and it makes them feel like part of the community. I dare you to try this (I did).
11) Pet name – Nothing says “community” better than branding your listeners with a group pet name. Seth Godin tells us to rally our tribe, which Jeff Goins took to heart with Tribe-Writers. John Lee Dumas takes it to the extreme by addressing his listeners as members of “Fire Nation”. I noticed an immediate change when I began addressing my audience as Debt Freedom Fighters – both in the way I felt about them and in ways my listeners were interacting with me. (Maybe I should make a t-shirt for that!)
Building a podcast community lets listeners feel like they belong to something special. It helps you grow more intimate with your audience, gives them something to talk about with others (and promote your show to outsiders), and will keep them subscribed to your show.
I would love to hear how you implemented the ideas above as you build your podcast community.