Best Practices for Increasing Podcast Subscribers through Social Media

The internet is full of advice on how to increase engagement on social media, including dozens of articles on what content gets the most shares and clicks, but for podcast publishers specifically, the goal for social media engagement should be to ultimately increase their show’s subscriber count.

Social media plays a major role in driving digital media consumption. What particular posts work best for each podcast is going to vary based on content type, audience, and personal preference, in addition to keeping up with trends that are constantly changing. Social media is a never-ending arms race, where attention is the prize and algorithm gaming and design are the weapons.

Draft a post to promote your podcast with two goals in mind:

  1. Attract new listeners to your show
  2. Help those potential listeners find (and subscribe!) to your show in the podcast app of their choice
Gaining Attention on Social Media

Solely relying on captions and images to both grab people’s attention and entice someone to listen to your show sometimes isn’t enough. We recommend sharing a preview, including a compelling snippet or moment from your show that will make the audience want more.

Leverage Omny Studio’s integration with Headliner to simply create and share compelling snippets of your show — or audiograms — on social media. This integration makes it easy to copy and trim your episode to that perfect moment before sending it over to Headliner for video creation.

How long should a highlight be? The right length will vary, but best practice is under a minute (Instagram’s limit on in-feed video). Generally, the shorter the video, the better it performs, so consider 30–60 seconds as your target length.

Audiogram watched. What next?

Whether it’s a Facebook or an Instagram story, post, pin, tweet, snap, TikTok, audiogram or display ad, your goal is to get your audience to subscribe to your show in the app of their choice.

So while gaining listens on an audiogram is great, remember that the goal of sharing an audiogram is to motivate listeners to take action and subscribe to your show. 

In addition to listening to your show, these new subscribers will also share your show with their friends — either through word of mouth or by sharing your audiograms and other great social content, helping you to grow your audience.

To make it as simple as possible for someone to go from social media to the app of their choice to subscribe to your show, there’s a vital step we see many publishers get wrong. Linking, from the post to the podcast.

Searching for Podcasts Isn't Always Easy

It's easy to say, 'search podcasts to subscribe' in an audiogram promotion, but the reality is that searching for a podcast is not always the most efficient way to find them. If you're having trouble finding a specific podcast, ask yourself the questions below:

  • Did you get the spelling right?
  • Can you spot the cover art?
  • Do you even know what the art looks like?
  • Once you think you’ve found it — right title, art, and description, are you sure it’s not a pirated copy?

Subscribe Option 1: Multiple Links 

You could offer a link to your show in each of the major podcast apps, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts — if you’re not into the whole brevity thing. But what about users of other apps? Additionally, this method does not make for attractive social media posts.

Subscribe Option 2: One Link that Does it All

Some people call them SmartLinks, others may know them as ‘magic podfollow links’, but we’re going to call them omni-links for now — as in omni-directional, not “Omny Studio links”. You may have seen these before, especially if you’ve ever gone to an Instagram profile. In places where you are limited for space in terms of character count or to a single link, there are a number of ‘link expansion’ services that are now available as a solution to these limitations.

These links have the ability to link to a directory of links, such as and similar services. These links have the ability to direct a subscriber to every podcast app but that’s a similar problem to having multiple links in the post. These links can also bring subscribers to different locations based on the context of the device being used. Both options have pros and cons, and the best option for you depends on your podcast and your listeners, and we prefer the contextual link as the best option.

Let us guide you to what link is best for you.

To understand which link you should use, leverage the analytics in your hosting platform for insight into where your listeners are consuming their audio in order to decipher the cost of each click. The goal is to convert someone who is interested in your podcast to a subscriber as smoothly as possible.

Measure your success and continually improve by using attribution services like Chartable, Podsights and others within Omny Studio.

By combining these two best practices that enable you to engage your audience with compelling content in the form of audiograms and grow your audience through link tools that streamline the subscription process, you'll increase your chances of growing your audience through social media.

Finally, Omny Studio has you covered with our subscriber estimate, so you can track success and continually refine your posts.

Promote Compelling Evergreen Content

When podcast expert Rachel Corbett was recently asked her opinion on whether podcast publishers need to create accounts for their podcasts on every social media platform, she responded by saying, “If you want to do your podcast social media well, the answer is no (I can hear that sigh of relief from here).”

Leverage your existing audience to promote new episodes, and additionally, don’t be afraid to share more than once. We know not everyone is on social media all the same time (but closer to it in 2020), and that not all of your audience will even be able to see every post when scrolling through their feed, which is why it is crucial to promote new episodes for longer than just launch day alone. Promoting a new episode for one week is perfectly fine.

For evergreen content that will always be relevant, keep a lookout for moments of opportunity to share this content again. Do you have an episode about something that could be considered ‘classic’, rather than just old news? Get promoting it by using the tools and practices laid out in this blog!

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