So your show went viral on social media, now what?

Whilst some of the benefits of podcasting is the lack of a gatekeeper to get your content out there, you are competing with thousands of other shows who also want attention from future listeners. 

Podcast listeners are starting to fill all their available podcast listening time with shows, this means to break into someone’s podcast app you may need to unseat an incumbent! It just reaffirms that both creating quality content and non-stop marketing are important to get and keep listeners. 

Many podcasts have helped build awareness through a stream of viral moments shared on social media, here are some tips to keep you top of the TikToks.

1. Think One Step Ahead

Viral clip from It Can’t Just Be Me podcast with Anna Richardson

Are your clips relevant to today? Viral moments can be connected to something new a guest says, or something funny, but you can also do well by joining in with viral moments. This might mean re-using something from an older episode that’s relevant or producing social-specific content that jumps on a trend. 

By definition, trending topics mean that a huge number of people are searching for them. Whilst this of course also means it could be harder to find your gem amongst a sea of others – there is still the opportunity to execute well and be a leading part of the conversation that is happening around a topic. 

2. Optimise Your Podcast 

If your clips from the show go viral and generate interest from new listeners, they need to be able to easily tune in to your podcast.. Where you can on social media, provide links or at least have clear visibility for your show’s name. 

Also make sure that your podcast will show up in search if people are searching for the show’s name, its presenter or guest. Whilst podcast apps like Apple Podcasts and Spotify have good SEO, make sure that you have a home for your podcast. Work to ensure that your own website has good SEO, information about each episode and links to tune-in on the different platforms. 

3. Talk To Your Listeners

Another viral moment from the same episode of It Can’t Just Be Me, repurposed podcast content across two socials

Different social networks use different indicators to make content go viral. Comments are as much as an indicator as a high early view counts. Replying and liking comments (as the channel) can help content be surfaced to more users. Don’t just publish and forget, engage with your users who are excited about the content. 

4. Press activity

A viral clip with lots of views often catches the attention of online publishers who are keen to generate material based on viral moments (and benefit from the search traffic). 

If you have a hit that hasn’t been seen, send an email with the key points, links to the social media (and podcast) and flag up its popularity. Think about the information that journalists use when writing up similar material and make sure you include that in your email. 

5. Support a Fandom

If something has gone wild on the internet, you can almost guarantee there is going to be a fandom around it. Building your podcast to support fans of what you are already talking about makes sense – you can quickly find your loyal listeners while also prioritising quality content. 

Make sure to plug in your show where those fandoms live, and to also be consistent with your posting. You don’t want to leave a big gap between posting a viral hit and any next episodes. 

Having a viral hit doesn’t guarantee you podcast listening success. The value of viral clips is both the listening it generates but also the brand value of your podcast having good guests/insight/is funny. If users see multiple clips it increases the chance of them sampling your podcast when they see it in an app store or appear somewhere else. 

Good marketing requires you to generate multiple touch points with potential listeners. Social media is a great way to do that, but it can’t be the only thing you use to build listening.