for computer users who just want to use Linux to get things done
Social Media Strategies for Linux (and other) Podcasters
This article focuses on the Linux podcaster, but it can be applied to anyone who is using the Internet to market any idea to customers, build an audience of listeners, develop users or attract subscribers.
Become an Expert
Or at least develop some expertise in your area of interest. Make sure that the topic you are supporting is something in which you have a keen interest. Your hobby or area of specialty in your employment might be topics that fit these criteria. If you are interested in the topic, and you are helping other people to use or understand that topic, you will be learning more as you provide that help. Even if you don’t start as an expert, you will eventually become one.
Remember, no matter how little you know about something, you know more than some people. It is those people that you can help. They well see you as more expert than they are.
On your blog or website
You have a blog or a website, right? Create content in the form of posts or articles that establish your credibility as an expert on the topic of Linux.
- Provide tips on how to use Linux in their everyday life. Provide examples that relate to how an “average” user would use a computer - any computer - but focus those examples on Linux and Linux applications. If you offer a specific product or service for use by the Linux computer user, it’s OK to mention it, and how it makes this task easier. But don’t make these tips an obvious promotional piece for your product or service. The idea is to establish the expertise and build the trust of your audience. You are doing this to attract readers and links from other websites, not to sell your product or service directly.
- Become THE authoritative resource for your topic by providing links to other sources of information about Linux or Linux applications. Amplifying on the good ideas presented in those external sources, and critique poor or misleading ideas. The idea here is, again, to demonstrate expertise and establish yourself as a source of information.
- This can begin to build a list of potential customers, listeners, users or subscribers, even before you have a product or service to sell.
Establish a YouTube channel
- Provide video tutorials and explanation on how to use Linux and Linux applications.
- If you have a product to sell or promote, provide video tutorials and explanation on how to use your product.
- Provide tips and tricks on how to install and setup your and other Linux-related products.
- Link from the videos to your website. Link from the website to the videos. This helps build your search engine ranking. (Google juice.)
Create Links TO Your Website
Create posts on OTHER sites that link back to your sites and articles. By creating links to your site from other sites you increase your ranking on search engines.
- Establish membership in Linux forums, Linux applications and Linux-related forums. Answer questions simply and directly. Research your answers so that you reinforcing your expertise. Where appropriate, link to relevant information on your site. Put a link to your site in the signature that appears on every post. (Check the forum rules to ensure that you can do those last two things.)
- Submit articles to on-line publications related to Linux and/or Linux applications that allow comments from readers. Respond to those comments to build interaction with your audience and potential subscribers. Comments can be a great source of user-generated promotion, and referrals. They can also represent an opportunity to link back to explanations and information on your website.
- Use a corporate Twitter account in the name of your podcast to announce episodes and information, and to communicate directly with listeners, customers and subscribers. Answer questions, clear up misconceptions and link back to the website for explanations and examples.
- Use a Google+ account to do the same thing as is done on Twitter. Be aware that the G+ audience is a naturally more technical audience. The conversation can therefore be much more technical in nature and will quickly get into the nuts and bolts.
Create an eNewsletter
Create an email newsletter for prospective listeners, subscribers and customers. A newsletter can be an excellent source of new podcast listeners as well as a communication vehicle for existing listeners and subscribers.
- Offer subscriptions to the newsletter online REGARDLESS of whether the newsletter subscriber is an existing listener to the podcast.
- If you want some additional work, create an “exclusive” version of the newsletter for customers or existing listeners. Just make sure there is content in this premium version that you just can’t get in the general distribution newsletter. If you want some additional income to cover the costs of production, your time and the overhead of running the website, consider charging for the premium version. That way you can also offer it for general distribution, but for a fee.
- Building on the expertise established on-line by creating re-purposing the website content. Not everyone will see everything on the site, so using the same material is a valid approach. For lengthy articles, summarize or abbreviate the content and refer to the fact that the in-depth analysis can be obtained online. Provide a link back to the website article.
- Without abusing the privilege (i.e. DO NOT spam) use the e-mail list you build via the newsletter to market to subscribers. Provide advanced access or, if you have a product to sell, special pricing - only to newsletter subscribers.
- Make newsletter subscribers feel special by providing them value they can’t get elsewhere. Promote the newsletter as a method of obtaining the latest information about new features and releases in advance of “normal” users. Make sure that the newsletter is “leaked” this information in advance.
- Offer unique articles and information in the newsletter that does not appear anywhere else. Do not “lock down” the newsletter so that it can’t be forwarded. What better way to make customers feel special than to allow them to show other users and prospects that they have an “in” because of their subscription?