Writing is a key factor when it comes to building brand awareness and user engagement. Specifically when using captions and hashtags. Captions can give your users a little sneak peek into the main topic and attract new customers. Hashtags can boost user engagement by letting your users be a part of the conversation. By using these assets, your brand will grow immensely. Join your host, Tracy Hazzard, as she talks about how to create strong captions and hashtags. Learn what goes into making a great caption and hashtag—from the headline to the call-to-action. Learn how to make a great caption and hashtag so that you can grow your brand today.
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Podcast Social Shares: How To Pick Powerful Social Media Hashtags And Create Stronger Captions
We are in social media month, and we are talking podcast social shares in general. Specifically, we’re going to talk about how to pick powerful social media hashtags and create stronger captions. This is not a lot of people’s strong suit. I know a lot of writers because I happen to be one. That’s a difference my community might be.
Most of the podcasters on our network at Podetize are much more comfortable in the media world. They’re much more comfortable creating the videos and the audios, not comfortable in the writing part. This can be a struggle for many people. That’s why I want to bring this up. Also, remember it’s hard to be seen. We have a tough time getting our social posts seen. About 1.3%, especially of our business posts, are all that’s seen on any given day by our community, and that’s hard. This is a low conversion. They’re seeing it and they’re converting on it.
The posting amount is between 10% and 20% depending on whether you’re posting in your group, or you’re posting on your profiles or things like that. Whether you’re doing videos and stories, it varies between that, but the conversion rate stays the same. Someone taking action, making comments and sharing, doing those things the engagement piece is low.
We want to up those odds as best as we can, and some of those things here are what we’re going to talk about. I want to remind you that throughout social media month, we have talked about your social goals. The starters’ social media goals might be things like attracting the right people. We want to make sure that everything we write matches the right people. At the end of the day, we want to get more connections, and we want to get engagement from those connections because engagement means more listeners for your podcast, or it might mean more sales to your business.
Building a relationship might be the other thing that you want to do. You want to create a dialogue going that involves further engagement and ongoing posts and themes. You’re continually serving them, doing things that might be a series that you’re teaching, like what I’m doing here with social media month. These are things that we want to do. What your social goals are important to keep in mind as we move forward.
We’re focusing on our audience interests and pains for your ideal prospect. The ideal listener to your podcast might be the thing as well. We’re focusing on what interests them and where their pain points are with everything that we post. That is the focus of our writing. It’s the focus of our topics and the choices we make.When it comes to social media, the lines between business and personal are getting blurred. Click To Tweet
Remember, we’ve already talked about assets and choosing assets. If you’re a Podetize customer, you’ve got them created already within your multimedia package. You’ve got video, audio, blog and social share graphics to be able to utilize. Sometimes we use the term graphics and assets, but we use assets because everything is multimedia, and it might be a video meme. I’m going to run through them quickly so you can be reminded of what they might be. Here are some examples.
You might have episode art. These might be what you’re posting on your blogs, like the header, the square and the featured image, whatever you might call it, and that might be something that you want to share. It might be what we call Ego Bait™, which is a comment you make about your guest. It’s like a testimonial. It is a statement that you made during the show, or whatever it is that you want to say, but it’s a graphic version of that.
Audiogram, we have different kinds here. Remember, those are the ones with the audio waves. Those might be something you want to use because they go into social media like a video. They can help with that formulaic video thing that happens within social media. We also have video memes. Those are typically video clips. Sometimes they have graphics around them. Sometimes they don’t like the one in the middle here.
Guest quotes, those are quotes of what somebody says on your show. That might be something you want to share, or host quote, something you said on your show. We’re going to write strong captions based on that, and when we do, we want to consider these things. We want to consider our tips in teaching, urgency and question. We want to encompass all of that into a strong caption.
I want you to understand that there are captions in different places on social media too. There are captions sometimes above. If you look at LinkedIn, that’s a typical comment above. Facebook Feed, you have the caption above. The caption is the leading thing. The thing you say is the first thing they see before they see the image. On Instagram, it’s reversed. Your captions are below. Thinking about that, it depends on what platform you’re using and where it’s going to be. Either way, the image, graphic and asset you’re using need to tie together and impact each other. The idea is that you’re building this in so you will be able to get people to click through and do some more things.
What Makes A Good Headline?
We want to do this in the most comprehensive possible way, but we also don’t want it to be lengthy. We’re not writing an article here. We want to lead them to wherever it is they’re going. This is a much longer slide than I like to do, but I wanted to give you this so that you can have it as a takeaway. When I talk about lead, and I’m talking about the first sentence, the headline, you can sometimes think of it. Sometimes people create a separated headline where it’s like boldface that maybe has an emoji in it. You’re going to treat your first sentence like a headline. You might want to start with how to. I love starting with activating words. It’s something I learned in my Journalism class.
In my Journalism classes, we learn to change, advise, risk, needs, smart, successful, top, grow. We want to use these words to get people activated to do something. That’s the first word in our sentence that we use. The other thing we can do is use how-to, as I mentioned already, and use how to do something and how to do this. We want to keep our first sentence, a section of it, to have 8 to 12 words maximum. On the 8 side is better but you can go up to 12.
When we have a strong headline, we want to figure out the compelling part of it. If you have how-to, one is how to import, how to stop, and how to identify. We still want an active word there. It’s going to be there but it’s just going to be after the how-to. We don’t want to forget to put that. We can also begin with a number like X number of ways or five tips to do this or the ten best ways. Those are all things that you can use as well. A number plays in that.
The Meat Of The Caption
We’re going to move on to the meat of our caption. We want to move on to things that are tips and teaching. They do much better on social media. People are out there, especially in this business area. This is not advice for creating influence in terms of it’s all about me, what I think and what I’m selling. This is about your unique perspective, but it’s combined with being helpful so that it sells your business or what you have to offer. Just a little bit different twist on it, this is our business focus view of this. You want to take your unique perspective. You don’t want to give the same advice everybody else gives. You want to give your twist to it. Give your unique direction and angle on it. What do you say that no other people say? If you can find that, start with that.
It’s also not a commentary. It’s not a statement. You’re not telling the whole story. That’s for the podcast. That’s for the video. That’s for all the other things that are going to follow. This is teaching through quick tips, and experience may be a story but a quick story, “This happened to me and this is why I did this, and then what I learned from that.” It could be a list of bullets. It could be a thought-provoking sentence. We want to keep it short. We don’t want this to be the whole thing. You’re already with the headline, and you’re barely covering before it will click to read more on almost any platform. You always have to click down to see this section of it.
A leading paragraph has that leading couple of sentences and has to bring you in so that they’ll want to check what you say next. If you can, so that visually you kept the leading short, that next set and shows, they want to see the whole sentence. If you write the next ones as well, you might be able to capture their attention even more and get them to do that. Expand it, read more, scroll down, and do whatever it requires. I don’t put links in my teaching area ever. If you’re linking your podcasts, the images link, you delete that. We never put that in there. We’re going to put them in other areas.
The next thing we want to talk about is urgency. We want to have an urgency. I’m scrolling through social media. I’m busy. If I’m slowly going through your post and you have something for me, what’s going to make me stop? Why should I stop for you? Making it timely, relevant to me, getting me urgent that requires me to know about this right now, read this and listen to it, I’m going to get it.Focus on your audience's interests and pains for your ideal prospect. Click To Tweet
If somebody saves my post, they will never come back to it or if they think, “I’ll come back. I’ll go check out that podcast later,” but they didn’t click through and subscribe to you or do anything like that, then chances are you’ve already lost them. It will be hard for them to go back and find the post. It’s almost impossible to find the post later. We want to make sure that you’re capturing them right at that moment and making something urgent and timely. We want to give them a fear of missing out. Serious FOMO going on here.
The last thing we want to leave them is a compelling call to action. Asking a question is a good call to action. The easiest way to get in an engagement is to ask for input for their experience or their thoughts as long as you’re specific about what you want. We try posts, and you’ll see some examples where we go, “What are your thoughts?” and you get terrible answers. If you’re specific about it like, “What are your thoughts about hashtags being used for business purposes?” If you’re specific, then you’re going to get a lot more detailed response.
The other thing is that at the end of our caption, we’re adding our hashtags, and I’m going to talk about those after we finish this caption section. I decided to go with the caption first because the hashtags tend to be at the bottom. Some people lead with them, but most people put them at the bottom of the post because of how they’re a searchable item. Here are some examples. This is a good lead example. I love the phrase that’s put here. I didn’t write this. This is from a team, but this is what we do here. I train my team just like I’m training you right now so they can write for me when I’m unable to write.
Any posts that you see that came out about The Binge Factor show and Feed Your Brand show didn’t come from me. I did review them, but they didn’t come from me directly. The posts that you see posted by me are different. The posts that we do here just to promote the show, I got to have a team. I’m busy and then you are too. This is what I train them to do. Monetizing your podcast is one of the goals of every podcaster, but the question remains how.
This is on Instagram, there’s a little bit more that shows, and it talks about getting sponsors to our show. It talks about Crystal O’Keefe. She’s tagged in this. It talks about The Clip Out. It talks about her husband, Tom. “Achieving a Sustainable Business Model,” and then the text cuts off, and you see the image. It’s a great place to be cut off because I was like, “What’s a sustainable business model? I’ve got to know this. What about monetizing? What does that have to do with anything?” They’re more likely to read the rest of the post and click through it, and stop right there and listen to the clip because there’s a video clip that goes along with this. They’re likely to do that because of how this was written right here in the capture part. There are also some hashtags at the bottom that are helping us be found.
This is another one. I didn’t mention it earlier, but sometimes I start with a name. The reason is that Neil Patel is way more famous than me. If I started with the name of someone more famous than me, and talking about that what they’re teaching about, that’s going to be an interesting thing. Typically, when I do this, there’s an article from Neil Patel that will be below, but most people won’t read the article. They’ll only read my summary. That’s where I’ve created a nice niche of creating my version of the takeaways, which isn’t his bullets. These do not come from his bullets in the article. These are my takeaway of how I would apply what I learned from him. That’s where my twist is.
When somebody does read the article, they go, “I can see how you got this. What did you mean by that?” It invites engagement. These are the five important must-haves on your landing page. There is this sense of urgency right there. I’m teaching you to set a goal for your landing page and have a clear call to action. These are set up in bullet points or a list. Sometimes you have to force this to make it look right, and it’s not always easy. It’s going to take some experience. If you want to keep your copy clear and concise, start with a centered single-column design. Last but not least, do not forget, it’s a matter of trial and error.
Now, I’ve got my version of this, and it’s built off of an article that came below. You can see all the hashtags that I’ve added to it and the call to action. I kept it simple here, “If you have any tips to add, comment below.” I want this to be an engagement focus post. I’m trying to drive them below to comment on it. They will comment even without reading the article. That’s something to keep in mind.
Helpful Tools For Your Captions
I’m going to give you a few tools that you can try. There’s an emoji keyboard. I’ll put that in the Facebook group in the Brandcasters! group. You’ll be able to have this link to the emoji keyboard that we use, which gives you a bunch of different ones. The most common one I use is a microphone a lot. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. I use the headphones icon a lot. There are some good emojis here that you might find that are unusual, and not your typical smiley faces. Those might be useful to you.
The CoSchedule Headline tool had a good headline, but it doesn’t make sentences. I sometimes use it to create my headline, and then I turn that headline into a sentence. I might take the headline for my show, whatever the episode title was, and figure out a way to craft that into a sentence. It’s flipping that around and make how-to at the beginning of it and use my episode title. It helps me work in it because I already use the CoSchedule Headline tool to create that, and it’s got my keywords already packed into it.
The other thing we want to do is if we’ve got some compelling keywords, we want to make sure they’re right up there at the front of the top of the lead in so that we’re getting to somebody interested in talking about passive income real estate or creating a podcast and monetizing a show. Those are things that are compelling keywords. Those are some tools you can try.
FOMO And Inviting Your Audience
We’re going to talk a little bit about the urgency. Why does time matter most? FOMO is a big thing. When we have a fear of having something taken away from us or missing out on something, where we could have learned or something that’s going to impact our business, it gets our attention. We have to value that at the end of the day. I might be in the middle of driving and it’s not possible for me to stop everything and send comments back and do all that. That might happen, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t make me think about it, make me stop, and it doesn’t catch my attention, which is our goal on social media. We want to get that short attention span focused on us.Invite your audience in so that you can get them out of social media. Click To Tweet
Anything that we can do that makes things more timely and urgent are going to be valuable. Here are some examples. This is an urgency example, “Advertisers are all in on podcasts. Don’t be left out.” This is not focused purely on the podcasters, but I have had a lot of podcasters that read this. You can see that this is one of my LinkedIn posts. It got 17,786 views. That is way above almost all my other posts. It got 125 likes and 47 comments. You can see that it worked. It captures their attention and got them to stop and listen. This isn’t even my article. This is a Fast Company article about advertisers. What I wrote in the comment post is a little bit different though. I gave a little twist on it. If someone read the article, they’re going to see that I disagreed, and I wrote that in there.
One of the things that I always like to do is make sure there’s a good call to action. There’s one that’s a call to action buried. You can’t see it because I couldn’t fit it on the page, but I’ll show you some that do. We’re going to not tell what people want to do. We’re going to ask them, we’re going to make if all statements. If all statements are something like, “If all this did for you was filled your website with lots of content and give you more social media than you could post in a week, would it be worth it?” We’re asking if all worth it question.
We’re also going to invite you in. That’s important for you, podcasters, that are out here because when we’re inviting in, we’re inviting you to subscribe. We’re inviting them into the community. We’re inviting them to listen again and again. Once they get subscribed and once they’re in there, we have that and their attention span. That’s way more important is to invite them in so that we get them out of social media. Here are some other ads examples.
This is one of my favorites. The compelling visual ads to it, “Are you getting your fun day handed to you? You want your business to become highly fundable, grab your copy now.” That’s it. The visual and that single sentence copy does it, but it’s asking a question. Are you willing to make all these mistakes? Or do you want your business to be highly fundable? The two are working hand-in-hand, the image and the caption. It’s a good example.
An invite example, don’t spend another day stressing yourself on your next episode guest. Be a part of a community where you can spot the right person to interview. Then down at the bottom, we become part of The Binge Factor community. We told them why this is important. There’s an advice in there about this episode and what they say, and then we’re inviting them into the community. Super simple, “Click the link in the bio for the rest of the interview.” Also, in that bio, it has a link to the community. You get both at the same time.
You can see what we’re doing here. We’re able to create this ask-invite compelling community with that sense of urgency, all combined. We’re putting together a great caption, great lead in and teaching, and then asks, building a call to action that has an urgency to it. The whole thing drove the urgency through from the beginning to the end. Let’s nicely tie it all together and make sure people can find you. We’re going to do some hashtags.
What are hashtags? That’s simple. Let’s talk about some hashtag basics. They start with a hashtag. They start with a pound sign for us old school people, and they’re a couple of words stuck together. It’s usually not just one word, but it can be. It can be just one word and a combination of words. You want to make sure your accounts are public, or your hashtags aren’t going to be seen. It’s not useful if you’re working in a private group. Within our group, if we hashtag, only the group members would see it.
Keep in mind, if you’re using hashtags within a group, don’t spend a lot of time agonizing over finding great hashtags. Coin the ones that make it easy for your community to search within the group. We might have #PodcastMarketing. It makes it simple for every post that we put out. Every coaching session that we have to do with marketing has that hashtag in it, then all you simply have to do is #PodcastMarketing within the Brandcasters Facebook group, and all of a sudden you can find the content easily.
We can do it that way. If we’re trying to get out there and be searchable, we want to make sure that everything is public. We’re using it on our public posts the most. Don’t put too many words together. I don’t love what hashtags are. That’s a little too much for me, why hashtags might be enough. I do one pretty frequently with #ILoveLucy, and my dog’s name is Lucy. It is well-known. Sometimes I tie them in, and it gets people to see that we did a podcast on dogs. That’s fun, and it got trapped into it a community that probably does like dogs. I’m sure I love to see it. There were dogs in there somewhere. She was from Jamestown, New York.
Thinking about tying those things together, you could use a trendy one because it happened to tie into what you were talking about. Those are great and those are fine to do. Most often, we want to be relevant and specific with our hashtag use. If it’s too obscure, it’s going to be hard to find, but if it’s too general like #Entrepreneur, there are millions of posts. You’re not going to be found any easier from that. #SocialGoodEntrepreneurs would be a better hashtag because we’re now finding a couple of things together to you smarter but more relevant audience who are interested in entrepreneurship and social good together. We’re combining them, and that’s going to be a good way.
Limit the number of hashtags you use. Sometimes we use six. Most often on LinkedIn, we use more. We tend to use 3 to 5 maximum anywhere else. You’re going to want to rotate them, and that’s important. Don’t use the same hashtag every single time. It can hurt your searchability on some platforms. On Instagram, if I use the same hashtag every single day, it wouldn’t help the algorithm. It wouldn’t help me be found any better. They treat it as being spammy about it.
I have a list of 50 that we rotate through. We’re constantly using a different one. I don’t think you need to go that far. If you went and use five hashtags every single day, and for five days, you could have a list of 25, and you could rotate them. Then work from the beginning and the end through. Make sure the next week is an exact mirror of it. That’s our strategy for it.Be relevant and specific with your hashtags. Click To Tweet
I don’t know if you have to work that hard, but we think it also creates that variety of making sure that we’re utilizing these what we consider to be valuable hashtags out there. We’re utilizing them in a way that is also helping drive business and focus on the topics we’re talking about. Being relevant about that is important.
Why Should We Use Hashtags?
Why should we use hashtags? Because we want to increase engagement with our followers, and we want to get more followers who aren’t our followers today. If they’re looking for these topics out there, don’t we want to show up? We want to be found. It means that you’re taking part in a conversation that’s happening on a social media platform around the topic, and you want to be visible in that conversation. If I want to be visible in marketing and I use #Marketing, there are hundreds and thousands of people who are using that hashtag. Instead, I say #PodcastMarketing, even within the marketing, people are starting to pay attention. When they type it in, they see #PodcastMarketing, they’re thinking, “I want to know more about that.” Now, I’m a part of the conversation. If Pat Flynn is part of the conversation and John Lee Dumas is a part of the conversation, Tracy Hazzard is now a part of that conversation. It’s important to use hashtags.
One of the things I do is troll my competitors, double-check what hashtags they’re using, and find the valuable ones because sometimes they are doing a crap job. They’re not doing a great job on this. I don’t want to imitate ad practices, but if they’re using some that I consider to be good, and I want to be relevant in that conversation, I’m going to use them too.
You can also lead to engagement because people who are interested in being a part of the conversation but don’t have a lot of content to contribute will use the hashtags to use a commenting strategy to get them seen as a part of the conversation. It’s a brand-building agency tool. It can help you with that as well. That’s why you see that much of what was happening on my LinkedIn was getting commented on is because everyone wants to be a part of that conversation about that. We want to build brand awareness with our branded hashtags. We do want to use them.
Sometimes I’ll use #TheBingeFactor, #Podcast, #Podetize. We use some of those. I rotate them and I use different ones on different days of the week depending on what the topic is. You can also show support for your social issues. We do #GivingTuesdayPodcast. I don’t always do them every Tuesday but on Giving Tuesday, in general, this one we will pull out again, and we will use it to be a part of the movement at that time as well.
When we want to use a hashtag, sometimes we don’t have a ton of space, and the hashtag can be useful. On Twitter or when you’re using it on Instagram, the way captions are because they’re below are not as useful, or on Stories and other things, we want might want to put the hashtag right on the image itself. We can do some things like that. We’re using hashtags to help build an understanding of what it is that we’re talking about so people will stop, listen, look, and go fight further. That’s another way that you might use hashtags.
How do we find them? I mentioned one way was to go to your competitors and go check them out. Sometimes the most popular hashtags are not the best hashtags. There’s a hashtag out there called #FollowMe. It has 575 million posts on Instagram. That’s huge. They aren’t going to solicit a lot of engagement, they’re not going to get you a lot of followers, and then you look like you’re like everybody else. It can either look spammy or like you’re just following the crowd. You may not want to do that.
Some of the best ways I found is obviously to look at the competitors and other social media influencers. Hashtagify.me is one that helps you use Twitter and Instagram hashtags for your brand. I threw a ton of them out but it has some lists of that. You can find out how popular a hashtag is, so that can help. If you’ve got your list of hashtags that you found from trolling all your competitors, you can then match it against using this tool and say, “Is it worth it? Which of these lists that I have is popular enough to make it worth it?” Those are some of the best ways I find to use hashtags and make them valuable, finding them and getting them to work for you to help your post be seen and stopped on the because that’s what we want.
Here’s my call to action for you because we’re done with our content here. We’ve talked about captions, hashtags. Social media month technically ends with this topic. However, we are always working on topics from marketing podcast or marketing in general, and that must include social media because you can’t have a conversation about podcast marketing, and not have a conversation about social media promotion as well.
What challenges you most about podcast social media promotion? Make sure you tell me in the Facebook group. Make sure you reach out to me on Instagram. Anywhere you’re connected with me, let’s talk about what’s challenging you the most. I’m going to create some more episodes for you. I’m going to create some more content and mini masterclasses instead of the longer masterclass. We will have those all in the Podetize.com resources area or our knowledge base as we like to call it, and you’ll be able to do that. Remember, social media month, we did generalized, “How do I plan? How do I promote my podcast using social media? What does that content plan look like?”
We also optimized our social media channels like the headers, images that we use, and headlines that we use, so that we’re optimized for highlighting our podcast and our businesses. We talked about different things like Instagram TV and video within social media, and how that can work. Whitney Lauritsen came on and was talking to you about that.
The last thing we’ve talked about is captions and hashtags. There’s still more to come. We didn’t talk about graphics, and that’s okay because on Podetize, we create graphics for you. These masterclasses are mainly for our clients. If you’re not in the Podetize community and not a part of our hosting platform, or you’re not using our done-for-you services, there are a lot of episodes in Feed Your Brand that cover graphic topics. We will be covering more as we move forward. Please join us for those and subscribe to Feed Your Brand if you haven’t already.
You can also subscribe to The Binge Factor because when someone says something great on social media and is getting the engagement, they’re sharing their tips over there. That’s always a podcaster that’s being interviewed every week on The Binge Factor. Thanks, everyone, for joining me for social media month and for talking about all these great topics. I wish you great social media promotion for your podcast and a lot more listeners to come.
- The Clip Out
- CoSchedule Headline
- Podcast on dogs – Previous episode
- LinkedIn – Tracy Hazzard
- Instagram – Tracy Hazzard
- Whitney Lauritsen – Previous episode
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