Contact me. I am here for you. No, really. I want to help you….
Sometimes I feel like that when I tell people on my shows how to contact me. A Twitter, Facebook, Google+, email and phone number. I also have a contact option on the page. Even though I don’t get too many responses, I still do it. Here is why.
Best Ways to Have People Contact You
Setting up a contact network is pretty simple. If you use social networking, they can always get you there. But here are some extra ideas that might help with the contact.
Twitter – The big question I get asked a lot is if someone should set up a Twitter for the show or just make sure all hosts have Twitter handles. This is an interesting question because whatever you create you will have to monitor. For instance: my main Twitter is @geekazine. That is my personal account. If I was to ever get rid of Geekazine (doubtful), I might have to give up the name. I can easily change the name and the new @geekazine could take it from there.
If you leave your Podcast Twitter dormant, people will not use it. So either commit, or don’t worry about it. That is unless your show is popular enough that getting the Twitter just so no one else does makes sense.
Facebook – A lot of people call this the “Local network” – i.e. most people only have friends and family on their Facebook accounts. I have to admit, I am one of them. When someone wants to join my Facebook page, I scrutinize the profile and ask myself if this person is valuable for my personal life.
The best part is I can create pages that people can like and be part of. They can contact me through those pages (which once again has to be monitored).
Here’s a Tip: The more social you are on your pages, the more people can flock. If you just post latest episodes, people might see this as a spammy page and not join.
Google+ – Many people say “I don’t know that site” or “I don’t want to invest in Google+”. Reality is being on Google+ increases fans and betters your search results. More important, there’s a different type of fan base that is on Google+ because most likely your Facebook family and friends are probably not on there.
Did you know that teens and 20 year olds are using Twitter and Google+ over Facebook? [1 – Pew Research]
Just like with Facebook you can keep your personal page to you and those you want to follow. The pages are there to build your brand.
A while back, I had one person say they were deleting their Google+ brand page because nobody went to it. I looked at their page and noticed they had 400 people following. I said they were crazy because if they delete, they loose 400 interested in their show. The podcaster came back and said “Yeah, but I also have 400 on Facebook so Google+ doesn’t matter…”
I am not sure of the logic in that. I would say 400 on Facebook and 400 on Google+ means 800 total. Even if there is crossover, it would be something like 30%. Therefore, 680 people follow that podcast on Facebook and Google+.They want to get rid of 280 people instantly.
One other network to not forget is LinkedIn. Especially if your podcast is business driven. LinkedIn has more activity in their groups, so if you can talk up your show in a group or two, you might find more people are visiting your site.
Jennifer keeps reminding me that Reddit is a very powerful social network. This is for a community that likes to read over anything else. Reddit is a great source for your content – either through finding new stories to talk about or even pulling questions and comments to create new stories.
Specialty podcasts really should find a social network geared toward their craft. For example, if you are a music podcast, take a look at MySpace or Reverbnation. Government based podcasts – check out GovLoop. Book podcasters should check out LibraryThing.com.
Have you also thought about connecting on a social network outside your country? Russia has Spaces, Japan has Mixi (you do need to have a phone number from a japanese carrier to register). If you can get past the language barrier, you might find a lot of bi-lingual people looking for podcasts to listen to. Maybe someone trying to learn english.
Do You Have a Phone Number? Skype?
Do you offer a call-in number? Maybe a Skype number? Google offers Google Voice – a free number that you can forward to your cell phone or just turn the out-of-office on and listen to voicemail messages.
You can even give them your personal cell. Why not interact with your fans by answering the phone when they call?
Email and Contact Forms
Don’t discount email, even though some say its dead. I get many emails from fans asking questions or making comments.
I also installed a general Contact form on my website. It sends me an email if someone has a question. Having that “Contact Me” right on the page sometimes works better than the email.
Just this morning I got a contact from a potential sponsor. If that form wasn’t there, they would have probably never got a hold of me.
Plus, with contact forms and emails, you have a return address to use for email blasts or other needs.
There are many ways someone could find and contact you. All you need to do is have the lines of communication open. The more you open them, the more they will call. Further, the more you promote that you are getting contacted, the more people will contact you. They just want a person to talk to. You can be that person.