Using the Facebook Algorithm to Grow Your Podcast

The Facebook Algorithm is updated constantly. The various weights and relevance Facebook may assign to these areas can be changed. But the overall use of the Four Factors should remain fairly constant. If used properly, you can use Facebook to your advantage in promoting your podcast, your profile or your business.

When the Facebook Algorithm looks at your posts, it does so in four areas: Inventory, Signals, Predictions and Scores. I talked in a previous article in-depth about what each of these areas actually represent.

Each person who has an account on Facebook is given their own individual score through the algorithm. This score is unique to each person and determined by their own connections, interests, and how they interact with various content.

So if you interact more than your friends or relatives concerning a post or article, your score for that post will be higher than your acquaintances. The Facebook algorithm will use this information to show you other content it thinks you will interact with as you move forward.

Let’s use an example to illustrate this:

Assume a friend you work with gives a post about robotic technology being implemented in your company. The post discusses how it will make the shipping and receiving area more efficient and will save the company millions of dollars per year in expenses.

Your friend then comments that it will cut the employee workforce for that department in half and that is where the savings will come from.

You “Like” that post. You then “share” that post and “tag” a couple of other co-workers in the process. You comment that you do not like it when “computers take over.”

Your friends then “like” and “share” with their social profiles. They leave comments as well.

Over the course of a few hours, the original poster, you and those who have commented carry on a conversation. You may even post a few links to other content the supports your viewpoint.

Others that do not work for your company also see this and interact. Leaving comments and sharing the post with their followers. Some of them post it into groups they are in and that generates additional comments and shares.

The Facebook Algorithm takes ALL of that data and gives this post a HIGH SCORE. There is a lot of interaction. A lot of sharing among various interests and groups. This is the type of post Facebook will promote to other feeds and timelines – even those whom you do not know. They could be “friends of friends” (in Facebook terminology).

In the process, Facebook determines that you need to see more from the person who originated the post. The Algorithm has determined you will probably be commenting and interacting with additional information this person posts on their own timeline and feed. Which, once you see it, you do!

The same would then go for other people. Facebook will show them more information from YOU.

Have you ever received those “Friend Recommendations” from Facebook? Those are not random recommendations. The Facebook Algorithm has determined that you and those people you are not connected with have a lot in common. They are trying to get you to connect so further interactions can occur between their contact list and your contact list. This in turn will grow Facebook!

Have you ever had one of those posts where you share something with the world – and nobody notices? Your mom may give a “like” but that is about it? I know I have. That used to confuse me. How can other people get tremendous traffic but I get almost none?

Well, here is how that works and the reason why those posts fail.

It involves scoring of the Algorithm again. But this time, a “low score” rather than a high score.

Let’s say you make a post about something that you have not talked about with your group before (or it has been an extremely long time since the last time you shared something along that topic line).

It could be something as random as posting a memory about your high school graduation.

Nobody comments. You may have 800 likes. But nobody comments. You may have 1,000 views. But only three comments and one share.

The Facebook algorithm is not going to give this post a high score at all. It will get a relatively LOW score, even though you had 800 or 1,000 likes. Facebook does not judge “likes” the same as “shares,” nor does it judge “shares” as much as comments and interaction.

Because this post has such a low score, it will not be shared among the majority of your contacts. Maybe your immediate family will see it. But that is about it. Unless you start to actually have a conversation with someone (anyone, even your family), this post is going nowhere.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, every single social media platform out there, uses an algorithm to support the platform. This algorithm is used to determine what other people will interact with on the platform. Links that take people away from the platform receive lower scores.

This is important to remember as you post your information on these social media sites. If you want to increase your visibility, especially on Facebook, you need to use the algorithm to your advantage.

Medcasting – Podcasting for the commercial medical industry

Medical casting or “Medcasting” is the commercial application of podcasting for medical related institutions. Medcasting is the distribution and publishing of audio and video feeds, that offer medical information delivered over the Internet, for on demand listening.

This is a new step in the evolution of on-demand medical information delivery, making it accessible, informative, useful and appealing. This mix presents the medical industry with a very unique opportunity to reach its community through this new medium. Those individuals, who are already seeking medical information actively, will use RSS subscription technology built into each podcast feed, to receive information immediately as it is updated by the medical institution. With one click of a button, a user can subscribe to a feed that may be interesting, and any related information that is ever updated to that feed will be automatically processed to their personal aggregator. An aggregator is able to subscribe to a feed, check for new content at user-determined intervals, and retrieve the content.

To take this process one step further, podcasting publishes each feed with the capability to be transferred to any portable audio or video device. So with the growth of the ipod and all the other portable media devices, you have the ability to grab Medcasts and place them on your portable player for listening or viewing. Most users attach their portable players to their computers daily or weekly, and once the player is attached they automatically receive the new medcast updates.

The flexibility of this medium is what will drive the growth of Medcasting tremendously over the next few years. Currently the most useful application for medical institutions worldwide is to compliment already existing medical information web pages. Most institutions have numerous web pages which deliver medical information in text format, by providing an audio or video link on that page it gives the user a different and potentially more effective format for receiving the information. This is also a great way to teach your existing users how to start utilizing medcasting services.

The popularity of portable on demand information will grow even greater as wireless internet services continue to flourish across the country. These portable devices will no longer have to be connected to the internet; they will receive information wirelessly as it is updated. In addition, as cell phones and portable devices continue to merge together, the market grows larger.

Additional formats that are being used consist of; medical talk shows, where various specialists within each institution will speak or answer questions on a certain topic. Medical lectures and seminars can be recorded and made available for the public or employees to download easily and on-demand. In addition, any information that may need to be delivered to employees can be recorded and made available on an in-house delivery network. For institutions that have thousands of employees, the distribution of company information is very important, and once again this offers each institution a method of on-demand delivery which is convenient to all. Medcasting can also be used as a direct line of communication, by recording video-casts of company messages from executives for company wide distribution.

There are numerous uses for medcasting currently, and over the next few years it will explode in popularity. It is beneficial to institutions as well as the consumer, and it will be seen as a great tool in any medical organizations’ operations.

Podcasting – It’s Not Just About Listening Anymore!

Podcasting is not just about listening anymore! It is about sharing what is important to you.

Traditional radio and television relies on massive listener audiences to “drive the needle.” If you have a loyal following but not massive numbers; or if the advertisers do not see a massive return on their investment (ROI), your program is dropped.

It is all about the advertising money!

I’ve been involved with podcasting and online media for over 10 years. I’ve seen how podcasting has developed. I’ve seen how podcasting has evolved. And one thing that I have noticed, is it is no longer considered “the poor man’s radio program.”

Podcasting has become a major way for people to develop a RELATIONSHIP with their audience. This relationship does not have to translate into revenue dollars (although it can).

Relationships occur because of the stories being told and the listeners are learning a thing or two along the way.

Story tellers are looking for listeners.

Listeners are looking for interesting and engaging stories.

If you actually look it in that light, that is why radio became so popular a hundred years ago. It is also why television became so popular in the mid 20th century. The ability to tell stories and capture your listeners imagination.

It is also what sparked the growth of social media platforms in the last 15 years or so. People telling their stories in a way that many people outside of their normal circle could participate.

Today, podcasting is on pace to out perform all of them!

Am I saying podcasting will replace radio? Or television?

Honestly, I don’t know. I do know that many car manufacturers are offering USB ports and podcast listening options!

Just like with television and radio, the most popular programs with podcasting will be those that establish an EMOTIONAL RELATIONSHIP between the audience and the host.

That is what I would like you to take away from this article. Podcasting is a way to connect emotionally with a listening audience. Podcasting is a way for you to tell a story (your story) in a cost-effective way that can reach, influence and possibly impact a huge audience.

Once people realize how influential podcasting has become today, they will begin to learn and understand how to establish those emotional relationships with people they do not even know. Some will make new careers from their podcasting endeavors.

Podcasting is a way for average people to share their stories. It is a way for them to make new connections. Podcasting is a way for them to grow their impact and make a difference in the lives of other people and to make a lasting impact in this world.

PODCASTING – It’s not just about listening anymore!

Lucrative Podcasting – Podcasting with a Purpose

Who knew that audio files would still be a hit these days? At first, this generation is going video crazy with the advent of MTV and other music video channels. However, this changed when iPod and other mp3 devices were introduced in the market. This paved the way for the creation of podcasts, which is now one of the marketing tools being used by online businesses to reach their target market.

A podcast is an audio file that you create in mp3 format that is uploaded to the Internet using RSS (or Really Simple Syndication) to create subscription feeds. The user will be receiving automatic downloads once a new podcast is available. Podcasting is a very inexpensive tool to help you promote the things that you are offering to the world and get in touch with your customers at the same time.

To advance in podcasting, here are some useful tips to think about.

1. Your purpose of creating a podcast should be clear and its description should give an accurate representation of its contents. It is indeed a reality that not all people will be interested in listening to your podcast. However, a good thing to note is that your target audience will be able to hear you. This is at least an achievement on your part.

2. Plan the content of your podcast. With a lot of podcasters around, you have to find ways to standout above the rest. You can also seek the help of various podcasting service providers to help you in uploading your podcast.

3. Promote your podcast by submitting it to a lot of podcast directories or join forums that discuss the same interest as yours. By doing so, a lot of people will be able to hear what you have to say and thus, it will widen your prospective market.

Dental Practitioners Become Podcasting Pros in 7 Simple Steps

Do you value community outreach activities? Are you looking for better ways to communicate with—and educate—your patients, your peers, or even the media? If your goal is to deliver your message to more people, more effectively, more often, then I have the answer you’ve been looking for … and it’s powerful, fun and remarkably simple.

Why not use the cutting edge technology of podcasting to spread awareness about the importance of proper oral health? Stay with me now—if you have a slight case of technophobia, that’s okay. I’m confident that if your practice has the technical know-how to produce an online newsletter, then learning to integrate podcasting into your outreach activities will be a snap. And believe me—podcasting is the most innovative mass-communication vehicle to emerge in years, and will greatly increase the impact and reach of your message.

Let’s begin with the basics. Think of a podcast as a radio program that anyone can download from the Internet. Put another way, a podcast is a digital file that is available to everyone—via free subscription—over the web. Most podcasts are audio files only (like CDs), but video content can be added as well (like DVDs). The main advantage of podcasting over traditional broadcasting is that users can download these web files to their personal computers, mp3 players, and/or CDs, and then listen to them at their convenience—in their car, during their morning run, or even in your reception area.

More and more, podcasts are becoming recognized as the latest robust communication tool to harness the Internet’s power to reach a large number of listeners quickly. If your podcast contains valuable information, your listeners will share it with others, rapidly disseminating your message around the globe. Also, because podcasts use RSS (really simply syndication) technology, new episodes are delivered to your subscribers seamlessly. Once a listener subscribes to a podcast using iTunes or another similar service, that service automatically downloads new episodes as they are released, making it practically instantaneous and effortless for your audience to receive your message.

Putting together a professional-sounding podcast is easier than you might think. Since valuable content is paramount, the first step is to prepare interesting topics for your episodes. I suggest that you commit to producing bi-monthly episodes, meaning that you initially need only six topics per year. Once podcasting becomes part of your routine, increase your production to twelve topics per year. If you are already producing a paper or online newsletter for your patients, the most logical progression would be to reformat some of that content into podcasts. A good way to start is to identify topics that you could cover in more detail by talking about them in a podcast rather than writing about them in a newsletter.

For example, the most recent newsletter that my dentist emailed to me included an article about the dangers of periodontal disease, including information on how it may be connected to the development of heart disease, warning signs to watch out for, and recommended preventative actions. This is valuable information that I am interested in, and I am thankful to be on this mailing list. But imagine that I have received this information in the form of an audio podcast, personally recorded by my dentist, urging me to book an appointment for a much-needed checkup. I am immediately spurred to action! Speaking directly to your audience—in your own voice and with your own inflection, tone and spirit—creates a much more intimate connection with your patients. This relationship-building quality is inherent in audio, and it’s part of what makes podcasting so powerful.

If you have doubts about the widespread acceptance of digital audio files, consider this statistic: on April 9, 2007, Apple announced the sale of its 100 millionth iPod and more than 2.5 billion songs from the iTunes Music Store. Now consider that anyone can download podcasts from this same music store and listen to them via their mp3 player or their computer, or burn them to CD … for free! As more and more people (including your patients) “tune in” to audio files via the web, offering them podcasts that complement and expand on the content of your existing newsletters provides you with another way to remind them about the importance of proper oral health and the services you provide.

So, what equipment and software do you need to record and produce a podcast? You can become a podcasting pro in just seven simple steps:

1. Verify that your PC is running Windows 2000, XP or Vista, and has the ability to play audio files.

2. Invest in a microphone. Altec Lansing makes decent products, some of which list for under $30, and are available at Future Shop. But I recommend splurging a little to improve your audio quality. Blue Microphones makes a great USB mic called the Snowball, which retails for $130 on the Canadian online Apple Store. (This mic will also work with your Windows PC.)

3. Download and install your recording software. Audacity is an excellent audio editor that is available for download from http://audacity.sourceforge.net. And you can’t beat their price point: it’s free.

4. Record and edit your podcast.

5. Partner with an online hosting service to set up a website specifically for your podcast. Liberated Syndication is extremely inexpensive and gives me everything I need. At $5 USD per month, I can lease 100 megabytes of storage space per month, which translates into about two hours of audio. This basic hosting account gives me unlimited bandwidth, meaning that even as my audience grows exponentially, my monthly cost never increases. LibSyn also provides me with easy-to-use templates for my podcast’s website, and automatically generates and updates my podcast’s RRS feed. Another, similar service worth considering is Go Daddy.

6. Upload your new podcast to your hosting service using their simple submission page. Completing the submission page is similar to sending an email. Simply type in the title of your podcast (like a subject line), add the description of your episode (like the body of your email), and include your mp3 file (as an attachment). You can even attach a corresponding image, if you like. Uploading your podcast stores the mp3 file online and makes it available to your audience—they can download your podcast from your newly created podcast website.

7. Promote your podcast! This is as easy as sending an email announcement to your contact list with the URL of your podcast’s website. But to take advantage of the various online podcast directories, you need to visit their websites and submit your podcast’s RSS feed. You should never pay to be included in these directories, since the best ones—including iTunes, Podcast Alley, Odeo, and Podcast Pickle—are free.

For Mac users, these steps are even simpler, thanks to Garage Band and iWeb. As a Mac user myself, I’d be happy to pass along some pointers to get you started.

Like you, I believe it’s important to remain connected with my client base, and as a lover of all things tech, I choose to use innovative approaches. I have successfully engaged the power of podcasting to promote my company in two weekly podcasts with rapidly growing success. And by following these seven simple steps, you too can become a podcasting pro!