Thriving On Twitter with Bridget Willard

Thriving On Twitter with Bridget Willard
Episode September 23, 2021 00:28:57

Show Notes

There aren't many more well-understood growth channels for a brand's audience than social media. But like a lot of things when it comes to growing your brand, it's often not complicated, but it's hard.

Twitter in particular is a favorite for brands (and let's face it, your podcast is a 'brand' whether you've admitted it to yourself or not) to grow their reach and drive traffic back to a website.

Today Craig sits down with Bridget Willard, social media management pro, and someone who has been helping the Castos team manage their Twitter presence for the last few months.

The Castos team decided to invest in a dedicated person to help with social media management, and Twitter in particular, because they know that it's vital to meet your audience members wherever they want to engage with you.

When it comes to podcasting we know this as listing in directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, and Google Podcasts. But the conversation often goes on beyond just the episode, and for a lot of podcasters the social media platform of choice is Twitter.

In this episode Craig and Bridget talk through:

  • How Bridget approaches organically and genuinely growing a brand's audience
  • Particular tools and frameworks that you can use to grow your own social media following
  • Why Twitter in particular is such a great platform for bringing traffic back to your website
  • Why connection and a sense of belonging drive everything that we do when it comes to marketing our podcasts
  • What the end goal of engagement on social media should be for us all

Hope you enjoy this conversation with Bridget. To find out more about her please check her out on

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:05 Hello, when we'll come back to audience. This is Craig Hewitt from it's been awhile since I've been on the podcast with a guest, but I'm excited today to share a message from someone who kind of really excels at managing social media. In fact, Bridget has been managing social media with us and kind of on our behalf for, for awhile now. And, and it is because we realized that presence on social media and being engaged in the conversation on platforms like Twitter, specifically for us as a company is a really important thing. A lot of, a lot of you all communicate with us via Twitter, and it's important for us to be be there. You know, we always say, kind of go meet your audience where they already are. And we do that, you know, through podcasts and directories like apple and Spotify and Google and Stitcher and overcast. Speaker 1 00:00:55 But, you know, the rest of the conversation happens after that. And a lot of it happens on social media and specifically for kind of podcasting and tech. A lot of it happens on Twitter and this episode, Bridget and I talk a lot about kind of best practices that, that she sees in her business and managing social media for, for clients and with kind of like the best practices for, for personalities and brands on social media in general, a really actionable and tactical episode here. I hope you enjoy it and get to take something out of it, to go in part for your social media strategy for your brand, because it is a really great way to, to build community and to get the word out about your podcast to a new audience. So I hope you enjoy this episode with Bridget Willard. So we were just talking before we started recording, and this is the Cardinal sin of, of podcasting. You should start recording the minute you start talking. Cause all the good stuff always comes before you hit record. But, um, so you know, six years into this, I haven't learned my lesson, but you were, you were talking about how podcasters and musicians are the worst at social media. And why is that? Like from your experience? Why is that? Speaker 2 00:02:01 They're self-centered I mean, this is a creative people are about themselves and uh, there's a disproportionate amount of narcissistic type of people that want all of the attention to be on themselves. And that's fine. We love musicians. We'd love to give them attention. But if I tweet about a new artist or song, I really love and they don't respond, that makes me feel like I'm just nothing to them. I don't matter. But I am the person that is purchasing and downloading and subscribing to their Patrion. One of the best at this is Ryan <inaudible> out of Vermont. He writes these amazing songs and there'll be like, I really feel like this was written for me. And then he'll say that is so cool. Or, or the, or a lot of, but a lot of people will, uh, I used to be a musician, so I can say this. And I used to also be a, so I can say this, but the thing is building an audience. An audience is a responsibility. It's an honor and a privilege to have people's attention and with the democratization of podcasting and the internet and access and technology, that's made it. So anyone can literally start a podcast out, wink, wink, nudge, nudge. We know a great platform. Speaker 1 00:03:28 I know a guy Speaker 2 00:03:29 I know. Okay. So when you have those people that actually want to listen and then go the extra edge of sharing your things on social media and following you for you not to reply with two magic words is the Cardinal sin of anyone with an audience. And those two magic words are you rock. Thank you. You rock, you could do an alternate. You can change them. You rock Merci, beaucoup, Vala Puno. If you speak servo creation, muchas, gracias, Hey, you're the best. Um, you know, you want to level it up even more put in a GIF, add them to a Twitter list. Like there's so many things you could do to make your audience feel appreciated and special. Speaker 1 00:04:19 I think a lot of folks struggle with and like I project my own kind of situation and beliefs here a lot is like, how do you get people talking about you in the first place? Like a lot of folks that listen to this, say like, I know I should do Twitter, but I just don't like, I just can't handle it. And I can't, I don't even know where to get started. I don't have anything to say. I don't want people to talk bad about me on there. Like how do you like, cause I, I totally get, and I think a lot of people would have that kind of respect for their audience if they had one. But a lot of people don't even get that far. Right? Like, so how do you, how do you get into the conversation and an authentic way? Because I think that's the other thing is a lot of people are like, I am not going to be this like random re-tweeting like thread jacking kind of person. So like, how do you think about when you're working with, with clients like us? How do you think about like, Hey, how can I get cast us into this conversation in a, in a real and authentic and helpful way? Speaker 2 00:05:14 The best thing to do is to comment on other people's posts, reply to other people's tweets. So if somebody gives a podcasting tip that you should do X, Y, and Z, you can say, oh my gosh, that's such a great tip. How hard is that? It takes 40 seconds that people are having a conversation. They're going to have a conversation about you and your brand, whether or not you have an account. That's irrelevant. You having a Twitter account is being part of the conversation. It's showing that, Hey, if I listened to round ball rock, which is one of the podcasts, I like spelt, it's two comedians who talk about basketball, which seems really knit. Niche-y more nichey, but, but it's hilarious. And they're like, yeah. I'm like, oh my gosh, that was so funny because that's why we listen to podcasts. Why do we listen to podcasts? Craig, we listen to podcasts because those are our friends. Speaker 2 00:06:15 We want to talk to our friends and I'd be like, oh my gosh, Joey, that was so funny when you said thus. And so <inaudible> and Joey Devine could be like, ignore that weird stalker lady who, you know, or he could be like, oh yeah, for sure. I don't even know if so-and-so can do blah-blah-blah you know, it's really not that difficult. We all have something to say, but we say it all the time, look at all the nonsense. You know, that everybody in tech is like, oh, there's no real conversations. Everything, you know, nothing has value. Everything has value. It depends on your perspective, how mindful you are. You're never going to build an audience. If you don't respect the ones you have. Speaker 1 00:06:59 So folks kind of just starting out, you know, get involved in the conversation in your kind of world. I would, I would guess like hashtags are a good way to, to find that world. Like if you're not like, if you're starting from D like you just registered Twitter account and go follow some folks, go check out some hashtags, saved lists, maybe as a thing you kind of check on and regularly participate in conversation, reply and lichen. And those kinds of things. Is that the, is that the game plan? Oh, Speaker 2 00:07:25 Absolutely. Gary Vaynerchuk was famous for this. This is part of what, how he built, um, wine library is. And he talks about it all the time. He would just go on Twitter, looking for people who are asking for pairing suggestions. And then he would be like, yeah, the 20 blah, blah, blah. You know, Sharnay out of Napa is in great mind for that. You know, people are asking questions, they're asking questions all day long. You can, you can get those kinds of, you know, and if you're looking for topics for your podcast, like think about frequently asked questions, Google's made millions and billions of dollars because of people are always asking questions Speaker 1 00:08:12 For like, I think a lot of folks that listen to this podcast have a podcast of their own. That is, it is like part of a bigger thing, right? It's part of their company, it's part of a membership site that they have it's part of whatever. And like, we talk a lot about how the podcast is just one aspect of that brand and that relationship you have with your audience listeners. How do you think about tying social media engagement back to say like podcasts listens to other stuff that's going on in someone's brand. Speaker 2 00:08:43 So here's the thing, it's all about your business goals. Nobody likes to talk about that. So it was like, everything should be cohesive. You know, it's like a, it's like a closing collection right there, all the Matic or an album. Remember when albums were made to be listened to in one sitting, even if you don't really like a song, just lay on the floor and put on Abbey road and listen to the whole thing it was made to be that experience. So podcasting is another way to reach an audience who prefers audio. They're listening while they're walking, they're listening while they're working, they're listening while they're commuting. Maybe we're not commuting as much to work, but we're still drive. You know, we still, we go on road trips. That's when I listened to podcasts. When I go on road trips. So like, those are your friends, your coworkers, your family, like you get to know these people. Speaker 2 00:09:43 It's just like shows. How sad are we when a show is over? Even if I had COVID and I've, binge-watched the deuce on HBO, which is definitely rated triple X. Okay. But at the end, I was happy with the ending, but also sad because they were my friends during COVID those characters were my friends. So we have to remember that marketing is just human behavior. As you engage your audience with the way that they prefer all of those things, all those pieces should fit together in a collection. So repurpose blog posts into podcasts, podcasts into blog posts, send those out in your email marketing. Talk about your product. Talk about other complimentary products from different agencies. Co-marketing it's huge, right? So I'm podcasting. We want sponsors, sponsors want eyeballs or ear ears, right? They want numbers. You're not going to have that. Unless you build your email list, your patriarch on, and you do that by saying, Hey, if you liked this podcast, go ahead and click them's up and share it with your friends. Speaker 2 00:11:04 We really appreciate it. And then when they do have Google alerts for your podcasts, because people are going to be talking about it, you can also have a Twitter saved search and who's sweeter just to save search for anybody mentioning your podcast. Or what I do is I, for example, for cast dos, I have a search call for anytime. And I do this for all my clients. I want to see when somebody is mentioning my website, because it, that is, um, uh, I forgot what you call it when it's a search. That includes everything after that. So it won't be just the homepage, right? Yeah. I forgot that term right now. But anyway, it's so it's just one of those things that you can find out. A lot of times people talk about Bridget, but they're not tagging me on Twitter. So you still want to be like, oh my gosh, thanks for sharing that. Speaker 2 00:12:05 I really appreciate it. It takes 40 seconds. And then you have somebody who's like, oh, they appreciate me from, you know, you can read the book, you know, the law of reciprocity, or you can just understand human behavior. Because what happens is when I get a notification from somebody, I get a dopamine hit in my brain. This is why people say social media is addictive, but it doesn't matter. We all want love and belonging. That's the fourth level in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. You have to understand this is all about psychology. And so when I get that reply, even from Pagely, Paisley's always replying to me when I'm talking about scotch. Cause why Joshua struggle's a scotch guy. And then I'm like, oh man, that's so cool. You know, and this, there are peer, but it doesn't matter. It makes me feel good. And when you feel good, you're going to continue to behavior. That makes you feel good. Which means I will continue to mention this podcast, this musician, this brand. Speaker 1 00:13:08 What about the other side of that? Again, like, you know, projecting my own kind of beliefs in situation. Like I am not super involved in social media because it makes me feel really bad. A lot of times I see a lot of negativity and like comparing me to them and us to this other thing. And, and like I'm a super competitive person. And, and so like, I think part of it is I just choose not to participate in that and like to my, in our detriment, some, but, but it just makes me happier knowing that like, I don't, I don't worry about that cause it's not part of my world, but I know that a lot of conversations and a lot of thought leadership and a lot of, you know, exposure of our brand happened on social media. But I choose to say like, at least today, and you're, you're making me rethink my beliefs, but like I know that there, there have been times when it's made me really upset. Like how do you, how do you balance that, that negativity and kind of openness and exposure and stuff with the fact that, you know, a lot of kind of conversations are happening out there. Speaker 2 00:14:12 It's really hard. It's really hard. I was just talking to Warren Lee NEDA about this yesterday on, in the pre-show of our, of our show. And, um, I literally saw somebody get engaged again. And I don't even, I feel like a super feminist that never wants to get married, but I'm like they met during COVID they're already engaged and I can't even get a boyfriend. What the hell is wrong with me? And my friend goes well, was that he said, well, is it, was it a real person? Like, yeah, it was a real person, but do you really know them? And like I thought they were my friend. I mean, he goes, but you don't know everything about that. You know? And it's true, but it's so easy because, because we want love and belonging, we are social animals. We want to belong. The reason why I even started dating in the first place was because of this documentary about the snow monkeys of Japan. Speaker 2 00:15:07 I mean, if you're not part of the troop, you don't get to go to the natural Springs. You don't go to the natural Springs, you're going to die. That's just the way it is. You need the grooming and you need to be groomed. So they've done these studies that, um, the groomer and the groomy have reduced levels of cortisol. Um, during the grooming process, the groomer actually gets a bigger reduction in cortisol, which is a stress hormone. So yes, it's super difficult. We need to participate in other people's lives. And a lot of how we do that now is online or off page SEO, which is what a podcast is basically, right? So it is very hard to not see things you don't want to see or that do upset you. But one of the things tools that I use personally, to balance that is using my Twitter lists, creating lists of the audiences that I want to focus most on. And then only reading those tweets. It doesn't mean I don't see things I don't like because my WordPress professionals, for example, are still going to talk about politics, but I have to tell myself, that's not why I'm on here. I'm focusing my time. I'm looking for something that I can share. I'm looking for something that is that I can pass on to somebody else. And so I have to go nuts, not why I'm here at Bridget. That's not why I'm here. Speaker 1 00:16:38 We build less based on the people you follow, right? Like, uh, you have a bunch of, kind of in your case, WordPress influencers, and you just have this list and you look at, and you know that that's a relatively structured, safe place where people should be talking at least some about WordPress and less about, Speaker 2 00:16:53 Yeah. You used to only be able to have 20 lists of it was really hard. Now it's almost infinite. It's like, so I have lists like WordPress professionals, WordPress accompanies, WordPress community, WordPress products. Right. But then I also have like professional development at 95% of the people. I follow, go on a list. I follow everybody back unless you're have 10 digits after your name, because that's the new spam, you know, on Instagram, it's a guy with two first names set is lonely. And it's looking for a mom for his kid and works in the civil, you know, works overseas as a like engineers. But you know what I mean? Like use your common sense, but then I can focus. Like, why am I here right now? I want to see anybody who's responding to or tweeting out Bridgeable So then I focus and I only that's the purpose of list is a filter. Speaker 2 00:17:45 Then you could focus your time because you really don't want to just be on all the time. So this is why I recommend against having push notifications for social media, because you don't want to interrupt a, you, you have to do your other things like, like you mentioned, Craig, the podcast is a side thing to your other marketing plans. Maybe it's not, maybe this is how you're earning your living. That's fine. But not everybody starts out as Bob Dunn. You know, that's not, that's not day one. Right? So when you're starting, you just, you just need to schedule in time in your calendar to spend 15 minutes a day. Once a day is fine to look for those mentions replied to anybody who's replied to you or mentioned you. And they look for anything, you know, put those people that mention you on a list called super fans, then pay attention to them and see if there's anything you can reply to. That has nothing to do with you. You know, like be a human, somebody got a new job. What if they said, Hey, I got a new job. What would you say in person? Speaker 1 00:18:53 That's awesome. Speaker 2 00:18:54 Right? So 40 seconds you are a human congratulations, you know, put on a list. Yeah. And, and just doing that makes you feel good. I mean, why do we, why do we do that? Because we want to celebrate our wins. My dog died today, not mine, but like my dog died today. I'm so sorry for your loss. How hard is that? It's 40 seconds. Speaker 1 00:19:17 Do you do social media on your, on your laptop or on your phone? Mostly. Yes. Speaker 2 00:19:24 So when I'm scheduling and looking and curating, I'm using my laptop, I'm using a hoot suite, but when I'm managing notifications and stuff, I do it on my phone because I, for me, how I managed my client work is from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM because it's, you know, I have clients all over the world in the audiences all over the world. So I do it while I'm drinking my tea in the morning, just go through, make sure everybody's fine. But the other things, the main core things are scheduled and patches. And you know, I have to make sure just in case like the world blows up, you know, like if nine 11 happened today, I would pause all my tweets for every single account. Right. You have to be aware of that. It depends on your audience, of course. But you have to be aware of that. Speaker 1 00:20:15 You mentioned like Twitter is your kind of main focus, but, but I know, especially these days, a lot of our listeners use Instagram and Instagram stories in particular as, as a way to, to share what they're doing and connect with with audiences. Like, do you get on Instagram often? And like what, what, how do you feel about kind of platforms that are not Twitter for, for folks? Speaker 2 00:20:36 Okay. So the reason why I do marketing is to drive traffic to the website. So my stack is YouTube website, Twitter. If you're going to anything, I would do it in this order, LinkedIn Facebook. And if you really, really have nothing left to do with your life Instagram, okay. So the reason why is Instagram is not built to draw, to drive traffic. You cannot use links. People keep putting them in there and we can't copy them. We can't touch the text and copy that text to paste it elsewhere. We don't want to go to your link in your bio because we just solved this. And it's already a different link. We don't want, that's not what Instagram for Instagram, which I do use is for the back, the DVD extras, you know, the behind the scenes, like what's really happening. Like if I were doing an Instagram, now I'd be like, I'm on this podcast, but it's just for them to see more of me. It gives them another reason to follow me elsewhere because they're not going to get that anywhere else. They're not getting that on Twitter. They're not getting that on LinkedIn. They're getting more personal access to me and you can share a little clips and everything like that, which is fantastic. I mean, Tom Papa does this with his standup. It's great. Instagram is great for what it is meant to be, which is extras, but it cannot be the primary driver for traffic because it's not built for that. Speaker 1 00:22:17 You mentioned YouTube. And as like the first item in your kind of tech stack for driving traffic back to websites, I'd love to hear how you see people doing YouTube. Well, like what is, what does that look like? Speaker 2 00:22:29 Well, for me, what I do is I repurpose, um, content, but first of all, YouTube is the second largest search engine. Okay. But also the captions, the SRT files, if you get those done and you don't do crapshoot, if you actually edit your captions, which I do, but, you know, some people use rev. Tammy's part of rev or Otter, AI, whatever you use, doesn't matter. You've got to edit those things, make sure people's names are spelled correctly, et cetera, product, brand names, everything like that. Those caption files are indexed by Google. Okay. So you have 5,000 characters for that description, use it. And here's what else they allow you to put links in there. And that links that turn blue, which means those are the ones that work, you know, we're all trained. If it's blue, you could touch it or click it and it'll take you somewhere else. Speaker 2 00:23:26 Right? So like, for example, yesterday I was on this AMA was social last week. And it was in their Facebook group and I'm like, I'm repurposing this. So I went and screened, did a screenshot share of the answers. And I read the questions and I read my answers and I just had my little face next to that. And then I copied all those questions and answers and threw in a blog post and then put the video in the blog post. Right. So people can read it, they can hear it, they can do whatever, but it's words for the internet. Right. And then social champion, we're like, wow, that's amazing. Thanks to the back link, whatever, you know, they're happy. I'm happy. I'm a good guest by linking back to that podcast or whatever it is. Right. You're, you're a guest on an AMA, a chat, a podcast, a Twitter chat, whatever. Speaker 2 00:24:22 It's all the same. You're a guest on somebody else's audience. So be a good guest, you know, but it's that you can do it the opposite. Right? So any podcasts can be repurposed. So on YouTube, that's just, w I just think that you should start there with marketing those three at the same time, WordPress, YouTube, Twitter, because those take a lot of work. Right. But again, Instagram reels, um, YouTube shorts, which is their version of tick tock, tick tock, even you, you know, you want to, you know, spend all that time dancing and stuff, and you're good at it. Go for it. I don't care. It's a big, giant black hole. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:25:03 It doesn't seem to, I have a lot of clear ROI for, Speaker 2 00:25:06 Well, okay. So one podcaster that I coached actually, um, Craig was like, okay, well, I have this tick-tock audience now, when I'm like, well, is the link that you're allowed to have the link in your bio? Is it to your Patriot? And he goes, no. I'm like, why do you, why are you wasting time on Tik TOK? Then, you know, you ha you have to ask people for the Patriot, or they're not going to support you on HBO. Speaker 1 00:25:34 Speaking of Patrion, do you work with a lot of kind of audience supported brands out there like podcasters who their main source of, of revenue is patron? Speaker 2 00:25:43 No. Um, but I do marketing consults. So like, I'm not their client, but I'll teach them these, like, basically what we've been talking about, like prioritize where you're spending your time. Because if your business goal is to earn money off of this, by getting sponsors of what have you, then you have to do that. And then when the sponsors come to you, you have to be ready to sign their contract. You want the big money, you got to take the money that comes first, take that money, and then make it work for you to build your audience bigger. So you could get this sweet, sweet slack money or whomever, right. Audible, whatever. Right. Or, but if it's company funded, like Castillo's does these private podcasting was just perfect for company culture and a remote work w world, right. Then your, your business goal isn't for earning money. Speaker 2 00:26:34 Your goal is for engagement. Your goal is to shape the culture the way you're going to measure that. I mean, yeah. People will listen if you make them listen, but if they hear it and they feel, and you're going to start seeing them right. And use those terminologies that are in the company podcast. So if you're like, oh my gosh, that is so great. Yeah. Did you listen to that episode two times ago, where they talked about <inaudible> blah, blah. It has to do with your business goals. So what are you trying to accomplish? You want 10,000 Instagram followers, so you can get a publisher. That's a different goal. So it depends, you know, that's, but I'm saying if you want to drive traffic, which I would presume a podcast, or would like to drive traffic to their website, then Instagram should be kind of last Speaker 1 00:27:25 Bridge. Is there anything else that you want to, to chat through? We try to keep these pretty short, but is there anything else you want to chat through or anything we didn't touch on Speaker 2 00:27:33 My philosophy is that if you invest in people, they'll invest in you. So if you take your audience as a responsibility, a personal responsibility and use social media to validate and to think, and to show generosity, you will see your audience grow because that's why people listen to podcasts that we want to learn, and we want to be connected with other humans. Speaker 1 00:27:59 Awesome. I mean, I, just, from my perspective, I've seen a really nice change, I think, in our social engagement since we started working together. And so I think whether you hire someone like Bridget to, to take care of a lot of your social media, kind of, you know, management and everything, or, or someone, you know, yourself or someone on your team to do it, I think it's, uh, it's been a really worthwhile investment for us to just know that there's somebody out there in the conversation and taking care of, of participating in, in the social world. So, yeah, it's really cool to hear your, your kind of perspectives and approach to things. So thanks so much, Bridget. You're welcome. Speaker 2 00:28:32 Thanks for having Speaker 1 00:28:33 Me. Yeah. Folks want to find out more about kind of you and what you do and, and follow you on Twitter. What's uh, what are the best places? Speaker 2 00:28:40 Best places. Bridget, M Willard on Twitter. Also Instagram. I do have Instagram, but my website is Bridget Speaker 1 00:28:47 Awesome. Thanks Bridget. Thank you.

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