I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the email notification from iTunes and realized that there wasn’t something wrong with my podcasts! It appears that iTunes is looking to take a more hands on approach to supporting the podcasting community, which should come as great news to all of us!
Among the advice, updates that were provided in this Podcasts Connect email was support for HTTPS, streaming and server setup, and best practices for Marketing Your Podcast on Twitter.
I could spend a lot of time on the first two, but everyone hosts their show a little bit differently and I don’t have time to go through all of it. But, we all have to market our shows and grow our audiences in the same way, by reaching out to and connecting with new potential listeners.
Now most of the advice that iTunes is suggesting is pretty standard stuff; make your tweet appealing, include a link, interact, etc. But notably, they specifically said that you should use @iTunesPodcasts in your tweet and they could more easily promote you!
When you mention our Twitter handle, our Social Team will be notified of your tweet, and can more easily retweet to our followers.
Now I am sure they are not going to RT every single person that mentions them, but a recent search shows they are clearly being helpful, so it can’t hurt.
Anyway, I am sure you got this email, but just in case, here it is in full.
Dear Podcast Provider,
To improve your experience with Podcasts on iTunes, we’ve put together a few tips and reminders:
- Best Practices for Marketing Your Podcast on Twitter
- HTTPS Support
- Streaming and Server Setup
Best Practices for Marketing Your Podcast on Twitter
When promoting your podcasts on Twitter, take note of the following:
- Make Your Tweet Appealing. Tweet something that fans will want to retweet. Fans are more likely to engage with you if your tweets are interesting and compelling. Interesting facts about your show, host, or guest are great examples of ideas that can help drive listeners to your podcast.
- Include a Link. Always include a link directly to your podcast’s page on iTunes Podcasts. To find the link to your podcast’s page, when viewing in the Podcasts app, tap the Share arrow to copy the link. When viewing in iTunes, right click on your podcast’s cover and select “Copy Link.” Make sure to only include one link per tweet, as multiple URLs in a single tweet will confuse readers.
- Interact With Your Fans. Ask questions and interact with fans who tweet back. Promoting conversation about your podcast and asking for responses give fans a reason to voice their opinion. Browse relevant hashtags to find listeners and other Twitter users who are talking about your show or related categories. These can help you identify opportunities to interact with fans and potential listeners in a meaningful way.
- Use @ Mentions. Include other Twitter users in your tweets, and make sure you’ve mentioned the correct Twitter handle.
- Mention @iTunesPodcasts. When you mention our Twitter handle, our Social Team will be notified of your tweet, and can more easily retweet to our followers.
- Stay in Touch. Pay attention to the iTunes Podcasts Twitter account and watch what we’re tweeting about. Reply to relevant tweets, and retweet us when we talk about your podcast.
iTunes desktop and the Podcasts app for iOS and tvOS both support HTTPS protocol for metadata, cover art, and episode files. We require an SSL certificate from one of the following providers:
Streaming and Server Setup
To enable display of your cover art, and streaming playback of your episodes, make sure your hosting server allows HTTP HEAD requests and has byte-range requests enabled. To ensure your m4a files can be streamed, convert them with iTunes.
If you have any questions, or would like to get in touch, go to Resources and Help.
The Podcasts team