Day 29 of my 31 Day Podcast Challenge
Consumers are influenced by other people more than they realize (or are willing to admit). It’s all in the social proof.
According to the Wall Street Journal, social norms influence consumption behavior and even private interests, including one’s taste in music and even podcasts.
This is what makes the concept of social proof a powerful one.
What is social proof?
Social proof, a term coined by Robert Cialdini in his 1984 book, Influence, is also known as informational social influence. It describes a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behavior in a given situation.
Simply put, social proof influences people’s decisions on how they should behave.
Online reviews have significant effects on our behaviors. They’ve emerged as one of the most potent forms of social proof.
Do Reviews Really Guide Purchase Decisions?
People take positive reviews and high ratings as social proof of a product or service, or for this podcast episode topic, a podcast that is worth subscribing to. They reason, “This has great reviews, so I’m subscribing to it.”
Apart from providing social proof for podcast listeners looking to find a new podcast to subscribe to, reviews also provide social proof in other ways. These online testimonials shape how people perceive the podcast.
But just how important are in-app ratings and reviews? Do they really help your podcast’s visibility? Or are these CTAs just ego-driven tactics that help you climb up the Apple Podcasts rankings?
We hate to burst your bubble, but reviews won’t change your rankings in the least. It’s not part of Apple Podcasts ranking algorithm. At Circle270Media Podcast Consultants, we believe ratings and reviews are always worth asking for… even if they don’t factor into an app’s discovery algorithm.
Why? Because ratings and reviews are, yes, social proof.
Harnessing the potential of reviews as social proof is about activating happy podcast listeners. Keeping that in mind, here are some equally important tips on maximizing social proof in positive reviews:
Encourage Written Reviews, Not Just Star Ratings
Reviews require words that can help form a more complete picture of a podcast for potential new listeners. A good review will help fill in the gaps of what a podcaster says about their own podcast content.
Say thank you and engage
If a listener took the time to present social proof for other potential listeners to see, expressing your gratitude is the very least you can do. In Apple Podcasts, you can’t respond back to the listeners, but you can give them a shout out in upcoming podcast episodes, or your newsletter, or on your social media channels.
Ask for the review
Here’s where your creativity needs to shine. Yes, a review in Apple Podcasts, or other in-app players, is the initial ask. But can you do more with your call-to-action?
Ask your audience to directly send a note to the show via email. It could be written, or even better, a voice memo. Use those reviews by placing them into your podcast press kit or testimonials on your show’s website. This method makes it extremely easy for a listener to connect with a show, and it will start to build a relationship between you and your reviewers.
Ask if they can encourage one of their friends to subscribe to the podcast. Tell them how to subscribe to your newsletter. Ask them to follow you on your social media channel(s).
Here’s the bottom line.
Ratings and reviews are a valuable way to understand how your audience feels about your show.
Podcast ratings and reviews matter because they’re social proof. They are a part of your podcast’s packaging.
If you would like to help your listeners leave a review on Apple Podcasts, we do have a simple way of doing so in your call to action. Go to Please Review My Podcast to find out more.
Recorded in Studio C at Channel 511, in the Brewery District, downtown Columbus, OH.
Brett Johnson is the owner and lead consultant at Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. With over 35+ years of experience in Marketing, Content Creation, Audio Production/Recording and Broadcasting, the podcast consultants at Circle270Media strategically bring these strengths together for their business Podcast clients.
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