Back in 2009, I produced and hosted a no-budget podcast about the emerging use of social media in government called “Gov 2.0 Radio.” If I were to do it again today, there’s one tool I’d definitely use to grow my audience: ActionSprout. 

During my Gov 2.0 Radio days, Twitter was often how I’d juice exposure for my new episodes and related blog posts. I’d also use Twitter and RSS feeds to gather news about emerging Gov 2.0 trends and often published link roundups. If I’d had a tool that brought the best performing content from Governing, Social Media Today, and the rest of the crumbling Web 2.0 media right to me, with publisher and advertising tools to boot, maybe I’d still be interviewing up-and-coming PIOs to this day. 

I’ve worked with ActionSprout for several years, first as an early NationBuilder partner, then to help the company distribute $2 million in Facebook ad credits to nonprofits. Today, I am organizing a network of news and good government organizations to curate and promote quality anti-corruption news on Facebook using ActionSprout’s tools. 

If I were podcasting or producing video shows today, I’d simply load a list of Facebook pages for my best sources into ActionSprout Inspirations, sort for the top performing posts each day or week, schedule out my favorites with new commentary, and share the roundup in my broadcasts. 

Here’s an example from a list of political sources I’m presently following: 


How does following and sharing relevant viral stories help a podcast grow its audience? One, drop a link to your relevant shows into your commentary on a trending story that is going to outperform and reach beyond your fan base. Two, use the ActionSprout Timeline feature to identify your top trending posts on your own page, edit post commentary with a relevant link to your own content, then use ActionSprout’s advertising tools to boost the viral content. Don’t miss the opportunity to repost your best content, either – Facebook will find new, relevant audience for it, not repeat it in your fans’ feeds. 

What if you want to collect more information, such as text opt-ins, from listeners? You can use a phone append database from a vendor like Accurate Append with a data append API to validate forms in real time. You can also use ActionSprout’s petition tools to begin building an email list based on your Facebook fans. 

Engaging deeply with a listener base, whether through public and exclusive groups (a good example here is Beep Beep Lettuce, which has a public Facebook page, a group for supporters, and a Discord channel for the most hard-core fans), Patreon updates, an email newsletter, or even text subscriptions, is foundational to long-term audience growth. 

Join ActionSprout’s government accountability networkfree for media and nonprofit organizations.