Podcasts on Facebook – the Blip.fm solution

This is the fourth post I’ve done on getting podcasts on Facebook, because I keep having to find something  new that works. This time, however, I think I’ve found something that – while hardly elegant – at least works consistently.

The first attempt we made was to create a podcast tab on the Fan Page. It worked, but required a lot of time to update. What’s more, people don’t really come to your Fan Page to do anything. Usually even your most ardent fans will only see it once – the first time they Like it. After that your tabs will usually stay invisible to them.

What you want isn’t just to have podcasts playable on Facebook, but visible to your fans on their Wall, with the posts they get from their other contacts. Like this:

Click to see the working post

This is where Blip.fm can be a lifesaver. It would be great if Facebook came up with it’s own solution for this, but they don’t tend to build solutions on their own too often. (Their polling tool Questions only just came out, and people have been using third party solutions for that for years.)

Okay, enough of my yakkin’. Here’s what you do.

1)  Get an account at Blip.fm – it’s free.

2) While you’re doing that, you’ll be asked to connect your Facebook account. Or, if you already have an account, go to http://blip.fm/settings/integration and connect your Facebook account. You can share them to your Profile if you want, but the pages you have Admin rights will show up as options for sharing as well. Pick the ones you want podcast posts to show up on.

3) When you’re ready to add a podcast, get the URL for the file – NOT the page the file shows up on, but the actual url where the post lives. This should look like http://www.yoursite.com/podcastshow.mp3.

4) Go to Settings, then Music (http://blip.fm/settings/music). Paste in the link to your file and save. You’ll be given the option to post the file then and there. If you want to do this later, do a search on Blip for the file name you shared. Click on “blip” next to the result.

5) You’ll get an option to share a 150 character message with the file. This is where you can leave a description of the show you’re sharing. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to lead with a link to the page on your site where the show is as well.

When you click the Blip button, the file will be shared to your page automatically, but with an audio player attached to it.

The one drawback is sharing. If your fans want to post this so their connections can see it, they’ll need to get their own Blip.fm accounts. If they do, though, they can click on the podcast title in your Facebook post, taking them to the original Blip. Then they can share it in the same way. Frankly, not a lot of people will bother doing all that.

Also, the player doesn’t appear if the audio file is too long. I haven’t been able to get it to turn up if the podcast is longer than 45 minutes. So keep your show short, or chop it into two smaller ones.

Hopefully someday there will be an easier solution that does the same thing. Until then, this is a free and easy solution that will let you share your podcast where most people go when they’re online – Facebook.

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