Social video is currently at the top of many publishers' digital strategy to-do lists, but where does that leave digital audio?
As more media organisations embrace podcasting, and journalists are looking for new ways to create and share multimedia stories on social platforms, how can creators make the most of the audio they have recorded in the field?
We asked mobile journalism experts and trainers which apps they use to share audio posts on social media, and what their experience with shareable audio has been so far.
Here are six free tools to test and add to your reporting toolkit.
If you are already uploading your podcasts to Soundcloud, you're in luck. Soundcloud posts on Twitter are playable in-stream, with the audio card expanding when listeners click on it. However, the same does not happen on Facebook, where Soundcloud links simply click through to the website.
Click the date stamp on the tweet below to see how it works on Twitter.
Panama Papers: Lessons from working on the biggest leak and collaboration in journalism history https://t.co/TVI2fBtOWa— Journalism.co.uk (@journalismnews) May 17, 2016
One way to attract more attention to your podcasts on Facebook is using Clammr to create a short video, mixing a photo or a GIF and a soundbite from your audio package.
Clammr, which was launched with the aim of becoming the Instagram for audio, is a podcasting network where you can find new podcasts to listen to as well as create your own and remix others.
You can import audio from Soundcloud, edit it, and then mix it with a photo from Clammr's image library (conveniently, this is Giphy!) or upload your own.
Make sure you select a short soundbite to go with the video, as it will automatically clip the first 26 seconds of the podcast otherwise. You can then export the Clammr as a video for Facebook.
Here's an example based on a Journalism.co.uk podcast about vertical video.
Another app that turns audio into social video – notice a theme? – is Foundbite, available for Android and Windows Phone. To create a Foundbite, take or import photos and record a voiceover within the app.
It's important to keep in mind that Twitter does impose a 30-seconds limit on video, so it's best to keep it brief.
Before publishing a Foundbite, you need to give it a location and a short description. The description you type into the app will be the text of your Tweet or Facebook post, so make the characters count.
As users need to record audio within the app, it won't help with sharing longer podcasts, but it's a handy app to have when you're out in the field covering a story and plan to post updates from the scene on social media.
Note that Foundbite also leaves a watermark on the video.
Anchor is designed for interactive audio broadcasts – record and share soundbites of up to two minutes long, and tag other users in them to prompt them to reply.
Replies are threaded, which means you can listen to the conversations automatically, without having to constantly press play on each post. This can result in an engaging, participatory audio package.
On 18 May, Anchor launched Twitter cards for its 'waves', which means the audio posted to Twitter now plays in-stream, similar to Soundcloud posts.
Note: Anchor is iOS-only at the moment.
Spreaker enables both live broadcasting with chat, and the creation of podcasts that you want to publish and share later.
To create an audio clip in Spreaker, you can start and pause your recording however many times you want, and use some of the sound effects available within the app. If you have been using Vine to create video clips, you will find the process of recording familiar.
Otherwise, make sure you pause your recording while trying to decide which sound effects to feature.
There is a separate Spreaker app available as a podcast discovery tool, where you can listen to radio shows, comment on them and share them with your network.
Spreaker is available on a freemium basis, which means it is free to use on the basic plan, but includes paid-for options for users who want to broadcast more than 30 minutes a day.
TapeWrite launched as the Medium for podcasts, aiming to provide a publishing platform for podcast creators that enable them to offer more detailed contextual information about their audio packages.
Its creators believe that there is no way to make long audio very social media friendly, but the text cards around it can spark a conversation more easily online.
2/ what we want to make is the meta-information and conversation around episodes more shareable.— TapeWrite (@tapewrite) May 24, 2016
Now that you have a few apps and platforms to test the next time you have an audio clip to share on social media, here is some general advice from our podcasting trainer Corinne Podger:
But a takehome from me in podcast classes is - if you're not turning audio into social video, you're missing out on shares.— 𝐂𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐞 𝐏𝐨𝐝𝐠𝐞𝐫📱🎓 (@corinne_podger) May 24, 2016
Have you found a way to make audio more shareable? Tweet us at @journalismnews with your take on it.
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