Developing An Actual Plan For Social Media

Posted on October 17, 2011

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By now, you are likely on Twitter and Facebook, but do you have specific goals you want to achieve within your social media platforms?  Most radio stations are not working an actual plan because they don’t have one.  Some radio stations and whole companies don’t think about applying strategy and goals to their work in social media because they don’t truly value it.  These are the kinds of competitors you want to have in any market.

Radio should use every competitive advantage possible and leverage value in social media by developing a specific plan that ultimately leads to more radio success. Where should you start?

You should always start with the end in mind.  What are the true goals for your brand in social media?  Your goals should determine how you engage  online and the most effective ways to use social media for actual results that will matter to a broadcaster. What are common goals you might have for your radio brand?
· Improve brand awareness or usage

· Increase listening occasions

· Improve brand reputation

· Product education

· Increase loyalty to your actual brand among passionate appreciators of your format

· Increase Revenue

· Improve Public Relations

· Increase website traffic

You should be considering how you attract attention and build your brand in social media environment.  You should consider who to attract, how to attract and your actual real world goals before you build your social media plan.

Who Are You Trying To Attract?
Who are you trying to attract and engage in social media?  This should be one of your first considerations before you build your actual plan.  Knowing your audience is as important in social media as it is for your on-air product. What should you be doing in a social media environment like Facebook?  You should definitely focus on influencers. Identifying the influencers and building listener communities are critical to get real value from your social media efforts.  Then, you want to create followers and cheerleaders to create additional connections and grow influence toward your brand.

Focus on the listener first and engage them on their passions.  It is about engaging listeners on topics they care about and engaging them with your personalities (because people don’t identify with things.  They identify with people). People are selfish.  They don’t care about you.  They care about what they want.  Find that and give them experiences they don’t have elsewhere and your competitive situation will become easier over time.

Real World Results
Your social media only counts if you move listeners from social media “likes” or interactions to active listeners giving you more listening occasions.  We should always be in the conversion business, but you should start by being focused on the listener in the social media environment.  It’s not about the radio station first.

What should your radio station personalities be doing with your brand image in mind?
· Engaging listeners in social media and recognizing it is “their turf.”
· Posting strategic comments and content on Facebook and Twitter (this means percentages for each type of comment/content).
· Photo sharing (this includes encouraging listeners to share photos in your environments).
· Promotion (with a plan to make sure you are not overdoing this content portion).
· Video sharing (don’t have a video flip?  Get one.  Cheap.  Easy.  You can and should be doing it).

Are you using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr?  Do your personalities blog (with brief blogs that are listener focused)?  The real secret to social media for radio is the revenue potential.  Relationship is revenue.  If you don’t believe it, look at what data is worth.  You think Facebook is amazing? What do they know about you and 750 million other people right now?  What is the potential value of all that data?  There is no question that radio should constantly work on building revenue into social media and a wide variety of non-traditional revenue areas that have only been slightly tapped.

Investing in social media is part of the future of our business, but social should always point back to experiences with our brands at radio.  All of this only happens if you develop a plan and stick to it.

Loyd Ford programmed very successful radio brands in markets of all sizes for years, including KRMD AM & FM in Shreveport, WSSL and WMYI in Greenville, WKKT in Charlotte and WBEE in Rochester, NY.  Learn more about Loyd here:  http://about.me/loydford.  Reach out to Loyd:  Americalist1@aol.com or 877.475.6864.

**This article originally appeared @ RadioInk.com.

Check out www.facebook.com/socialnetworking4radio.

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