Social Innovation With Your Radio Station Website

Posted on November 7, 2011


Is your actual website social?  Social media is having a more meaningful impact for those who are truly and consistently working content for listener engagement and benefit.  However, many radio stations don’t put a lot of real effort into making sure their website is “today friendly.” How important is your website?  It is your home base on the internet, right?  Of course, you have your social media icons on your website, right?  But more than this, does the site encourage actual engagement?  Is the content updated regularly?

Is the content on your website reflective to listener opinion with a call to action for listeners that focuses on them?
Do your listeners know there is content on the station site that regularly gives them information, photos and video about stars in your format?  In fact, can listeners easily listen to the station?  Can they find the “listen now” link quickly and without stress?  Is it easy for listeners to sign up for your loyal listener club?  And will they regularly receive actual benefit for them by being a member?

Much of our lives in radio are spent in meetings or making sure we have this promotion or that one is on the air at certain times during the year, but often times the website, social media, database and public relations efforts fall below the radar or don’t exist at all.

When it gets right down to it, the most glossed over parts of a programming job today may be:
1. Database (how it is managed, how to learn more about high participators and influencers and use that information in your regular contact to enhance ratings).

2. Station website.  Go ahead and look at stations all across the country.  It is easy to tell the active and engaged stations from those who are “phoning it in.”  Chances are you won’t like what you see.

3. Personality social media focused on returning listeners to the station.  Lots of personalities are using social media, but often the effort is without coordination and is not focused on station goals and higher engagement with the primary signal.

4. Public relations.  Radio stations don’t often treat special public relations events as special or treat their best moments like it’s important outside of the speakers.  You are the way you represent, right?  Why should you get positive attention if you don’t have a designed public relations strategy to take advantage of what makes your radio station special?

Your social media should push people to your website and your actual broadcast.  If this is not a part of your social media goal, you are largely spinning your wheels.  You should be using your website to help you build a more loyal following.  Fresh content that is focused on true listener benefit and desires is a path to building a consistently engaged loyal following that can lead to real enhanced ratings (especially against a format competitor).

Our job at radio is to provide great content that people want and to maximize the ways people engage our product.  It sounds like that should be your goal in social media, too.  Building a loyal and engaging presence on the web and in closed social media environments can be an important factor in engaging listeners and moving that engagement to loyalty.
Loyd Ford

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