Rush Limbaugh just decided to join Twitter to mobilize his army. For you and your station, the fun really begins when you decide to build an active social media “army” to boost your brand messages and move listeners from passionate to influencers. Are you ready?
1. Form specific strategy and get it in writing. Having a plan is the most important part. If you don’t start with a plan, you will get lost quickly and end up somewhere else.
2. Tap your team and make sure everyone is on the same page, prepared and responsible for executing the plan you have laid out. Educate your team on the specifics of your plan. You will want to lean on the people or person on your team who has shown abilities to influence behavior. Yes, in radio you might be this person or “the whole team,” but you can manage this using the right social media strategy. And the payoff potential is huge.
3. Find the people who already express passion about your brand in social media environments you choose. Don’t go “too broad” at first. Focus your energies on building one platform at a time. Zero in on people who are already engaging your brand and look for more. You should also research the top local bloggers, the active people giving advice in forums and those who are really spending time managing on-line activities (especially in your platform of choice as you begin). These people can be very powerful in both including your brand in messages and creating an entirely next level social media profile for your brand in the coming months and even years.
4. You want to build long-term relationships with the right influencers (see number 3 above). So, invite these people to a show-off event at the station. This does not have to be done as one event for everyone. Invite them in segments to individual events (such as community involvement, format lovers, brand fans). Make sure your team is there to meet them and treat them special. Keep things light, but invite them to have influence on the station through sharing ideas about their passion for management to consider. Talk about what is important to them and seek their help in helping the station match their passion with the goals of the station to be active in the social media platform of your choosing (or their expertise).
5. Make sure they understand that you seek their involvement in influencing the format locally, influencing a cause locally or other project related to engaging them on the ground of their own passion. However, make sure you have guidelines that marry well with the audience expectations of the radio station and community standards. There have to be guidelines for how the station can be referenced and off-limit content.
6. Give them special insider identification. This is similar to having a street team. Giving a special badge or symbol that can be used as a part of their signature on your community blog or other vehicle can go a long way in terms of people feeling ownership of their passion associated with your project.
7. Make them a part of what you are doing with special invites to station events from time to time as a VIP. This goes a long way in also making these influencers feel special and feeds the fire of passion for continuing to be your advocate in social media environments.
Don’t try to do too much at the beginning. Take baby steps. Doing this is based on the idea of building strength and participation over time with real world results for your brand. Decide what kind of advocacy program you want to begin, and begin building your plan. Then, take each individual step above slowly to make sure you are following the plan and getting actives to become influencers for your brand.
Radio is social. People will respond to being engaged by you if you build your plan correctly and have specific goals in mind. And your brand will become more socially active and stronger over time.
*Content originally appeared @ RadioInk.com.
Join the special Radio Social Media Page @ www.Facebook.com/socialnetworking4radio.