How Radio Can Avoid Social Media Don’ts And Thrive

Posted on August 25, 2012


With so much focus on what you should be doing in social media, every once in a while it is good to get a check-up so you know you are not actually doing things you shouldn’t.

1. Be social — and by that I mean don’t over-market the radio station on social media. You know the kind of personality or station I mean:  Tons of me, me, me, me and very little focus on the listener. When they do social media, it is all about the station and listening and contesting. Make sure you have a true mixture of compelling content. For me, it is okay to have contesting on Facebook and Twitter. Of course. Just make sure it is a smaller percentage of your overall content (that should for the most part focus on listeners’ wants/desires and how they can use your product more for THEIR purposes).

2. Don’t do a ton of posting content without pictures and/or video. If you want attention and true engagement, think about the visual and think about it often. Posting words can create compelling content, but leaving out the visuals will leave you flat in social media (and waste a lot of your time).

3. Don’t only post written content. Also make sure you comment and like listener posts. Engage listeners on their ground (by the way, Facebook, especially, is listener ground). Simply posting what you want to say is not engagement. Get in the fast lane and engage listeners on what they are talking about. Let them know you are IN their lives and care about them, too.

4. Don’t post online content that does not match your persona on-air and the lifestyle of the radio station you work for today. Believe it or not, this is a huge no-no. Think about who you are to listeners and make sure in your planning and in your execution that you “represent.”  If you do things in social media that don’t match listener expectations, you could be setting yourself up for authenticity trouble that will create more long-term problems for you and your brand.

5. Don’t make your content look like a plan. It’s okay to have a plan (in fact, it is recommended; if you don’t have one, you’re likely flat out wasting time or, worse, in deep trouble because of your social media). However, your posts should not look like you are gaming listeners or that you are on a strategic path of manipulation.

6. Don’t make it work. I know, I know. Less people, more work in radio, right?  Here’s the thing. We are still in a fun business and listeners want to be a part of that. Still, your engagement of listeners should be fun and should always lead back to your on-air brands. So, let go and enjoy! It will pay dividends.

If you’ve been reading my stuff on social media and radio for a while, you know I believe in developing your plan first. Think of what you want to accomplish. Social media is not advertising. Now, you can use it like advertising, but you will be disappointed in the results. At the same time, you should do more than show up. Developing a plan and making sure everyone knows the plan and their role in it will insure you climb up in social media and grow engagement (and listeners). Avoid the above “don’ts” and truly enjoy social media for helping you engage listeners in their “social” life. If you do that, you will be the winner.

Loyd Ford

*Content originally published @  For more on social media and radio or other radio related topics, go to  You can find the weekly social media column under the word “Engagement” on the home page.

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