If you feel your social media is not working, the questions all become about what strategy you are using and how you define success in social media for your individual radio station. So, let’s take a look at four things everyone needs to know about social media and radio.
1. Social Media, Not Advertising Don’t expect it to be like advertising. That’s like saying your new pool will be just like the ocean. No, it won’t. Social media can play a dynamic role in helping you improve loyal relationships with key listeners (who spend a lot of time with radio and want to be influential). Contests can boost temporary attention. Videos can go viral. You can tempt people to “like” you on Facebook, but in the end, it is about relationships. It is about what you know about “them” and giving them what they want (even in social media). To get them to be engaged, YOU get engaged with them. It’s like that old saying, “It takes money to make money.” This time, it’s effort and it is important.
2. Top Down Buy-In You will be 100 times more successful IF you have corporate and “corner office” top level support. Smart management knows that it is critical and profitable to “know your customer.” This applies to listeners and advertisers. Maybe local management or corporate has not bought into the idea that social media can help them drive more dollars to their bottom line? You must have their top-tier support or you are highly likely to spin wheels for nothing or not much, and that isn’t worth doing.
3. Develop your plan before execution Develop your plan first. A lot of people think if you have a Facebook page and you have a Twitter account, you’re doing well. The truth is you must fully develop your plan first and then attack with passion as a team. All of your focus should be only on the real goals of social media for any radio station (which should be listening to your listeners and advertisers and working to expand participation with your brands from each of these critical local groups).
4. Play as a team once you have developed a strong strategy Make sure you actually have a strategy. Do you know what percentage of your “posts” in social media should be about contesting? About community? About events? About gossip? About everything? Are you truly engaging listeners about things they are interested in? Are you touching local lives with local stories? Are you commenting on listener posts? Are you engaging in social media to lure listeners back to your actual on-air brand and your websites? Think about this: You should have a fully developed plan to show important and influential listeners and advertisers that you care about them and care about what is important to them. And your plan must have highly compelling content to which listeners will respond.
It’s easy to be on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. But showing up will not get it done. Being “liked” will not get it done. Having a part-timer post a few things will not get it done. Guessing what you post on Facebook will not get it done. Expecting social media to replace marketing your brand to listeners will not get it done.
Radio stations should be the “life of the party.” We have a fun business that listeners want to like. We have an effective business that advertisers want to like. Learn and use these four critical things about social media and master them for your market, and you will get so much more out of your social media you’ll wonder why it took so long.
*Content originally appeared @ RadioInk.com.
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