Broadcasters usually want to engage listeners who will spread their content to others and really become cheerleaders for their brands. That’s fine, but it should not be your entire focus on social media. You should also be engaged in “listening” yourself.
I have worked for almost a decade with radio clients to get them to focus more on their database and what they know and how they communicate with these people. The key to investing in your business is to have a marketing and social media program to generate new CUME and loyalty, but you also want to do an excellent job getting to know and communicate with the high-participation listeners who have a lot of access to radio listening (especially at-work for adult stations). Most stations couldn’t tell you very much about who these people are in their database today. Many also surely can’t tell you which ones listen to a lot of radio. My point is: You should work hard to know as much as you can about them. Social media can help you with this, too.
Social media allows you to invite listeners to talk about what is important to them. It allows you to see what is important to them. And you can use this information to reflect what is important to them in your actual on-air and digital products. Let’s take a look at how people generally share what is important to them and what you should be looking for:
1. With almost 1 billion people on the platform, people (your listeners) often share directly on Facebook. You should be engaged in Twitter and other social media platforms, too. Don’t take this as a guide for only Facebook. Go where your listeners are sharing social.
2. Listeners post comments to your blog (you have blogs, right)? Is your blog focused on something important to the listeners you want to attract? By the way, different personalities should have blogs focused on “lanes” of content important to local listeners.
3. Listeners email content to friends, co-workers, and family members that makes them look good, and content that would be interesting to those friends, co-workers, and family.
4. Listeners MAY talk about your radio station, contests, community event, and/or a true local interest in a group or forum. The key to IF they will talk about you depends on how compelling your CONTENT actually is. If you are just posting random things without putting actual effort and thought into your goal with listeners, you are probably wasting your time.
5. If your content is truly focused on THEM and is very rich (high quality), listeners will link to you on their Facebook wall or even their own website. This can be an important goal because great content that is truly focused on the listeners you want to attract will not only attract them….it will attract more people (listeners) like them.
6. Listeners are still frequently engaged in old-fashioned word-of-mouth. You know the saying, “People will share negatives much more than positives.” Be careful with your reputation in social media as in real life.
Think about the future for a minute. The consumer (listener) is getting more and more power over businesses and media. You see this in a variety of industries today. Business models are breaking down because of technology. This isn’t about you. It is about them. Technology is widely available to your listeners and it is creating distractions for them. That widely available technology is headed to the cars and trucks of millions and millions of Americans over the next few years (this is already happening on high-end products). That means less time with you and your radio station unless you maximize your efforts to be with them in their chosen social media environments. Invest in rich content focused on local listeners and your overall product will thrive. What are the most important things in your local community to the listeners in your market you most want to attract?
Allow your social media to be run by staff like they did radio stations in the 1950s and you may be run over. (You wouldn’t let DJs come into the station today with stacks of their own records and play whatever they want. Why allow your staff to simply post whatever they want in social media?) It’s all content. He (or she) with the best content WINS. He or she that is most focused on listeners and what they want also WINS. And he or she that listens and knows their listeners the best and communicates with them on air, online, and in social media also WINS.
*Content originally appeared @ RadioInk.com. For more on radio, go to RadioInk.com. This column is shared under the heading of “Engagement” on the left-hand side of the home page.
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