So, here we are. Almost 2013. Congratulations. You made it. Companies say, “Do more with less.” A lot more with a lot less. Either you’ve been in this business a long time and adapted to the continuing changes of radio today, or you are new and want to make your mark. Since companies are constantly trying to cut expenses and drive profit, at this point you must be thinking: How can I make myself so valuable that budget-cutting CEOs and market managers don’t want to fire me and will go out of their way to make other cuts before cutting me?
Maybe the answer is being excellent at multitasking inside the station and becoming a person who is known to drive real value through social media. As the digital future changes radio, how you use social media could become one of your market-leading skills and save your job. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can get there.
1. Be clever. Yes, I said it. If you want to be noticed on social media, you should always provide information listeners will want to share. But it helps to remember that content is king and that this includes clever content that can and will be shared by listeners with other listeners. That’s the rule of entry for being an employee with top-flight social media skills. Everyone else is pretending.
2. Do good. That’s right. Be someone who focuses on the positive and on being a positive influence. This can be taking on a local charity that your listeners (and you) care about. It could be simply going out of your way on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms to do something to help someone else. However, being positive and doing “good” attracts other people. It is essential in floating to the top of social media.
3. Invert your thinking. All of us think about ourselves way too much. Turn your thinking around when you are posting on social media. Purposefully reduce and eliminate the “me factor” so that your posts look as if you are reading about them and not yourself. Eliminate words like “I” completely from your posts. Insert words that indicate listeners – not the station. When you mention the radio station, your show, or reasons listeners should engage you, your content should have a very high standard before you execute. It should be highly valuable to THE LISTENER. This way, you always filter through “them” and not “yourself.” Anyone can be selfish on social media, but it is definitely not the way to float to the top.
4. Think people first, marketing last. We’ve all heard that social media is not marketing. In the U.S., everything is marketing. However, you should use caution if you think everything is advertising. In other words, reduce your focus on being a social media guru and make sure you put people ahead of your goals. Don’t take this lightly. Listeners (people) can smell insincerity. They can feel manipulation. If you don’t put them (and their feelings) first in what you are doing in social media, you might be able to have some limited success, but you will never become one of the top performers we are talking about here. Reduce the feeling that you are marketing in your copy and you will have more influence. It’s just the way it works.
5. Use pictures. Why do people respond to a smiling human? Because we are human. Are you aware of how much more likely listeners (people) are to read and respond to something that catches their attention with a picture? It is the number one way to inflate active participation with your content.
6. If you have a headline, make it a good one. If you understand the “content is king” rule for radio and all media, you must double the standards for a headline and make sure your headline makes people curious about wanting to know more. Lure them with your headline as much as the photo you use.
7. Be consistent. So many people think they’ve “got it” because they have a Facebook page or they have a Twitter account. Most radio stations have sad Facebook pages filled with self-serving contesting and reflecting inconsistent and mostly poor effort. The poor effort part means there is no consistency to what many are doing. This is wrong. To have a real presence in social media, you must be consistent. That means day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year. You must have a short- and long-term plan and you must stick to it.
8. Don’t underestimate how much listeners feel people don’t listen to them. At work, home, and even among friends, people often feel others don’t listen to them. That is a large part of why Facebook now has a billion users — much of the attraction of Facebook is that people want to be validated (they want to be heard). Make that matter for listeners in your market. Listen.
Make a huge difference for yourself and your employment opportunities. Invest in learning social media and truly engaging listeners. Times are not changing; they’ve changed. Change with them. See yourself as a 21st century person. It can mean more money in your future and you’ll be so glad you did.
*Content originally appeared @ RadioInk.com. For more content on radio, go to RadioInk.com. Look for my column on social media and radio on the left-hand side of the homepage behind my picture and the word “Engagement.”
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