What is out there other than Facebook when it comes to social media? Note that we are NOT suggesting you shouldn’t be on Facebook; you should. We’re not taking anything away from Facebook, but to have a true overall plan for dominating social in your market, you must look at other opportunities that can have critical impact on listeners and advertisers.
If you have followed anything I have written on radio and social media, you likely already know that I think all of your off-air activities in the digital world should begin with “things you own,” starting with your website. Of course, you should appear “easy to connect to” on-line, on Facebook and on other social media platforms and email. After all, in our overcrowded message world, beginning a relationship with you should be easy no matter where a listener (or advertiser) comes in contact with your brand.
Before I talk about other social media platforms, let me also say that I believe that radio should be investing in digital portals that drive local-based revenue, passion for our brands, and social media engagement for listeners and advertisers. But that’s just me. To leave this money – and additional local brands we can build ourselves – “on the table” is concerning and unforgiveable.
Okay, so you have a website. Do you really have an excellent website that represents your brand and your local community? Is it really engaging or is it just “up there?” Is there rich content that changes frequently on your website or are you operating off of the 1990s radio online plan of yesteryear? Is the changing content focused on what the listeners you want to attract care about and want or is it only focused on your radio station? Can listeners engage the content on your website and share it easily on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites? Do listeners want to share your content? Does it make them look smart and tuned in if they share content from your site? If not, do not pass go or collect $200 (or anything else). Invest in making your website work for you so that listeners want to share you with others on all social media platforms.
This can impact real listening and real revenue. Please don’t even read the rest of this unless your own website is in top-flight working order to serve listeners with great photos and content, and creates the opportunity for continuous engagement including easy sharing on all relevant social media platforms. Go spend time with your website and see if your company will allow you to make it a powerful tool to really engage your audience and help you win.
So what are some other bigger or growing sites – other than “just Facebook” — where you could help communicate and share your story with listeners and comment on their lives in social media? With each of these sites, you have to be responsible for educating yourself and determining the value of each of them and how you could best use them, or if you should use them at all.
1. YouTube – Not sharing on YouTube? Shame on you. Radio is creative, right? Use that creativity with your format, your listeners, your events, your promotions, and both the attitude and lifestyle of the listeners you most want to attract. As with Facebook and your own website, the content must be focused on what your listeners want – not just on you. And you must make the content special enough where listeners will feel smart or funny to share with friends, family, and others in your market.
2. Google+ – Where there are people hanging out, your station should be there. This one is not a favorite of mine, but you should have a presence and you should make the most of it. If you haven’t seen the basics for Facebook strategy, go back and look at past articles on how to make the most of this type of social media environment. Sharing is all about listeners and a little about you. Make it visual and rich with content they want and you will win.
3. LinkedIn – Yes, salespeople in your building can use LinkedIn to showcase how they solve problems for advertisers and local business owners. They can also engage in showcasing what makes them a special resource for clients and connect with groups that can help increase revenue.
4. Pinterest – New kid on the block, so-to-speak. You (the user) are encouraged to pin photos of items you like into categories. You should tune in to see who is most likely using Pinterest and how they fit into your target audience. Adults are spending a lot more time on this site as it continues to grow. Spend some time with it and look at the photos shared to figure out how to work your brand into the types of photos your potential targets love. No, I am not kidding.
You can’t do everything well. You must pick your battles. However, you should know by now that Facebook can’t do all the heavy-lifting for your social media. Facebook is a mirror. Use it, but don’t let it be your only resource (or even only free resource) to help connect with listeners. Start at home with your website and other digital brands your team can develop locally to grow engagement and non-traditional revenue.
Facebook is dominant in social media, but as a closed environment – they make lots of rules to limit your success. Yes, it can be important if your focus is on true engagement on the local listener level and their lives on the social media giant. But look at your overall plan and make sure you really have one that is listener focused. Make sure you are truly focused on those you most want to attract to your radio brand and engage locally. That makes you the real winner in social media for your radio station or cluster. It will make you a winner with the boss, too.
*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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