Is Your Radio Station’s Social Media Actually Off Track (Do You Know?)

Posted on January 25, 2013


train off track
Of course, you are doing social media. Isn’t every radio station in America? You call them up and they say, “Oh, yes. We are on both Facebook and Twitter. We are really active. We have a bunch of likes on Facebook, too.” But here are five important ways you can tell if your social media is off track and you may be wasting your time, effort, and money — or you might even be doing yourself some harm. So, let’s look at the five:

1. You don’t have a strategic and well thought out plan for your activities in social media and you don’t have any goals. You should consider what your official social media strategic plan is; and what elements should constitute ongoing daily execution to engage the audience you most want to attract and provide the highest quality content that will begin the real conversations between your personalities and listeners. That has real value that can lead to multiple new tune-in opportunities, loyalty. and spreading.

2. Your Facebook page is all about “listen to me” or contesting. Well-balanced Facebook pages have content serving a variety of interests of your target listeners. Think of it as being almost like running a political campaign. Different people identify with your brand for different reasons and new people will be attracted by different kinds of content on social media. If you are careful to make contesting 20 percent or less of the regular and consistent content and mix in a variety of highly targeted local based creative content, you can truly engage the most important social media “actives” in your market within your target demo and life group.

3. There is no real interaction between your on-air personalities and listeners. Social media is really all about validation. People want to belong; they want to be validated for who they are and social media is a place where they seek this validation with high passion and resolve. If you make local listener validation a big focus of what you are doing on social media, you are sure to win real results for your efforts. Social media is not a broadcast of only your ideas. In fact, your validation of listener ideas and feedback, along with engaging them on their own Facebook and Twitter, can have the most powerful impact for your brands. And here is a tip: You should consider doing this validation at the “personality level” (and not the brand) so that your morning show talent may be commenting on a listener’s Facebook page.

4. Your social media content does not look, feel, or resonate local, local, local. We all know that local is the greatest, and really only, opportunity (even though several large broadcast companies are doing so much to be national-focused). Serve the local community in your social media engagement and your opportunities and loyal listener “social media following” will grow.

5. Your social media plan does not have an element of strategy to generate non-traditional dollars while focusing on real needs and wants of your target listeners. Essentially, radio stations have to develop more dollars and social media can be a big player in this. However, you should be careful to focus on listener benefits. Posting a deal on tires isn’t a cool idea. Solve problems for listeners and talk about experiences, but some of those can be paid and associated with radio buys. Money is money. Even social media money.

In the 1950s, radio stations all across the country had “DJs” that just “came in for their shift carrying the records they wanted to play.” You wouldn’t do that today, but many radio stations allow the images and content displayed on social media to “often just happen.” This is a mistake. It is time to take control of these reasonably important tools and make sure your team is pulling in the same direction and following a plan you design.

If you don’t have a plan for your social media, that is a good place to start. Engage in focusing on the listeners you most want to attract in your market and then think about the important human aspects of what is important in social media: validation, appreciation, back and forth engagement, and giving listeners benefits that draw them back to your actual broadcast brand on a regular basis. And please remember that content, variety, high content value (to the listener), and creativity are the keys to keeping people interested and engaged. Not just contesting elements designed to hype listeners back to your page.

Really! If you don’t have a plan for this stuff, stop and get one. It could mean a big difference in your future.
You can create new opportunities for yourself and your brand in 2013 if you spend just a little bit of time focused on listeners and the real content opportunities to get sticky with existing and a new, potential audience.

Loyd Ford

*Content originally appeared @ For more content on radio, go to 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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