If you’ve ever thought about putting more investment in your social media, this may be the thing for you. It may be time for you to hire a social media person. However, you should put a lot of thought into the person you hire.
Your social media person should be:
1. Someone who understands the audience you are trying to attract. This might be one of the most important traits of the person you are looking for. They need to really know what the locals within your age-cell target want and make sure they get it in your social media.
2. Someone who knows what TV shows your audience is watching. This would be someone who enjoys a reality TV show when it is hot with your core life group or someone who knows the latest gossip and understands teasing and “drawing fire” to your website for the juicy details after listeners read and see a visual tease on Facebook and Twitter.
3. Someone who understands your format and your individual radio station brand. This is especially tough because you don’t want an expert in social media who just does not understand your format or doesn’t get the reason for the name of your radio station. At this point, you have to start thinking that this new social media person should be local. Very local. And close.
4. Someone who knows your market inside and out. This is clearly not a person who “phones it in.” They should know the breakfast places or the lunch places that are hot, the winning (and losing) high school football teams, what is happening at work in your market within the big and little companies. Does this sound like someone you already know? Maybe it should. Think very local.
5. Someone who is “in the now” and can explain what is important to listeners briefly and with rich color. This reminds one of good morning shows or afternoon shows on radio, doesn’t it?
6. Finally, they should be someone who understands teasing, interacting, and validation. In other words, they should be someone who understands how important it is for people to belong and feel valued.
Why is Mr./Ms. X the perfect candidate to be your new official social media person? He or she is already in the building on the morning show or afternoon show at your radio station. They are talented. They understand the abovementioned six things and, given some responsibility, they may grow your ratings and revenue by doing that “social media thing.” Maybe they are even doing some social media for the station now, but you could make it so much more effective if you pick one person on your staff, give them the responsibility to develop an actual strategic plan, and then allow them to soldier the plan throughout the building with staff and be the cheerleader. If you really want to crank up your actual results, bonus them on the correct development of their social media plan and for hitting content and interaction goals each month. You might be amazed at the results.
Social media is not new. Radio has been the “water cooler” for decades and decades. We have easy access to listeners, we provide them with music, local flavor, gossip (about Hollywood celebrities and format celebrities) and more. These are not the old days, but social media isn’t really about technology. Or, better said, the technology is new, but you’ve been doing social media for years. Radio should be thinking about how to use social media to engage listeners at an even higher level than they already do on the radio. This is your community. Now you have the opportunity to truly interact with them on Facebook, Twitter and more. Do it!
But make sure the person you select as your “social media person” develops the strategic plan first, regarding what types of content you want on your social media sites daily and what kind of interaction you want with listeners on a consistent basis on your station website, Facebook page, Twitter account and more. And make sure your plan has keys to consistent behavior on these social media sites.
So much is possible if we go back to the basics about what radio already knows about connecting with the important people in our local markets. If we focus on what is important to them, social media will blossom all across the country and intensify actual results that can turn into ratings and revenue for individual radio stations. Isn’t that worth doing?
*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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Loyd Ford is the Direct Marketing, Ratings & Social Media Strategy for Americalist Direct Marketing. He works with media brands all across the country to improve ratings and participation with custom contest strategy, telemarketing, strategic direct mail and social media for radio clients.