Social media is a complete waste of time if you are not prepared to have a strategic plan (do you have one?) and turn your attention toward the audience you most want to attract and benefit. Did you see that second thing? “And benefit.”
If you talked to radio every day all over the country, you would hear all kinds of stories about what is happening in local markets and how real people are trying to figure out how to get more accomplished with less. In some cases, radio is marketing to increase ratings. In some cases, they are “making do.” If you are in EITHER category, you should still be focused on getting the most out of your social media.
Do you see social media as a waste of time? Well, if you do, it probably is. However, you should seriously consider how empowered the consumer is in 2013 and get busy trying to use social media to earn more “loyalty credits” with listeners before they become more “empowered” about choice for radio in the car, at work, and at home. More choices are coming. Loyalty will matter.
You can only really do that by focusing on the benefit your brand brings listeners in your market and bringing those benefits and more to your social media with the idea of attracting these people and giving them real value. That means value for them…and not just the station. If your station is well programmed and positioned, you already know what your listeners want on the air and very likely in the market. This is about setting the direction of your social media to accomplish things for your listeners and for your radio station, and this involves at least six basic questions to make sure you are not wasting your time on social.
Let’s take a look at those six important questions:
1. Do you have a strategic plan for your social media? Do you know what percentage of each type of content your team posts in a given week? Do you have categories of content and have you spelled out which category is most important and why?
2. Was your team involved in setting goals for your social media that go beyond the number of “likes” you have on Facebook? Are the people posting your social media content at the station passionate about the format, the listeners, their lives, what is happening in your market, and how they can help engage these listeners? Are they pumped about their role on-air and in the work they do on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms for the station?
3. Does your team have their eyes on the experiences listeners are having in the market and what is happening in their daily lives?
4. Does your social media “look forward to the weekend” and does it “help listeners find or think about things they can do with their off time”? This is what most adults look forward to during the work week. If your target is adult, this should be a thread in your social media content.
5. Do you have any on-air content that highlights social media? There are likely hundreds of thousands of people or more in your market actively engaged in social media. Smart morning shows are talking about the content being seen there. They are “tuned into” the social actives and engage them on the air.
6. People want and actively seek validation and actual praise. Is this a part of your social media on a personality level? If not, you should really spend a few minutes on Facebook and see how important it is to everyone participating.
Here is the bottom line: Social media is a waste of time if you “phone it in.” You know what powerful and engaged radio stations sound like. Well, guess what? Those stations have a plan, a passionate team executing it, and they are focused on listener benefits. The same thing should be happening in your social media. It is potentially your biggest opportunity. Take it and really make the most of it.
*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. Contact him directly @ 877.475.6864 or Americalist1@aol.com.