What are the big missteps radio folks make when they use social media? You know it is happening out there. It’s not just a misstep here and a misstep there. We see tons of radio stations only promoting likes or their own contests. Where are the truly local radio stations involved in what their listeners are passionate about and providing great content for the listeners they most want to attract? Is someone on your team or inside your company making some of these seven big missteps? Let’s take a quick look:
1. They let someone on the staff just “do it.” It’s okay to assign things to individuals on your staff, but it is not the first stop in creating a social media “program” for your brand. But it is highly important. If you send it off to an intern or just let the afternoon guy “handle it,” you may be making a huge mistake. See misstep number two below.
2. They don’t have a strategic plan with specific goals daily or weekly for individual types of content. If you are “doing” Facebook and Twitter, but you don’t have a strategic plan, you are making a potentially huge misstep. You should have your team selected (based on their skills and on-air job function) and they should meet with you to review or design a plan that includes very specific individual goals for posting a variety of content that is interesting to local listeners of your brand (your targets) along with specific sets of visuals to draw attention.
3. They don’t target the actual listeners that most represent people who will engage, cheerlead, and grow ratings through high passion for their radio brand. These types of radio stations are simply “on Twitter and Facebook.” They have it on-air. They want to be liked (who doesn’t like to be liked?). But they have not put thought into who they are targeting as a radio station and how to engage those types of individuals with the right high-quality content. That is a big misstep.
4. They are not consistent and don’t follow through. You know how this goes: Start strong, fall off. Radio stations who have a consistent social media strategy and execution with follow-up beyond engaging listeners publically (in some cases to follow them back to their Facebook page or Twitter account for a comment or thank you or to find a personal email) are winners. To do less is….less. And a misstep.
5. They don’t really engage anyone. See number four above. Engagement is not the same as posting something on Facebook about a contest. See what is happening on your Facebook page. Engage these people by commenting on their thoughts and opinions. Send them an email note on Facebook or shoot them an actual email when you can find their email address. Things are always smaller than you think they are. You won’t have your time dominated by doing this. It takes a minute, but it leaves an impression that you are truly engaged. Listeners love that. It grows passion. Not doing it is a misstep.
6. They forget the mission. This is an easy misstep. You’ve been doing something for a while now. You get complacent. Your efforts and consistency fall off. The person “in charge” leaves and someone new gets the project. Your mission is long forgotten. Then you are simply “on Facebook” or “on Twitter.” That’s sad. See number two above. You must have a plan and must follow up and update your plan. Make sure your team knows it is an important priority and not just busy or even just fun work. It’s strategic and important work.
7. They forget that Facebook, Twitter, and any other product is only good for radio when you help radio brands grow ratings or revenue. We see clients all the time that think success on Facebook is how many likes you have. They say over and over that they are “on Facebook” and “on Twitter.” But that is not good enough. In fact, radio should only be interested in these products (or any other entertainment-based products or social media sites) for how they can encourage listeners participating to come back to their radio products, love their radio products, and cheerlead for their local radio brands on the social media sites. If you don’t use social media to engage social media actives in your local brand, that is a misstep and a crime.
Staying focused is important for radio stations. It is critical for your on-air product, it is critical in your marketing, and it is critical if you want to be highly effective in using social media to boost your ratings and revenue by participation and passion.
Make sure you have a strategic plan, focus on what matters and who matters, truly engage them, use visuals to draw them to you, and high-quality content about their interests (not just the radio station). Follow up and make sure the right people are doing your social media so you have a passionate outreach program that focuses the right content on the right listeners or potential listeners and brings them or encourages them back to your brand. Now that’s winning.
*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 Strategist 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.