While local radio (and national radio companies) seeks constant ways to get listeners to click, focus, and participate with them, actual radio listeners seek validation, value, and fulfillment of their needs with content that is relevant to them. This is true in social media even more than it is true of their identification with your local radio brand or personalities. Therefore:
1. Offer listeners personal and very useful information and content they can use in their lives. This is easier than you think, if your team is truly focused on a specific target and are truly working to engage the listeners you most want to attract to your brand. Do you have a focused, relevant image and background for the target listeners you want to attract to your brand? Do this and you will gather listener attention in social media.
2. Use social media to build relationships and create a bond between your personalities, your brand, and the feeling that they belong. This can be done only through true engagement over time. People identify with personalities more than brands. Use your strength to focus that attraction and build a bond between listeners and your assets. Invest in giving listeners relevant education focused on things they value. This is value that is not promotion-focused. These elements should be content that revolves around their lives, their interests. Listeners are much more likely to want to “belong” to a brand that isn’t constantly selling them.
3. Social media is all about developing communities. People in our society today are more isolated than ever, but they seek togetherness, belonging. Your local radio brand should be looking at the values in local groups and/or communities. Engage them, engage their members where it makes sense for your brand and the listeners you most want to attract.
4. Create opportunities for listeners to have influence on a variety of issues that involve your radio station, your community, and improving their experiences on Facebook or other social media platforms. The more you encourage listeners to share their influence and validate them, the closer they will move to your brand.
Seize the opportunity now to generate real engagement with listeners at every level of contact you have with them, by seeking their influence on issues of value for them, on your radio station and in your community. Think about how listeners value your content and think about what they want in your community (and their lives). In a lot of ways, this goes back to a very smart “old” saying about radio. Find out what listeners want and give it to them.
You can put a lot more value in your social media. It’s up to you how well you and your team engage listeners. Do you have a strategic plan for your social media like you (hopefully) have for your radio brand? If not, get one. If you do, make sure your team applies it consistently and that you focus on the value you can bring to listeners to bring them back to your brand. Social media only benefits radio if you focus on listeners and work to bring listeners closer to you through real and consistent engagement that has value to them.
*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.