Every once in a while I like to focus on what I call contemporary missteps in social media as it relates to radio stations and content “misunderstandings. ” Maybe you never do any of these, but chances are you should read this anyway just to refocus your efforts. So, here are five specific missteps many radio stations make with their social media content:
1. Contesting, contesting, contesting. Radio station employees constantly pound listeners on Facebook and Twitter with only contesting information. This proves to listeners that you don’t care about them (you only want to selfishly use them) and anyone putting in real effort to engage and add value to the lives of those using social media will see you as “without value.” Oops. But don’t worry; you’ll be so ineffective that no one will notice. Your efforts will be for nothing if you only send contest messages. Bottom line: Don’t send only contest messages. Have a plan that starts with being interested in the lives, wants, and needs of your listeners.
2. Stations do a lot of “I don’t care content. ” What does this mean? Some radio stations post a lot of ho-hum information or meaningless advertisements in social media. If your content has no spark of creativity, no originality, and the personal posting is just going thru the motions, they truly don’t care. And their content shows. I always recommend that you have someone who checks up on the kind of regular content being provided in social media so you know you have a rich stream of content, real engagement, and your station offers regular reasons (that are important to the listener) for returning to your actual on-air brand.
3. Laziness. Nothing else to call this. The person responsible for social media “engagement” starts out with good ideas. “Let’s have a blog” or “Let’s do this kind of content regularly. ” Then, several weeks go by and listeners see that the regular posting of content has dropped, the content effort itself has dropped, and then all measurable content just fades to no updates at all or the station reverts to No. 1 above (contesting only content). If a radio station is trending like this, you can bet their true engagement is insincere, too. Fade to black. The show is over. Listeners won’t be engaged at all.
4. No effort “easy button” content. You’ve seen this. The station is doing paint-by-numbers content. There is no thought being put into the creativity or sourcing of unique content (including pictures and sometimes video) to truly give the listeners, that the station wants to attract, reasons to love entertaining, creative, and exciting posts (or benefits) to the listeners. You might think social media is all about you, but it isn’t. It’s all about me (the listener). It’s the same with your radio station: Give me value or “I’m gone.”
5. No value content. Do you post important information that your target listeners are interested in? A lot of stations don’t think about the target or listener at all. They think only about themselves. Their content reflects this and has a “sugar effect. ” You might get people to click here or there, but there is no real value. So, it won’t add up to much. Think about this: People are more attracted to pictures and video than text. If you don’t spend time thinking about the value of the photos you use in social media, you’re not really being creative and not really adding immediate value that interests listeners in social media. People also share what makes them entertained (especially when it makes them laugh) and what makes them look smart to others. This should be assigned by you as “value content” and should be the goal of every original post you make in social media. No value = no sharing. If your social media isn’t about adding real value directed at the listener and their interests, you are LIKELY to fail.
You know what you want as a consumer. You want real value. In social media, consumers (listeners) have to sift through a lot of “stuff” to gain access to real and authentic value. If you develop a specific strategic plan for social media, including what kind of content (along with visuals) you will be using to attract and connect with the right listeners, you will avoid these missteps. You will also be on the path to higher engagement, higher listener retention, and loyalty; and also finding the path to generate social media dollars for your influence. That’s worth investing in today.
*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.