Think of each social media platform as a club of sorts. Of course, individuals are going to favor certain social media platforms over others. Spend some time watching what people do in different social media environments and jump in to be part of the conversation. It’s tempting to just selfishly share something that asks listener to tune in. Get in the stream of things before engaging. Consider some of these things when you start to comment, post visuals, and utilize content assets that you want to ultimately use to lead local listeners back to your station.
1. Engage listeners by first validating them. Listen first. When you see something interesting happening on Facebook or Twitter with local listeners, drop in and comment with something that is relevant to what they are talking about. I am a big fan of posting as personalities and not as “the station.” That’s because people connect to personalities better than brands. Try to trace the local listener back to their Facebook page or engage them directly on Twitter. Going a step further and posting on their page or sending a message directly to them really does engage them. They see that you see them. It makes a bigger difference to people when they see you care about them, their thoughts, and what is important to them.
2. Blogging can be useful to bring listeners closer. Think about this: The use of a blog can allow you to bring written content, pictures, and video content back to something the station or broadcast company owns. You can use a blog by posting it in a variety of social media environments. Use the right tease or the right picture or video, and have subject matter that is important to the local listeners you most want to attract, and you will be instantly successful in bringing these listeners closer to you and your radio station. Just don’t forget to focus your content on an important subject to your listeners. Importance could be based on a local cause, a recent or future concert, fun listeners are known to have entertainment-based interaction with radio personalities, and music artists (if you are in a music format). Or it could be purely funny. But make sure if you are going for funny that you are….really….funny.
3. Use INSTAGRAM. Does your morning show use INSTAGRAM to post pictures during the show or post pictures related to show content? Do you use INSTAGRAM to post concert pictures, backstage pictures, pictures of artists and listeners having fun at a radio event? You can use pictures as an informal invitation to join you “back at the station” because listeners can see the kind of fun that attracts them. That brings people closer to you to see if they can “catch the fun vibe” where things always seem to be happening.
Radio has always essentially been interactive. Traditionally listeners have moved through contacting radio stations and personalities by phone, fax (who faxes anymore?), text, email, Facebook, and Twitter. Social media is about communication, helping others, and having fun. Some stations work to always promote their station on social media platforms. You’ll see their posts are always, “Me, me, me, me, me!” Look for ways to bring your social media efforts together and point listeners to your own assets as much as possible without it being purely promotion of tune in.
Don’t always go only for “likes” on your Facebook page. Use your creativity to draw listeners to your personalities and your on-air brand, but we always have to start by looking at the local listeners we most want to attract for individual radio brands and work to engage those listeners on the social media platform of their choice with content that attracts them.
You don’t always have to be talking about the “station” or “tune in” on social media. In fact, you should be talking as much about the community as about the station and as much about the format assets (if you are in music, this means the “stars”) as you are the station itself. If we do focus in on the goal of bringing them back to your own over-the-air and digital assets by showing why we are fun, why we are relevant, and that they are missing out on the “party” at our station, we will be impacting loyalty because we will attract these listeners to our original content and overall “vibe” (which should mirror what is important to them) and our programming will keep them engaged for longer listening.
People do what they want. Find out what they want in your market, mirror that, engage them after you listen first in different social media environments. Validate them as people in social media and follow them back to their Facebook pages. Make sure they know you care about them and the things that are important to them. Do these things and have fun and you will grow participation on different social media platforms and then on your own assets. Be consistent with your content, both written and visual, and make sure you deliver every time these listeners tune in and you will grow loyalty and become more dominant against your strongest competitors. Isn’t that the point?
*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. His interests include social media, digital local-direct revenue and non-traditional revenue for radio. And, yes, he believes you should be receiving more share of digital revenue in your local radio market along with higher ratings. Contact him directly @ 877.475.6864 or Americalist1@aol.com.