Where Does Local Radio Fit In With A Listener Staycation Or Vacation?

Posted on July 7, 2013


Great radio personalities are always looking for ways to relate to their local listeners right now. When it comes to social media, the superstar personalities focus on service and providing important information that listeners could use or share (or both). Sometimes that is as simple as understanding that summer means kids are out of school, parents want a vacation (no matter if they can afford it or not), and even those who may not go far will want a quick escape during Summer 2013.

How do you create content in social media that draws on what everyone is thinking: “How do we get out of here?” or “How do we make the most of our summer time even if we stay home?”

1. As always, pictures and video draw people to you in social media and creating a Top 10 Local Staycation list or any type of list that could gain attention and provide helpful ideas about summer “escapes.” Ask everyone to comment on what locations should be included on any future list or what you may have left off that local (your station) listeners should know about for Summer 2013.

2. Ask listeners to comment on the best vacation they have ever taken in their lives and ask for pictures. If you have a favorite vacation from your childhood and actual pictures, use them in your content because it will really connect with a lot of listeners. People love to see things they don’t expect. They also will connect deeper with someone on the radio who truly shares themselves.

3. Create content that showcases the best vacations within driving distance of your market or in your market. If you wanted to go all out, you could interview decision-makers or PR folks at some of these locations and offer an opportunity (on your website, or even on-air if your station allows) to win tickets or services at any of a variety of within-driving-distance locations for listeners. By talking to the decision-maker or PR person, you will also likely have access to the best pictures and inside information that will make you seem “in the know.”

4. Make another list of unusual and creative escapes INSIDE your market. Of course, this would also allow you to ask others what cool local tourist-type opportunities you might be missing on your list.

5. Summer is often about fun. Make a list of the best “guilty pleasures” and ask local listeners what you might be missing for things like the best hidden local ice cream, local fun things to do (as simple as Putt-Putt or a local fun or water park).

6. Of course, it would be excellent to include a big list of station summer staycation or escape moments (including concerts or local events the station is engaged in this summer). Just make sure you always have a variety of content so that the things you write about, show photos about, and share are listener-focused.

Some personalities make the mistake of thinking everyone has their life, their vacations, or their access to summer fun. It’s important to focus on listeners first and realize that there are a lot of experiences in your audience because of economy, work, family, and other factors. But as someone once said to me, “It ain’t nothing but fun.” That’s what listeners like. They are just like you and me. They work hard. They want to play hard.

Everyone won’t have the same kind of vacation this summer. Frankly, if you go on vacation, call yourself fortunate. At the same time, make sure you think about the variety of experience your local listeners have and be helpful to them in your social media content. Use great pictures and video, ask them to contribute to the content with their own suggestions, pictures, and video. You might be shocked at how much fun interaction you will see on your Facebook, Twitter, and more! And I always recommend that you try to find unique ways to bring listeners back to your on-the-Web and on-air assets.

Life is short. Summer is even shorter. If families are in the audience target for your radio station, summer seem even shorter. Be helpful and dig in. Give them fun ways to extend weekends, after work, vacations, staycations, and summer and show them why radio is still the best place to spend time listening and having fun in summer (or anytime).

Loyd Ford


*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.


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