Most people dislike change and spend their time trying to figure out how to take shortcuts to doing the same old same old. A lot of people also simply don’t want to do the work. It’s easy to hang back…especially if “the business” doesn’t reward extra effort, right? While some people may want the spotlight of game day (as they say in sports) without the commitment to working out consistently that makes you a champion, others are just doing the minimum because they don’t think they can get more value by being specific with social media.
We all know that prep + effort = good results. This is true in everything (including art).
While people don’t like to change, they are willing to experiment.
We are in the “doing” business. In fact, you could argue that local radio is in the “doing for others” business. So, let’s experiment with social media.
For one month, focus your social media totally and completely on others. No posts about you. Post about others. Comment about others. Do good things for others. Give helpful tips when someone is expressing frustration. Post information that will offer people help in doing things that are important to them.
1. Real growth in social media success comes from realizing that people seek validation. They want to feel they matter. They wish to belong and often our modern society leaves a lot of people out there struggling in their daily lives to belong to anything.
2. You’ve seen those people on Facebook that complain Facebook doesn’t have a dislike button, right? Why do people want a dislike button? Because human instinct drives negativity, but people actually crave positive thought and energy. So give that to them in social media (along with validation) and you will see your social media efforts become much more “sticky.”
3. You tempt people to follow you by investing in them. Put effort into thinking about your “target listener” and what can improve their life in your local market. Give it to them with strong visuals and content that makes them feel smart to share with their friends. While you may want to focus on promoting what is important to you, being all about “them” lights a passionate fire in those individuals that will be rewarded.
4. Resist the desire to think contesting is great content. I am personally not against contesting in social media or driving people directly to your radio station (in fact, I am 100 percent for it). However, I do believe in “dialing back” to the basics of why people really go on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. I encourage clients to hyper-focus on their local market and what the listeners who they most want to attract are passionate about in their format. That’s so much more than focusing on purely trying to get people to listen to your radio station. Give them reasons that matter to them for tuning in.
5. Expose your vulnerabilities and concerns. Making yourself human relaxes others and encourages connection. Without the human element in your social media, you might as well be using a technology trick. I’m not against technology, but people naturally crave authenticity and that cannot be consistently faked even in social media. So, be yourself, be open and try to encourage others and bring real value to your content.
Maybe your social media is on the right track. Perhaps you have a plan that includes vibrant visuals and engaging content that is truly focused on your core target listeners that you most want to attract to your brands. Maybe you have a strategic plan for your social media content that includes specific content goals by percentage of types of content and individual daily assignments, and a voice for each person on your team posting content and engaging local listeners on social media platforms. I hope that is true. But this is fall. It’s a good time to review your goals, your content, your strategy, and to determine the value of your overall social media to your actual brands. This includes the social media strategic plan for your sales department. What? You don’t have one? Seriously. It’s almost 2014.
If you can’t point to the value you receive from your social media efforts, maybe it is time to think about developing a different strategy that focuses on the key to driving your business: doing for others. After all, there is a lot of local profit in doing for others. Radio gets power from being local and connected.
Here’s to a great connective fall where you strengthen your strategy and results in social media. You deserve it, your listeners deserve it, your advertisers certainly deserve it, and your business deserves it.
*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.