You hear people all the time talk about how important their social media is, but what is behind those words? Are people really taking social media seriously or is it just viewed inside local radio clusters as a waste of time or something that can’t be harnessed? Let’s investigate…
1. “Social Media is a time waster.” Yep. This is true – for the consumer. Your on-air staff and sales team shouldn’t be “consumers” at work. They should be providing content and feedback, engagement and helpfulness to their targets.
2. “Everyone should be engaged in social media.” Uh, really? A better way to go would be to give time to thinking about the kind of consumers (listeners) you most want to attract to your personalities and brands and design a strategic social media content plan (that spells out content right down to daily percentages of each kind of content and when posting should take place). Once you have fully developed the plan, you should carefully select those you want to engage in social media on behalf of your individual station brands. Of course, big generators of content should be your morning show talent and other high-profile personalities, but you may also find someone on your team who is gifted with understanding certain types of content or gaining access to special engagement. In either case, start with building a plan and then assign the parts with specific responsibilities that individuals understand so that you can set goals and achieve specific things for your on-air and digital products (assets). After all, this is a business, right?
3. “Part-timers should be assigned social media so everyone else can focus on the real work.” I’m not suggesting that part-timers can’t do social media, but it is essential that you have confidence in the people who are executing your social media content strategy and you must have consistency. Without consistency, you are wasting your time.
4. “Your sales department shouldn’t have a social media presence in the market.” What? If you don’t have an effort that supports local-, small-, and medium-size business success and promotes the benefits of marketing business to consumers, you must think that has no value. Contrary to what most people focus on in social media for radio, we believe you should be engaging local businesses of all varieties so you can be helpful and be seen as a local resource of trust for those in the business community that can be helpful in creating a more pro-radio local radio market filled with a variety of expected and unexpected opportunities now and in the future. We constantly teach our clients in selling that it is important to be engaged and market, but we should back that up by being more than transactional sellers. In addition to that, engaging in strategic and helpful content for local businesses gives you more credibility and can produce opportunities for marketing and sales events where you can develop and close more business because you are helpful to those who are working to learn more about how to grow customers.
5. “We should have connectivity and synergy use of all assets.” This is true. You shouldn’t look at any asset or effort on your team as meaningless or a waste of time, and in today’s very hyper-fast world, you have to connect everything so that your strategic assets support one-another. Listeners won’t go out of their way to find you. You have to do the work and that’s not a time-waster if you have a strategic plan.
You’re kidding yourself if you think Facebook “likes” are the goal of your social media. Your goal should be deep engagement and relationship connectivity with the most important consumers (listeners) for your individual brands and local advertisers who can spend money with education from you and effort from you in helping them become a more successful and engaged advertiser and business owner. If you don’t have a specific strategic plan for these things in social media, you are probably largely wasting your time. Your social media gives you essentially free opportunity to elevate loyalty and passion to your personalities, local brands, and even salespeople.
A lot of business people still see social media as a waste of time because it isn’t effort directly engaged in prospecting for money. Well, money is made up. Value is real. Only time has real value. When you spend your time creating value, people will part with more money and freely give it to you. Shouldn’t your social media pull to that goal?
*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. Don’t just read. Get engaged in the process. Contact him directly @ 877.475.6864 or Americalist1@aol.com.