When it comes right down to it, social media is very inexpensive interaction with local audience you most want to attract if your targeting is correct.
And, of course, if you and your entire team (anyone who touches social media of any kind) understands who you are as a radio station and the drivers that most attract the listeners you want to engage and convert to loyal listeners in your local market. However, it works the same way that high value personalities work on-air: You must have rich content that inspires the passion of local targets most likely to spend long periods of time listening to your station or your competition.
This way, all available high-passion audience spending time on social media can become “available” for loyalty to your on-air product (and you can get specific numbers on social media platforms like Facebook). This is really your goal beyond simple engagement on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You don’t just want to engage them – you want to help them, in their moments of decision, to choose your brand, and help them grow authentically loyal to your brand over your competitor. So, how do you do all that?
1. Get your team together and discuss the images of your station that your strategic team is trying to communicate to listeners, matching social media content to those elements and ideas regularly.
2. Build a strategic plan that considers everything you know about listeners you most want to attract and how you may help them while they are tooling around social media.
3. Include elements of the format (concerts, events – and use photos) that seem unique to your station brand (or at least include visuals at format-exclusive opportunities that also involve your logo in one way or another).
4. Once you understand specific causes and passions for your local audience, work with team members who are also passionate about those issues or causes and engage listeners on Facebook and Twitter, at least, in the cause so that the station is “in it” with them regularly.
5. Keep staff focused on the most important things to your exact audience and the audience you most want to attract in the local market. Work to post items about those specific issues that are most important to your listeners regularly with visually engaging pictures to capture the most attention.
6. Always work at bringing listeners back to your actual on-air whenever possible. After all, we don’t work for social media. We want social media to work for local radio.
7. Assign specific content responsibility and follow-up regularly to make sure your team is consistently hitting their assignments.
As a side note, if you have a competitor who is a big national-platform company, hyper-focusing on local critical issues, events, and opportunities can have even more impact for you if your focus is really on what the local listeners want and need.
Social media isn’t about Facebook, Twitter, or promoting other social media entities. It’s about using those platforms as tools for your rich content to mine listener attention for connectivity, engagement, conversion, and the building of loyalty to your personalities and overall brand because of what you stand for and how well you understand them, and giving your listeners additional benefits they don’t believe they can ultimately get from your competitor.
Yes, you can do this in social media if you determine how to match station social engagement with the authentic representation of those qualities that most attract the listeners who will support and build your loyal listener following. That’s what you can get from inexpensive or even free social media, but it all starts with a better understanding of them, your brand, the part each personality plays in those connections, and communicating those benefits to listeners in social media.
*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.