When do you know your business has changed? I ask because some people are aware of changes, but they don’t know how much things are continuing to change. This message may not even be for you. It may be for some people you work with or for.
This morning I was challenged on my early morning walk to pretend that what the paper delivers in my town is what it used to be. In my opinion, it isn’t even a credible paper. Why are they still going through the motions? Money. Why haven’t they shifted business models? They have uncomfortably shifted to digital very late. Record companies did the same thing with their “change.” Reluctant change. Late.
Late is not good. Not when it comes to money.
So, now radio is getting its moment. Social media. Digital. 21st century. So, how do you handle your part? Don’t you start by asking hard questions about the business of radio and how it is changing? Let’s start brainstorming that.
1. Is your social media generating ratings? Many market managers and those in charge think of social media as something you “do” that is largely – maybe – a waste of time. But, is it? Perhaps it is if you are focused on promoting Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms. Maybe creating a strategic plan for influencing specific social media targets and giving people (listeners) reasons by example to tune in, listen longer, engage in the lifestyle of your station and to become a cheerleader for your brand makes the “time wasted factor” become more of a “money made factor.” After all, higher ratings are money.
2. Is your social media making you money? The number one way that people are influenced to purchase products or try services is through recommendations from friends, family, and those they respect. It seems that your team should consider using influence in social media and your on-air personalities to create opportunities for advertisers, promotions, and more with a focus on staying true to your brand and your listeners. In other words, you should be experimenting with generating revenue in social media and then developing growth in social media.
3. Are you asleep while new competitors have your revenue in their sights, allowing them to have time to develop a serious attack? If you are staying away from digital opportunities because you are afraid that radio clients will flee to digital, you might be doing it wrong. You might just be allowing digital competitors to come online and grow when you could have a killer local digital footprint that helps generate new clients while keeping existing client money with your company. Radio is a natural fit for digital and radio gets its strength from being local. You can either stand by and let people take advantage of your clients, or you do it first and become bigger because you put in the effort.
4. How do you take advantage of these things before the opportunity passes by? It’s all about looking honestly at what your actual plan is and what you are doing. Instead of thinking of social media, digital, and other 21st century developments only as opportunities, develop a strategy that ties your social goals to both ratings and revenue goals.
It’s not too late for you to apply yourself to the idea that your revenue can go up in 2014 because of social media, because of digital. Picking your strategy to adjust as time moves along gives you more control of your own story. This includes the story of how your career and your business will develop over time. That’s valuable.
And with all the CUME you have today, it’s not late for social media and digital. It’s time.
*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.