Everyone in radio tries to go from point A to point B as quickly as possible. After all, there seems to be more and more work — but less and less people in the business because of the shifting business model and budget restraints. Limited time and budget are two of the reasons that you see so much fast-to-post pure contesting and promotion on Facebook and Twitter from radio.
But that shouldn’t be your only focus on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, right? This exercise is even more important for you if you struggle with the value of social media vs. pure traditional advertising. Suppose you wanted to engage a wide variety of like-listeners over an event and/or cause in your market to UP your profile or image. You don’t have budget, but you do have social media. What if there were three easy steps for you to double your influence every time you used the steps?
Here are three steps to consider in doubling your influence per individual:
1. What if you reshaped your social media activity around your event and/or cause as only advice-seeking about the event or cause, relating it directly to your brand? Selecting specific potential listeners on a social media platform to do this with is like reaching out and giving those individuals a huge compliment, but you want it to come off as sincere to have the opportunity to really gain real traction. Do this by simply watching local activity on the social media platform where you want influence (everything is only six degrees, right?). Isolate people who seem to have high passion and seem to have content influence in areas that reflect potential activists. Also identify those that have high potential as members in the “life group” of the audience you most want to attract and influence. Pick your moment and privately reach out to them. Select your question to reflect as a compliment to them, but make sure you frame it as only advice. You know: “I see you are active with XXX cause (or You have an interest in an area that touches XXX). At (station brand) we have been asked to help highlight this issue and (station) is about to put our weight behind XXX in (market). Could you think about the best ways we can have the most impact in (market) for this cause and get share some of those ideas with me directly?” Make certain to identify your role so they see your credibility. This also makes them feel important.
2. Once they respond, ask if you can make them a part of a “think tank” if appropriate on the social media network where you are having this contact. If they say yes, ask them if they can soldier “seeking comments about what can be done and what is missing from the (station) plan?” If they agree, send a link to their public profile so others can see it and ask them to comment on it. This gets the ball rolling.
3. Then engage that link on their profile when they and others comment. Compliment them to their friends who comment on their public profile by going to THEIR profile and doing so. This gets back to your “original influencer” in an unexpectedly and hopefully public way on, say, Facebook. Be careful to stay local and keep the focus on the advice of the original influencer.
Always monitor these activities to make sure you are engaged, even when they may be doing most of the influencing. Once you have done these three things and see that they have engaged your link, you can actually build on the value of that connection and create an actual influence soldier who will more identify with your cause, then your brand, and then help your brand. That can be encouraged to a variety of levels and potentially other subjects, causes, and even radio station-specific matters important to the station brand in the market.
When thinking about social media, you want to do the basics of being visual, introducing topics (content) that gain attention, and “talk,” but you also want to find creative ways to locate and engage influencers who will self-generate or double your impact (or maybe more). Once you experiment with this and become good at it, you are likely to find that your social media is less work…but more productive. You’ll also find there is true value in using social media for local radio to make your efforts more productive without doing 100 work of the work all by yourself. In fact, you may find others take on more as you have to do even less.
In the end, experimenting with finding and adding actionable true value in your social media will help your company reach your traditional goals and find new ways to add value that turns into both ratings and revenue for your company. That’s worth taking three steps to increase influence any day.
*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.