Believe it or not, most people fall prey to social media charms because social media can seem like instant validation. In reality, it is often a mirror and anyone who uses social media to connect with a specific audience should be careful to avoid seeking validation themselves and stay focused on bringing value for the audience they most want to attract for their purposes. To do this, you should make sure you are busy making your content vibrant, listener-validating, and interesting in your local market. How do you best do that?
1. Communicate with the audience you most want to attract in your local market. Make sure you listen to what your listeners tell you in social media. It’s easy to be “all about me,” but the trick in social media is to make sure your focus is like that of a servant. To really do that well, you must listen first.
2. Keep your posts short and visual. The world has changed and nowhere is this more apparent than in the Facebook and Twitter worlds. Great photos or video will help make your content rich if your focus is right, but to make things always interesting, you must focus on the quality of the listener benefits you deliver in your posts. Make sure you are focused on either making them feel or look smart for sharing, that you are sharing “funny,” or that you are sharing visuals that are important or specifically interesting to your audience.
3. Hold on there with all that promotion, partner. You should have your content strategy fully developed into percentage by “type of content” with the individuals who post on behalf of the station. This keeps you interesting and (in case you don’t know) all contesting all the time is….not interesting. In fact, that is often the path to unplugging any real listener engagement for your brand. What are you doing to engage local communities of all types that fall into the life group of your format and the attractiveness of your local radio brand? Are any of your personalities passionately engaged in local “causes” important to your listeners? How is your local celebrity content? (National is easy, right?)
4. Ask questions, work to engage your listeners based on what they are passionate about. Asking questions and encouraging “followers” to comment on your posts can energize your influence among others. This can be critical in exploding impact. The more back and forth contact you have with individual local passionate listeners, the more you will find your true influence with them grows; and transferring influence with their friends, family, and co-workers will also increase.
5. Make it easy for listeners. You think your stuff is easy? Is it truly easy for listeners to follow your blog? Can they easily connect with you via email? Facebook? How quickly can listeners connect with your social media from your website? If it isn’t so easy that people who have never seen a website can understand quickly how to connect EVERYWHERE with you, you….have…..issues…of…easy connectivity. Fix them if you want to grow more successful in social media and in real life.
6. Don’t overdo it and wear everyone else out. It’s about knowing how to be fun at the party without being the crazy pest. Some of this goes back to having a variety of content elements in your strategy. However, you shouldn’t post just to post. That’s like making small talk that no one is interested in. B-o-r-i-n-g. Give thought to what kind of content you focus your attention on in the case of any individual social media platform (always thinking about the listeners you most want to attract – not everyone). Don’t post things that have little or no value.
At the end of the day, whatever you do in social media will only matter to your brand if you increase either benefit to the community, audience connectivity, ratings, or revenue. It is about your brand. It all starts with listening and focusing your attention with a strategy to accomplish specific results for your brand.
You can do a lot in social media to benefit your local media brand. Most of the large broadcast companies are avoiding local. They are often using tricks to try to fool advertisers into the value of their national footprint. Meanwhile this actually gives you significant opportunity to be hyper-local and very focused on local listeners to gain specific benefits for your brand by helping them. Do that and you will be pleased…but it all begins with the right strategy. Do you have one? Start with the six points above and brainstorm what is possible for your brand in your market. I promise that doing these things and developing your social media strategy to help your brand by helping the listeners you most want to attract will make you a lot less boring…and more effective.
*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.