Local Radio: What Up, Instagram?

Posted on February 13, 2014


Let’s go Instagram, team radio! We have the perfect business for visual fun with listeners. But what is your strategy? Do you have one? Perhaps we should take a look at an idea for radio fun with Instagram and you should spend some time putting your official strategy together before you “jump in with both feet.”

1. Develop your strategy. You have a fun business and a lot of fun moving parts. It’s local and a lot of people might be interested in a behind-the-scenes look at your daily business or live broadcasts. Perhaps you have opportunities to be visual at concerts or even backstage. Think of creative ways to show the fun of engaging your radio station. Maybe take photos of “winners” with prizes small to large (movie tickets to free money). Post them frequently on Instagram. Show what makes your brand special. Focus on people and interaction between your on-air and your listeners, between your marketing people and your advertisers. Develop engagement with those who follow you and don’t be afraid to reach out and give them a “reward” and make it public.

2. Make sure people know you’re on Instagram. This may be a “gimme,” but people may not know unless you include the link on your website, post it in other social media and have some fun with it on air.

3. Encourage use of Instagram with morning show content, sharing. Morning shows have a lot of content that would “share well” visually on Instagram. Encourage their use of Instagram to spike engagement regularly. Also, always encourage them to think of ways to use the visuals to lead listeners back to their show and the station regularly.

4. Use your hashtags. Hashtags have become important in social media, especially on Instagram and Twitter. Use the most relevant words that describe what your subject actually is and – of course – hashtag your market. Local, local, local. If it is a big public event, hashtag the event. Don’t overuse hashtags, but learn to effectively use them so you can “tune in” more people to your culture, your happenings, and your radio station. You can also use something like #tbt (throw back Thursday) to engage your morning show or other personalities with listeners in a way that seems (and is) personal.

5. Decide the type of content and how often you want to share. Then, assign it to different staff depending on usage, time of day, and variety of passions/interests among staff. Balance in content will keep you interesting without overdoing it. You don’t want to dominate the party, but it could be fun to be the one bringing interesting content focused on your listeners and your advertisers, too. Watch what listeners are attracted to and comment on and think of those types of content as “Instagram Hits.” More of that, less of what doesn’t get comments. Being nimble and change-oriented in your content can potentially make you stronger.

6. Thank followers. Engaging followers is what it is really all about. It’s cool to show off fun, but your real value comes from validating others, from communicating with others, from creating real connectivity opportunity with listeners (and advertisers), and bringing them back to your brand because you are having so much fun. Thank them. Be kind. Truly be interested in them, too.

7. Be consistent. People often start strong and then fade away. Once you work out your strategy (see Step 1), make sure you have a plan that can be followed and make sure you reward your team for consistency. Ensure they know that Instagram is important to you and that following the strategy to focus on the station is valuable. That will make a key difference in following a “program” that will bring results for your station in ratings and probably growth at a client level.

We have a fun business. If you haven’t seen all the numbers on visuals in social media, get to it. Do your reading. Visuals work. The right visual images bring engagement. The right engagement brings relationship and draws more listeners directly to your on-air brand.

There is no reason you can’t use Instagram to pump your social media activity, engagement, and growth, and bring more people into your sphere of influence.

Radio can be more visual and more locally engaging than anyone. Let’s see that from your station!

So, have fun with pictures and let’s make this thing rock on a local level!

Thank you.

Loyd Ford


*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.”

Go to http://www.Facebook.com/socialnetworking4radio and then click “LIKE” to begin receiving free social media/Facebook content on radio and social media. Go to the right-hand top of http://www.rainmakerpathway.wordpress.com to sign up to get this actual social media – radio content sent directly to your smart phone or email about once a week. Check out past content @ http://www.rainmakerpathway.com and take time to enjoy your life. It’s just radio. I love it, but a job will never love you back. Invest in people.

Loyd Ford is the Direct Marketing, Ratings & Social Media Strategist for Americalist Direct Marketing and works with local radio clusters to launch and grow significant local-direct reoccurring digital revenue with Rainmaker Pathway Consulting. How much local digital revenue are you getting? 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 and he works directly with clients to boost significant local-direct digital revenue for local clusters. 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.


Posted in: Radio