Ever had your mother or someone like her say, “Get real!” We live in a fast-paced world where most companies are trying to figure out how to deliver something that looks like and feels like good old fashion whatever their product or service is…but with less cost. The end result is often an experience that doesn’t feel real because it often isn’t. When you dip over into social media for real brands and people, things often get even less real. But being real matters more than ever and communicating the realities about how much you care for your local listeners is more valuable than ever. That means communicating those values on-air and in social media along with appearances and even advertising or marketing about your brand.
As we approach 2015, now is a great time to think about what does create that feeling of realness. #1 on my list is authenticity. But how do you create that feeling in your social media? Isn’t social media fake? Not necessarily. In fact, as we take a look at the social media space you occupy, let’s focus in on authenticity and being real. How can you make sure you are communicating those values to your audience in social media like you do on-air.
1. Put yourself “out there” by putting personal stories out there about you, your personalities and what makes you vulnerable (within reason). Don’t simply post national stories that can appear anywhere. When you do post national stories, give them an authentic local twist that makes your station and your audience a part of the story.
2. Engage your audience in responding directly to your social media content. Make it as much about them (or more) than it is about you and your reaction to what may be “happening” out there in the world.
3. When you don’t know the answer to something, put it out there for listeners to answer. People love to see that you don’t have all the answers and they love to be helpful. This makes you very real and acceptable.
4. Talk about real world things that impact you and impact your listeners and make your social media conversations about real issues that are important to them (not just contesting and gossip).
5. Let it all hang out. Sometimes you can show a “behind the scenes” without makeup or an event “set up” so people can see the work that goes into doing radio. You will be surprised how far that can go to making you seem more approachable and engaged in real world things.
6. Admit to making mistakes. Show that you are just like listeners. If you do it right, you will draw more people to you because they will see you as very real and “more like them.”
All of this is about humanizing your personalities and your work. The more human and approachable you seem, the more you will find people identifying with you. The pressure to be perfect is more present than you might think. Identifying yourself as someone who tries hard, is sometimes wrong, makes choices based on trying to serve others and believes in helping listeners on a very authentic level will create more attraction to you. That’s worth the work.
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.