Social media should be a vital component to your strategy to engage, retain and grow your fan base. One study just released (by Arbitron) shows most radio stations and hosts are still broadcasting (simply pushing information) on social media instead of engaging.
Engagement comes in many forms and it’s crucial if you are going to engage in social media that you create a 24/7 experience. This means replying to tweets/comments online and on air, retweeting posts, following listeners, asking questions, providing information, expressing opinions and observations, posting pictures, videos, and owning big events or moments.
If done correctly, not only will the listeners feel like they’re a part of your show and/or your station (and not just witness to it), but you’ll have a staff of tens-of-thousands helping you prep and advance your show or giving you leads for stories.
And the key is doing this without taking our focus off of creating great content for radio. For talk shows, hosts and producers will need work together and assign specific duties to make sure you serve your fans the best you can. Read through jobs-to-be-done below and work together to identify what each member of the show unit can do to contribute to the effort.
These are social media insights from talent who are having success with it; 97.3 KIRO FM’s morning news anchor Linda Thomas (@thenewschick), 710 ESPN Seattle producer Jessamyn McIntyre (@JessamynESPN), Syndicated host Dave Ramsey (@RamseyShow and @DaveRamsey), CBS Dallas Sports radio morning guy Shan Shariff (@newschoolSS), and regionally syndicated hosts Armstrong & Getty (@AandGshow) among others..
Here are some of the Jobs-to-be-done for successful social media
Make the show a 24/7 experience; don’t just tweet or Facebook while on the air. The most successful engagers are tweeting opinions, insights, observations and pictures during the time they are off the air. This is how you can get fans to think about your show when you aren’t on the air. And create a community of fans who can turn to you for reaction at any given moment and not have to wait for your show to start.
Showcase your personality. Sending links to stories is not enough. It’s your personality and how you observe the world that resonates with YOUR fans. Engage. Have a conversation.
Be substantive. Don’t just make this a promo machine, telling people to listen to the radio at a certain time for some reason. If you promote something to get radio listeners, follow-up with a link to the discussion for those who missed it. The rule of thumb is four pieces of content for one piece of promotion.
Think of it as content. Use twitter and Facebook to find REMARKABLE comments on things you are talking about on air. Reading a BAD tweet is just as bad as a BAD phone call.
Reply to follower’s messages. Not all messages, but messages that add to the conversation.
Retweet. GREAT messages that ADD to the conversation should be retweeted, so the community can see how others are engaging with you.
FOLLOW all followers. This is how you grow your community.
Own big moments; provide an ongoing commentary of big events/moments. Assume your followers are witnessing what you’re seeing, so it doesn’t become straight play-by-play. Notice what YOU notice.
Give Access. Tweet or Facebook behind the scenes access; observations, pictures, videos.
Share Audio. Tweet and/or post podcasts and short sound clips each day that showcase your show, your personality or the station.
If you have successful best practices you’d like to share please post a comment or send me a note.
It’s evident that CUME is the name of the game in the PPM world. Sure you can talk about occasions and ATE, but in the end the only way to truly protect your station from the ebbs and flows of the imperfect Arbitron measuring tool is to have so many listeners that it doesn’t matter if a P1 with a meter goes on vacation. The dilemma is how do you build CUME without marketing dollars? It’s a question that came up recently over lunch with a friend.
1. Be consistent and compelling. It all comes down to what comes out of the speakers. Consistent refers to the quality of the content, not the actual content. Listeners want to invest time into a station that always delivers “the goods.” It’s not about being predictable (see also; boring), it’s about being reliably entertaining and informative. In order to be compelling, you have to create something. It’s no longer acceptable to simply identify and debate the top stories. You must tell stories, make emotional connections, tell the listener something they didn’t know before, put it into context and make it relevant. You should strive to get the listener to say to themselves, “I never thought about it that way before.” If you are able to be consistent and compelling, your listeners will be your marketing campaign. They will tell friends, colleagues and social media networks about what they heard on your show and station, driving new CUME directly to you with a personal endorsement from someone they already trust.
2. Be the station for SOMETHING. Whether it’s traffic on the 5′s, the most accurate weather, breaking news coverage, election coverage, a team’s information station, finanical news, war coverage or other, pick a position and own it. If you don’t have one already look around the market and figure out who / what is being underserved. When you brand your show or station as THEE source for “x” you must tell people what you’re going to do (make a promise), do it (keep the promise), and remind them that you did it (proof of performance). Over time, this will drive CUME to your station, because everyone in the market will eventually know if “x” happens, you go “here.”
3. Social Media. Yes, we all know we need to do social media, but many shows/stations aren’t doing it right. Twitter and facebook are not meant to only tease your show. This is a chance to interact with fans. There are a couple important things to remember; update often and reply to responses. When you respond to a listener’s comment you make a connection. That person will tell his/her friends that you responded and maybe share your response with their social network. That’s the key. You need to find ways to tap into listener’s social networks. Some hosts are now inviting core listeners with large social networks into the studio for a day to blog, twitter, and facebook about what they see, here and experience while at the station. You can also use social media for contesting especially with location based programs like foursquare and give prizes to the first 10 people to check-in at a location.
4. Event Programming. Capitalizing on a major events or stories that your station can own; The Japan Earthquake/Tsunami, The Super Bowl, The Election, etc. Event programming needs to be heavily branded and reinforced during and after. It may include going commercial free or if you can plan far enough in advance attaching a sponsor to it.
5. Station Events. The model for this is WIPs “Wing Bowl.” But, don’t be intimidated. You don’t need 20,000 people to attend your station event to be successful. The key is to provide a unique experience, that listeners determine to be remarkable (ie. Worth talking about.) Stations need to think big and bold and create an experience or provide access that listeners otherwise couldn’t get on their own. It could be a limited-access, high-end tailgate party or an invitation-only leadership seminar featuring big names from the lecture-circuit for selected clients and listeners. Think big. For example, a 10×10 tent at a local car dealership doesn’t count.
Doing one of these things won’t be enough to drive the amount of CUME you need to maintain through a calendar year to be PPM-proof. Find ways to address all of these and if you can secure marketing dollars great, but be strategic and have something to say.
Sure, the headline is extreme, but that seemed to be the core message at TMC/TSBC from just about anybody who knows anything about new and social media. In addition to the warning shots, some offered actionable advice.
Growing Your Social Network
Derrick Ashong of Oprah Radio wowed those in attendance as a talk talent for the next generation. He invites some of his loyal listeners, who have lots of friends on twitter and facebook, to sit in the studio during each show and chat about what they see and hear. This gets the message of Derrick.s show to new and different fans from those who are already listeners or following his show’s twitter, facebook, ustream, and skype feeds. It gives the listeners some ownership of the show. As different topics bubble up on the social media sites, it gives Derrick new and different angles to address on-air while promoting the different twitter or facebook conversations.
Check out The Derrick Ashong Experience. Derrick is the voice of a new generation, a voice for all people. See the video here.
Another Actionable Idea
Is Anyone Making Money?
Bill Figenshu, President and CEO of FigMedia1, told attendees to lower expectations of how much money you.re going to make, “Making money on the internet is like teenage sex – everybody is talking about it, not everybody is doing it.”
McVay Media suggests you project new media revenue as 3-5% of total station revenue in the first year and 5-8% in the second year. Click here: McVay Media offers 10 ways to make money with digital Media
Weclome to the blog. Larry Gifford is a radio management consultant and talent coach. He is available for ongoing or project based consulting for U.S. and International radio groups, stations, and talent
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