How Radio Can Better Embrace Social Media
Social Media can be exciting or scary. It can be seen as an opportunity or burden. Admittedly, some broadcast companies are embracing it with open arms, building communities and making money. Others resist it as a personal affront reminiscent of the Mom Gifford rant of 1979 in objection to the microwave oven. She’s since gotten over it, but many radio companies are still fighting the need for social media.
Enter Nate Riggs.
“Don’t try to do everything all at once. Pick one thing that you’re going to do 110% and get really good at. If it’s a Facebook page invest your time and energy in building a community around that Facebook page and engaging in that community. I think it’s a perfect complement to radio, because radio is traditionally a push medium; we listen to radio.”
Nate is a business communications specialist, a marketer and social media content engineer based in Columbus, OH. In a podcast interview with Larry Gifford Media, he says that the most important thing a radio station can do is to assign a real live body to their social media efforts.
“General rule of thumb: don’t get too hung-up on the shiny bells and whistles and the technology it’s more about really coming up with the content and putting humans on-air or on-line that are going to make that content work with the audience. If you think about it, that’s not too far off from what successful radio shows already do.”
Nate recently wrote a blog piece offering free advice to the Morning Zoo at WNCI-FM in Columbus. He tells LGM that there a ton of opportunities for radio stations in the social media space.
“Most radio stations will have remotes or go out and have events at night clubs, restaurant, or concerts and I think there’s a huge opportunity to even have things like location-based check-ins with services like foursquare or even Facebook places especially for contesting.”
In keeping in line with that personal connection to the fan, Nate suggests each personality have his or her own account instead of the radio station in general or a show. People want to interact with people not things. It also allows you to really focus your messaging to the people who want to receive it from that show or personality.
The big question is how do you convince your web master that it’s okay to be promoting Facebook pages and twitter accounts over pushing fans through the station website? Nate thinks it might time to change that paradigm.
“Is it more about engaging the audience and really keeping them and having them as part of the conversation or is about spiking website traffic? The ads that are on the radio station website aren’t really getting seen by that many people. There is some click-through and there are some impressions being delivered, but internet ads on those particular websites have become very much like TV; a big portion of the audience glazes over and doesn’t even see them. “
So, as you and your station begins to tackle the social media landscape, what’s most important? Here are Nate’s Top Three Things…
1. Go get the education. Go to the conferences like Social Fresh, south by southwest, blog world and dozens of other events bringing these experts to the table. It will help you get your head around how to use it.
2. Use it as a personal user. How can you ever take a technology and apply it to your business if you haven’t taken the time to understand it for yourself? Go out and connect with old classmates on Facebook or get on twitter and start to follow people, start a blog, and do something that will allow you to have the experience in this space to start to get your head around how to apply it to your business
3. Leverage radio. Radio is a passive medium; we use it when we drive, when we are doing other things, when we are sitting at the computer. There is a huge advantage there. You might have someone sitting at a computer and if you can drop a message on the air they have an opportunity right then and there to take an action and get on line. Don’t ignore that opportunity. That’s going to a big thing that is going to help radio convert listeners to the online space.
Looking ahead Nate says to keep your eyes open for the rise of group texting sites like “groupme”
Nate Riggs is a business communications specialist, a marketer and social media content engineer based in Columbus, OH. He started Nate Riggs Social Business Strategies at www.nateriggs.com and @nateriggs on twitter.
Listen to the podcast here: Nate Riggs – Social Media Podcast
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