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Why Social Media Is NOT Radio’s Magic Bullet and Four Other Revelations

Five Radio RevelationsOkay gang, every day someone in radio asks me what’s new? what’s next? or how can we be better? There are millions of theories, philosophies, and tips for success. These are five things that I keep going back to. They aren’t the only things. They aren’t necessarily the most important things. They’re five things you can do today to improve you, your show, your station.

 

1. Be Consistent. Everyone on your show / station should have a defined role that the listener can depend on. And your show should be dependable…for whatever the audience can depend on it for; news, big opinions, laughter, stupid jokes, three songs an hour, passionate rants, or whatever. Deliver it without fail.

2. Get Personal. If you’re trying to be neutral or unbiased, you’re lying to yourself and the audience. Every word, detail, and piece of audio you decide to use or omit is a choice based on your bias. Stop trying so hard and use your reactions to stories and events (or music) to create and drive your content (yes, even if you’re a news anchor or reporter.) Have a point of view. Even Paul Harvey delivered “News and Comment.” Why can’t you?

3. Embrace Emotion. Don’t drain the emotions from your content…use them; laughter, tears, fear, rage, embarrassment, etc. Emotional moments create the stories and memories in life that people remember and share. No one ever asks what was the most neutrally satisfying moment of your life. Stop striving to create it.

4. Stop reading and start sharing stories. Every day I hear radio hosts reading AP wire copy, newspaper or internet stories. This is lazy and boring and often leads to stumbling, because they’re written for the eyes not the ears. Take the time to read it off the air and tell me the story or relate the story to me the way you would if we were friends.

5. Snap Out of It! “Social Media” is NOT a Magic Bullet.

Yes, find a way to connect and have conversations with listeners through facebook, twitter, text, email, your website, and other platforms.  Don’t just use them as promotional platforms. Like radio, content is king, and users will “unlike” you faster than you can blink.

Here’s the kicker. It is time to stop talking about “social media” as a comprehensive solution to radio’s mid-life crisis. The difference between users and applications of Facebook, TwitterLinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Four Square is vast. Offering “social media” as a solution is like offering “transportation” as a solution for going from LA to NY, instead of car, train, boat or plane. Be specific with your strategic vision. Pick a lane and drive it.

  1. April 25, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Someone once told me that people love lists….. I love this one. Good stuff. thanks for posting.

  2. October 16, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Social media isn’t any business’s magic bullet and your points about it are absolutely right on. And love what you said about opinion and emotion. Makes sense for really connecting with listeners. I’ve been looking for validation on these and will work harder at weaving them into my show.

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