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Mike Stiles

Attention GM's: Post or Get off the Pot

June 30, 2011

by Mike Stiles.

You know your listeners listen to your station. You know your listeners are passionate about your station. And you know if you tell your listeners to "Like" you on Facebook they will. Everyone is migrating to digital for one reason or another. Despite recent stories about how people are deleting their Facebook accounts, there are still hundreds of millions of users, including many of your listeners. So, why is your General Manager refusing to pay attention to that free product. Blogger Mike Stiles asks and answers that question in his latest piece.

You: We should invest more time and resources into our social networks.
GM: (Frown lines deepening) Money down the toilet.  What the hell good does it do me
         to have a listener Like me on Facebook?
You: Butisnt getting listeners to like us the root of our job as entertainers?
GM: (Takes out blood pressure cuff and starts looking up entertainer in the dictionary)

Your GM is a lucky duck.  He doesnt have to worry about what most brands worry about when it comes to social marketing, which is how to convert all those Fans into buyers.  Radio is free.  So our industry still really only has to concern itself with the marketing and brand awareness aspects of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  Thats a real luxury.

Which is why its even more interesting (terrifying) many market managers still dont see the importance of social to their stations.  Try explaining it to them this way: TSL is time spent listening to your station.  Social is TSWYBOTM, Time Spent With Your Brand On Their Mind. 

Is that worth anything?  I seem to remember having it pounded into me by consultants when I was doing mornings that we were fighting for top-of-mind awareness.  If we could achieve that with only 4 hours a day, theyd remember us, and thatd be awesome.

So if top-of-mind was worth something then, how is a 24/7 Facebook page loaded with ever-changing usable info and interactive content Fans can access at their leisure not worth doing and doing well?  Yeah, most stations have a Facebook page, but far too many are non-strategized half-efforts or well get to it if we can volunteer affairs.  Let me guessyou think your jocks personal streams are good enough, and you dont need to post as the station brand.  Yikes.

Will social networks get your Fans to listen to the station and affect your PPM?  Did your TV spots or your billboards?  Thanks to concrete analytics, social networks win any marketing comparison contest.  Im sure you didnt put your billboards up in the most deserted part of town you could find.  You put them where the people were.  Wellthe people are on Facebook and Twitter.  And instead of whizzing by in a flash, theyll stick around and engage your brand, provided you keep something interesting there. 

Aside from listeners, are you using social to engage your advertisers, suppliers, employees, sister stations, and promo partners?  If theyre all doing business and building relationships on social networks and youre not actively there, your brand is losing its presence.  Just as on the air, you want to be top-of-mind on Facebook and Twitter.  You cant do that if youre still stalling or trying to keep them at arms length.

Mike Stiles @mikestiles is a writer/producer with the social marketing tech platform, Vitrue, and head of Sketchworks comedy theatre. Check out his monologue blog, The Stiles Files.

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