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Success on Facebook is Not About "Likes"

(by Loyd Ford) Every day PD's and GM's brag about the number of fans they have on Facebook and how they want to increase this measurement.  However, that only underscores how much work radio has to do when shifting from radio to social media. Our industry is often confused about how to use social media to get real results. The truth is only a small percentage of fans on a Facebook page actually engage with the brands they Like.  Here are 3 reasons why you should never answer a question about the success of your social media with how many listeners Like your Facebook page.

1. Its true. High contesting listeners (contest pigs) will want that freebie or they may wish to participate in a station contest if the prize is compelling enough. However, thats not enough for all the listeners you want to attract in social media back to the radio station, and we shouldnt be thinking that low.  Nearly every content post you share should have some leading value for the listener to return to the actual broadcast brand.  Remember:  Facebook is a closed and often passive environment that can tend to be voyeuristic in nature (especially with brands).  People are not going to engage you simply because you are there.  So, there have to include a variety of interesting content that is important to the listeners you want to attract to your brand.  This content can include causes, pictures, video and more.  My two cents says you should also always lead them to your actual signal whenever possible.   We shouldnt be trying to make Facebook more successful after all.  Theyre doing just fine.

2. Brand growth requires reaching out to heavy users, but it also requires reaching medium and light users and converting some of those as well.  Only a small percentage of listeners who have Liked your station on Facebook will actually engage in social media.  These numbers go down if all you do is contest on Facebook.  Using cause content correctly and passion content can drive even passive voyeurs back to the station if you build the content correctly around interesting content listeners want to follow. 

3.Quality of engagement is much more important than the overall number of fans or Likes on Facebook.  How do you build true engagement?  Dont make it all about you.  Thats the trick.  You have to work on a strategy for social media that includes content by percentage that includes very important issues for your listeners and this content should often lead them back to the station.  This can be done with lifestyle content that fits your format and the listeners you want to attract.

Do you have an actual strategic plan for social media or is someone on your team just doing it?  Not many people in our business would agree that Jimmy coming in and playing his favorite songs on your station between 6 a.m. 10 a.m. and Suzie coming in and playing her favorites between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. is a good idea.  Yet, many radio stations allow this in social media environments like Facebook.  Often so little thought is put into the content pushed into social media by great broadcast brands that stations are simply allowing whatever happens to.happen.  In your heart, you know this is wrong. 

In business, you should move to fix it immediately. The opportunity is huge for your radio station to get real engagement and ratings from social media platforms like Facebook, but you have to put the effort into it.  You have to have a strategy.  If you dont have one, you are missing potentially the biggest largely free opportunity radio has had in decades to expand the connectivity that makes radio great.

Loyd Ford is the direct marketing, ratings and social media strategist for Americalist and programmed very successful radio brands in markets of all sizes for years, including KRMD AM & FM in Shreveport, WSSL and WMYI in Greenville, WKKT in Charlotte and WBEE in Rochester, NY. Learn more about Loyd here: Reach out to Loyd via e-mail HERE Visit his Facebook radio social media page HERE

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