Social Media School For Radio
Every single person in the broadcast business should be going to social media school. Social media is more than a few buzz words. It is a way for radio to expand its engagement with listeners in their chosen social media platforms, lead them back to our brands for usage, and stay strongly connected to the communities inside our own local communities that matter for ratings and revenue expansion.
After all, our goal should be to use social media to improve our relationship with listeners and to grow our brands – our goal is not to grow Facebook or other social media sites. Here are five important lessons in building true social media engagement that matters to your brand.
1. Stop whatever you are doing on Facebook, YouTube, and the other social media platforms. Actually develop a specific plan so that you know every day, week, and month what percentage of each type of content you will be posting on the various social media platforms, including photos and video. Yes, you should be posting photos and video. You should do this exercise with your team so that you can flesh out what is exciting and engaging about your personalities, activities, and brand that will attract the type of listener you most want to attract. If you don't have a strategic plan that makes you confident that you are posting specific content by percentage, you don't have an actual plan.
2. Commit to being consistent in sticking to your content goals by percentage. If you have a plan but don't stick to it, you might as well not have a plan. Being consistent is critical. Once your team has a plan, execute that plan – by percentage – piece by piece and day by day. However, have a long-term commitment to truly engage listeners for the long term. Even radio stations that largely have a plan for social media don't remain consistent. Only consistency will give you true results and separate you from your competitors, because you are truly connected.
3. Use the sexy "backstage" factors of our business to attract listeners directly to your dot com, (that your company owns – not Facebook or a social media site that someone else owns), on-air personalities, and brand. No matter what you think you know about our business with your years of experience, average listeners think we have lives that intermingle with stars of our format(s) and cool events that happen in and out of our market. If you are not thinking about these types of "assets" in your social media, your social media is likely failing to attract and engage the listeners who will drive your ratings.
4. People connect to people. It is much more difficult to get them to connect to things. One of the most frustrating things we see today is that people have been pushed to the backseat of the broadcasting bus over technology. Well, social media is an area where smart broadcast companies and shows are putting their personalities up front to boost connectivity and claim real-world results that drive new ratings and new revenue possibilities (see what ABC is doing on their morning TV show against "The Today Show"). Think about protecting your primary business today by putting your people – and the right people – up front to drive connectivity to your local community and the most active listeners you want to attract and engage. This can be done best with your personalities.
5. The old days are gone. Today on-air pros should learn all they can about social media, connectivity, and visuals that engage listeners and lead them to your product. You can be excellent on the air and excellent in attracting people by lifestyle and usage to your on-air brands. If listeners like or comment on your Facebook page, you better say something back to them and send them an email on Facebook. Engage them. You can do this. In fact, today you must be thinking about listeners and you should also have your revenue generation cap on because connectivity is money and all broadcasters need as much revenue as they can get their hands on. Connectivity is money. Social media done right allows you to give your employers an expanding opportunity for more revenue. That makes you more valuable than ever.
It's always been the prepared and consistently hard working against the people who "phone it in." It is easy to "phone in" social media activity. It just won't work. And the consistently hard-working people with a strong strategy usually win again and again. They make it look easy, but it is truly having a plan and remaining consistent. It is using the "entertainment assets" you have to attract the listeners you most care about and pushing them to your content, your personalities, and your brand. In the end, you want to build relationships with your most active and important listeners so that they become engaged with you. After all, what is a world where your most active listeners care about your brand because of what they get from you, how connected you are with them, and how they use your product? It's good. That's what it is.