Which Social Media Sites Make Sense For Radio?
A potential client told me that his biggest social media goal was "to be on all possible social media sites." Unfortunately, there are dozens of them, and if you don't have a good reason for being on any given site, it probably won't help you at all. So, what makes sense for radio?
Obviously, Facebook is the 800-pound social media gorilla. It makes sense for almost all radio brands to be on Facebook. What do you do when you get there? Give your heaviest listeners specific, insider info you might not say on the air to get them to listen more often and visit your website. You can also post content that fits what you think makes your brand unique and have mass appeal. Lots of brands focus too much on how many "Likes" they get. The hidden power in Facebook for all brands is an ability to move your biggest fans to take more action.
Twitter is the second-most used social network. It's great for getting attention, and terrible for producing results (like getting people to listen or follow a link). Twitter is a great bulletin service, which makes it useful for information-heavy news/talk and sports talk stations. It can also be a valuable one-to-one customer service channel.
Pinterest, the hottest social media story so far this year, is different … because it's a very visually oriented site that's been building a passionate fan base with a lot of adult women. There are some brands that have had a lot of success growing their business on Pinterest, but it's not easy. Pinterest is really about creating a visual experience for your fans with the graphic content that you curate or share. As a radio brand, if you can't do Pinterest really well, don't do it at all.
Google+ sure debuted last year with a ton of fanfare, but has turned into the radio station that everyone listens to once and then forgets about. Every now and then, I'll see a piece in the Web trade press about why Google+ is superior to Facebook, and mostly it has to do with the quality of the technical experience Google has designed. Unfortunately for Google, people are using social media to communicate with friends, not for the technical experience. For radio brands, Google+ has some cool applications, but the entire site is a waste of time because so few people make any repeat visits there.
LinkedIn has created a niche as a professional social networking site, and some folks have built their personal business or found a new job there. I tried to figure out a way for it to make sense for stations that got a lot of listening from workplace environments, but they have a bit of the Google+ problem. Lots of people visit, just not all that often, and they're not thinking about radio.
My Space, which has turned into the punchline of jokes, actually makes sense if you're a band or a musician. If not, forget it.
Tumblr, like Pinterest, is a very graphics-heavy social media site. Tumblr tends to skew very young, and it also moves very fast. While a Facebook post might get seen for a couple of hours after it gets posted, Tumblr posts can be too far down the page after just several minutes, if you follow a lot of active posters. Personally, I would stay away from Tumblr for your radio brand.
YouTube is often considered a social network, but it makes more sense as a place to store any videos that you may create. YouTube videos just work so well and are so easy to embed on your website or on you Facebook Timeline. It's great to have really good quality videos to share with your fans, but I wouldn't send them to YouTube. I'd store those videos at YouTube and then just link to them while you send people to your website and your Facebook page. If you need a place to store photos, I recommend Flickr.
Chris Miller has been a major-market PD in Atlanta, Portland and Cleveland. He now operates Chris Miller Digital, which he launched. Visit his website at www.chrismillerdigital.com.
Contact Chris via e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-236-3955.