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Boost Station (Brand) Advocate Cheerleading

3-6-2013

While broadcasters constantly try to find ways to boost listeners who have a diary or a meter (how to game the system), seeking to please highly passionate listeners and those who are engaged and active on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter could have an even more significant impact (because they could influence diary holders and meter carriers). These passionate advocates could become your secret weapon (and you should be thinking about how to engage them regularly).

Suppose you were to turn your station advocates into powerful brand advocates that crank up quality influence on social media with friends, co-workers, other fans of your format, and their own family? That should be a goal, right?

1.    Go to your own database. Do you have a relationship with them? When you are engaging them, ask this question: On a scale of 1 10, how likely are you to recommend us to your friends, family and co-workers? Those that answer with a 9 or 10 should be considered strong candidates to encourage higher inside participation where you can reward them for cheerleading. Of course, you should be asking these questions in a variety of environments, including Facebook, Twitter, your station website, and more. Consider that the big corporations that are forward-leaning do this kind of work all the time. If you dont know anything about your database and you dont have a relationship with these people, you really dont have a database. At all.

2.    When you find listeners in social media who are cheerleading, its time to find out all about them and encourage them even more. Find out their info: Their email, where they work, how much they listen to your station (and who they listen to when they dont listen to you). Work to connect with them and give them a thank you without making it a contest. Dont even make it a reward for what they did. Just make it a simple thank you. This can make a solid impression and accelerate their passion for your brand.

3.    When listeners make comments on Facebook or Twitter, you dont have to wait for them to be a compliment about your brand (or even about your brand) to get in it with them. On Facebook, you should look for opportunities to Like their comments, follow them back to their Facebook page and comment on some of their other posts. If you truly engage them in conversation, send them a friend request. Validate them and you may increase their attention to your brand and the cheerleading they will do for you without you asking.

4.    Avoid making tricks the essential part of your social media strategy. If you get listeners to click on content but it does not deliver on the promise of providing something they seek, find interesting, or something that makes them feel smart to share with others, then it is only a shallow click. Shallow clicks look good, but they are not true engagement and they wont encourage sharing or any advocacy of your brand. What youve heard is true: If it is too good to believe, it probably is. Have 40,000 likes but no passionate engagement of these people? You dont have much. Work to engage their passion and really connect with them with content and on issues important to them. That is much more valuable than shallow clicks that ultimately lead nowhere.

5.    Always develop your plan first. If you dont have a strategic plan for the high-quality content you will use on social media platforms (and what you want to accomplish to attract and energize the base of your advocates), you are making a mistake. Are you focusing your content on the listeners you most want to attract to your primary brand? This is why the plan comes first. What kind of content is important to these listeners? How much of each type of content creates the right mix to build your advocate community? How many pictures should you be using? Videos? What kind of content do you plan to encourage advocates to share?

When it comes to encouraging high-passion listeners to do more cheerleading, the impact can be dramatic. However, its not a trick. This is rolling your sleeves up and developing a plan that benefits the radio station by focusing on the listeners you most want to attract and giving them content that feeds their passion for sharing, identifying with and endorsing your product. Do that and you will win again and again and your competitors will wonder why they keep falling so far behind. But youll know.

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. Get his radio social media blog FREE right on your cell phone or email here:  www.rainmakerpathway.wordpress.com. Learn more about Loyd here:  http://about.me/loydford. Reach out to Loyd via e-mail HERE  Visit his Facebook radio social media page HERE




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