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How To Get Management Thinking Social

4-30-2013

The people in our business radio want to build a big following on platforms like Facebook and Twitter and they want to be a popular choice for their content and for engaging listeners, but I do hear from radio all the time about how difficult it is to get management or ownership or others to push past simply having a Facebook page and being on Twitter. These great employees are hungry for motivating the rest of their team, management, or ownership to truly embrace social media for the value of the radio stations. They ask me, How do I get them motivated to take social media seriously? 

Well it's a matter of overcoming the natural resistance to change. One of my favorite quotes explains why people dont like change:

Faced with the choice between changing ones mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof. John Kenneth Galbraith

So, here are some steps you can take to truly engage your team on the valuable ground of social media and what it can do for your local radio station.

1. Recognize that most adults especially in management roles are 20th century people. Most of what they accept as truth is stuff they learned before 2001. So, if you want to engage them and get them to see social media value, you must draw the similarity lines between the social activity things that they HAVE done for years and years remotes, station appearances, hosting events in the local market, interaction with listeners at concerts and the new environments of social media dominating American attention in 2013. If you took out the name Facebook and replaced it with that new arena that is opening in September downtown, the old guys would not miss an opportunity to be a part of it. They would have ideas out the butt. So, you have to show them the local participation numbers on the different social media sites and compare it to what they consider real world things they would not miss. Make it obvious by relating to their principles of understanding.

2. Youve heard everyone say content is king. Thats a lie. Money is king. Focus on the money. Nothing gets attention like money. If you are in a radio station today and you take a paycheck from the company, you are there to make life easier for the managers and owners. Otherwise, they would get rid of you. That is a better description of our real jobs in 2013 than any job title you may have today. These radio stations are revenue-generating businesses. Debt, economy, and other factors have as you know made everyone focus more on profit. That means that part of your job is to help managers make profit AND make their lives easier. So, think about everything you want to do in social media, what you think your station or stations should be doing, think about the radio business, and work hard to apply revenue generating principles to what you want them to sign off on so you bring forth social media ideas that bring value (money) to the table. The more times you do this, the more social media oriented your company will become I assure you.

3. As you develop engagement, dont leave out the sales department. In no radio cluster in America should there be a zero activity social media lane for the sales team. Business owners are social and need help too. Please see number 2 above. If you are in sales, you are there to make their job easier (the client is the boss). Shouldnt your team have an overall social media strategy that goes with your sales effort to get every dollar out of the local market? Of course you should. Do you? If not, get busy writing the plan and then execute with passion. Here is a hint: You should be offering help to these local business owners. They have real problems related to your expertise. Dont just pitch advertising buys. Show them you care about them and validate them. If you need more than that, I am afraid you should talk to someone who can help you develop a social media strategy for your sales team.

4. Dont make social media confusing or complicated. Show the benefits by showing that there should be an actual strategic plan. How do you do that? You showcase what is currently being done, show how you would do it differently, and how your strategy has real-world benefits that lead to higher engagement, listening loyalty, and revenue. Show details. Include money-making ideas as a regular part of the local social media strategy (see number 2 above) and volunteer to head the project/strategy and show results. This will be as they say a feather in your cap when you add revenue and improve connectivity, engagement and participation with your local brands.

The world is changing. How in the world can anyone in the radio business sit back and say that the disruptions we have seen in a wide variety of businesses such as records, auto, retail, and newspapers wont impact the revenue-based world of radio. It will. It is. That is the number one reason to become aggressive in building local value for your clients in all areas, including social media platforms and your own digital products.

Loyd Ford is the direct marketing, ratings and social media strategist for Americalist and has programmed very successful radio brands in markets of all sizes, including KRMD AM & FM in Shreveport, WSSL and WMYI in Greenville, WKKT in Charlotte and WBEE in Rochester, NY. Learn more about Loyd here:  http://about.me/loydford. Get his radio-social media content sent directly to your smart phone or email for free here:  www.rainmakerpathway.wordpress.com. Reach out to Loyd via e-mail HERE.  Visit his Facebook radio social media page HERE




(5/30/2013 8:13:48 AM)
Thank you, Jay.

Sometimes the best way to attack a problem is to focus on the biggest motivating factors for power and responsibility. Managers today are working harder than ever at profit, profit, profit. All of us are responsible for that profit. Showing that social and digital can be big contributors to that profit will move radio in general closer to these assets and opportunities.

Thanks again.

- Loyd Ford
(5/30/2013 7:18:34 AM)
This is good stuff and will work if applied.

- Jay Clark

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