Current Issue:

Current Issue

On The Cover:
Cumulus Chairman Jeff Marcus

Click here to subscribe to Radio Ink.

Radio Ink Writers

Loyd Ford

Boosting Local Radio With Instagram


Lets go Instagram, team radio! We have the perfect business for visual fun with listeners. But what is your strategy? Do you have one? Perhaps we should take a look at an idea for radio fun with Instagram and you should spend some time putting your official strategy together before you jump in with both feet.

1. Develop your strategy. You have a fun business and a lot of fun moving parts. Its local and a lot of people might be interested in a behind-the-scenes look at your daily business or live broadcasts. Perhaps you have opportunities to be visual at concerts or even backstage. Think of creative ways to show the fun of engaging your radio station. Maybe take photos of winners with prizes small to large (movie tickets to free money). Post them frequently on Instagram. Show what makes your brand special. Focus on people and interaction between your on-air and your listeners, between your marketing people and your advertisers. Develop engagement with those who follow you and dont be afraid to reach out and give them a reward and make it public.

2. Make sure people know youre on Instagram. This may be a gimme, but people may not know unless you include the link on your website, post it in other social media and have some fun with it on air.

3. Encourage use of Instagram with morning show content, sharing. Morning shows have a lot of content that would share well visually on Instagram. Encourage their use of Instagram to spike engagement regularly. Also, always encourage them to think of ways to use the visuals to lead listeners back to their show and the station regularly.

4. Use your hashtags. Hashtags have become important in social media, especially on Instagram and Twitter. Use the most relevant words that describe what your subject actually is and of course hashtag your market. Local, local, local. If it is a big public event, hashtag the event. Dont overuse hashtags, but learn to effectively use them so you can tune in more people to your culture, your happenings, and your radio station. You can also use something like #tbt (throw back Thursday) to engage your morning show or other personalities with listeners in a way that seems (and is) personal.

5. Decide the type of content and how often you want to share. Then, assign it to different staff depending on usage, time of day, and variety of passions/interests among staff. Balance in content will keep you interesting without overdoing it. You dont want to dominate the party, but it could be fun to be the one bringing interesting content focused on your listeners and your advertisers, too. Watch what listeners are attracted to and comment on and think of those types of content as Instagram Hits. More of that, less of what doesnt get comments. Being nimble and change-oriented in your content can potentially make you stronger.

6. Thank followers. Engaging followers is what it is really all about. Its cool to show off fun, but your real value comes from validating others, from communicating with others, from creating real connectivity opportunity with listeners (and advertisers), and bringing them back to your brand because you are having so much fun. Thank them. Be kind. Truly be interested in them, too.

7. Be consistent. People often start strong and then fade away. Once you work out your strategy (see Step 1), make sure you have a plan that can be followed and make sure you reward your team for consistency. Ensure they know that Instagram is important to you and that following the strategy to focus on the station is valuable. That will make a key difference in following a program that will bring results for your station in ratings and probably growth at a client level.

We have a fun business. If you havent seen all the numbers on visuals in social media, get to it. Do your reading. Visuals work. The right visual images bring engagement. The right engagement brings relationship and draws more listeners directly to your on-air brand.

There is no reason you cant use Instagram to pump your social media activity, engagement, and growth, and bring more people into your sphere of influence.

So, have fun with pictures and lets make this thing rock on a local level!

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

Add a Comment


Send This Story To A Friend