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Loyd Ford

Learning From TV Social Media


So many radio station websites focus solely on contesting. However, you certainly see a lot of stations that give you the half-naked pictures of girls or TMZ-type gossip. Are there other things radio can be doing in social media to better reflect local passion, local listener tastes, and to capture more attention in the local market? What can be learned from television and its path into social media development for their brands?

TV stations are using social media in a variety of ways to engage viewers with the visual nature of their product, stories and teases from their news product, weather alerts and forecasts, and they sometimes relate to the human element of how tough it can be to get the stories they are working on. This is an honesty that engages people on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites to actually help them track down leads and source stories or resources.

Social media also helps really engaged TV stations discuss stories important to local viewers. The use of visuals, both video and photos, can grab attention. Questions can be asked and viewers can become a part of the “news team” or engaged in commenting about programming.  

Social media is just another lane or way to reach out and touch people in your market. Believe it or not, radio is not less visual than TV. We have the same opportunities to engage listeners using visuals to grab attention, local weather to create alerts, specifics on local stories important to listeners (or at least topics), and to engage them in a fairly constant variety of content that keeps us in the conversation with listeners we most want to attract. All of this content, mixed with some contesting and with national elements (such as TMZ-type gossip), can elevate our place in local listeners’ social media top-of-mind and lead them back to our websites and on-air regularly.

The world we live in today is an equal-opportunity world where creativity in social media, validation of the people we most want to attract, and use of authenticity and care can create a larger engaged audience and drive your relevance in a local market or even regional area. This is good use of social media for the purpose of driving engagement, listener ratings, and also revenue if you do it right. I always ask: Do you have a social media content strategy that has a specific pattern of sharing photos, text content, and video? You can always do what is easy: contesting. “We’re on Facebook. We have a Twitter account.” Or you can step up your game and be better than any TV station at engaging the local audience you most want to attract and capture, and driving that audience directly back to your products. That could be the best thing we could get by watching TV in social media and engaging the things that work to do more than just being there. After all, I still say radio has always been social media. 

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.