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Loyd Ford

Unusual Social Media Strategies

By Loyd Ford

Why do people spend more time pretending and dodging authentic behavior than doing the work of setting a real social media strategy that has objectives for your local radio station, and even clients?

It’s human nature to have a “me focus.” You see this all the time in politics, investing, TV, movies, and every other industry. But you can create opportunities to take your social media and the entire intensity level, or your connection with local high-passion listeners up on high, just by following a few guidelines to more powerful social media connectivity:

1. Consider all those who touch your social media. Honestly review skills sets and your opportunity to turn every one of your social media contributors on to your new plan (which is to be their plan – see step 2 below).
2. Create a gathering of your social media contributors. If it were me, I think I might call it the first annual “XXXX Social Media Awards” and send invitations. I would host the event somewhere fun, and I would pass out trophies!
3. Sprinkle social media awards all night, in between questions for your team about what’s happening in the market, what’s happening in your social media, and what the goals should be for the station, each personality and the overall plan. Done correctly, this is a way to get your staff to participate with you in creating an actual overall strategy and you can use these questions and answers to nudge and shape your social media strategy in between awards in a variety of categories, including “Best Use of Video in Social Media,” “Best Social Media Idea,” and “Most Improved in Social Media,” among others.
4. Work to guide your team into talking about a variety of content important to the actual targets (audience) for the station. This allows you to find the most passionate presenters or engagers on a variety of content and actually gain access to the players assigning themselves content they are most passionate about.
5. Assign roles and content by percentage as the “awards” continue to be given out. This allows you to fully develop a social media strategy with content points and have a consistent plan each member of your “social media team” can individually follow and passionately develop, build, and supercharge, -- results-oriented social media that meets your goals for the station and your business.
6. Always award someone with a big prize of “Best Lead Back to the Radio Station From Social Media” so you encourage everyone to continuously focus on “twisting” content back to your website and your on-air. The more coveted you make this award, and the more encouraging you can be about this element of your social media as well as use of videos and pictures in your social media, the better your growing results are likely to be over time.

Meetings are fun, right? No, they are universally not fun. That’s why you don’t want to have a meeting about this subject. You want to have a fun environment and a great party-style “discussion” where everyone gets to contribute and share their favorite passions as they apply to social media. More than that, you want to try to make sure that everyone on your team knows that social media is now important at all levels of the business. That means you will want to make it clear that top management gives credit and importance to efforts in social media. If your team doesn’t believe it is important all the way up, your efforts will eventually (or sooner) become something different players “phone in” instead of giving passionate effort to daily.

Ultimately, social media skills are about validating and engaging the audience you most want to attract to your brands and tapping into the passion of groups who are also in that larger group of people you want to attract so your personalities and overall brand(s) have a much more significant following from your local listeners and even business-owners in your market. Since your competitors are much more likely to be posting contests and what’s happening with reality TV, celebrities, and other nationally focused events, you have a great opportunity to focus on local, local, local. The more generic “gossip” stuff can certainly be a part of your overall content, but you should have a larger variety of content that can attract more authentic passion and that can allow you more real local power to create more intense loyalty for your personalities and local brand(s).

Of course, you can do contests. Of course, you can have pictures and stories about national celebrity gossip. But balance, passion, and connectivity based on what is most important to the audience you most want to attract, is a critical “silver bullet” for your team. Harness that and you will “kill it.” And by that I mean your competition.
Try it. You might find these six steps fun to take and you may also find that your social media becomes easier and a whole lot more powerful. 

Good luck!

Loyd Ford is the digital revenue, direct marketing, ratings and social media strategist for Rainmaker Pathway and Americalist Direct Marketing. Loyd 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.