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Showcase Radios Social Media Power

By Loyd Ford

A lot of people now think of radio as being under pressure from digital and social media, distractions big and small. However, I think our role is still local entertainer, local informer, local intimate-relationship. Radio can use these tools to explode our already intense relationship with local listeners. Local radio should engage social and digital media tools in pursuit of high-passion listeners and the locals who are truly interested in the music (if that is what they play) along with local programming. In other words, local engagement from personalities and the overall local philosophy of your radio station.

Here are some thoughts on how you can do this well.

1. Take listeners on your journey if you are a local on-air personality. Show them you are human and have a life that is important to you and your family. Show pictures of your real life, things you care about (be careful to make sure this matches the life group you are targeting).
2. Showcase photos and video of the stars you meet if you are in a music format, backstage, on tour buses, whatever you may have access to today. If it isnt these things, tell your story about how your job involves creativity and how engaged you are in bringing unique experiences to local listeners.
3. Blog about elements of your professional life that listeners reasonably find fun, engaging, and unique. Give them a taste of these parts of your life. Include photos and video.
4. Engage your sales department in sponsoring or monetizing how to moments or content that local listeners would find helpful. You can do this in YouTube video and on your station website. The entire goal is to be useful to your target.
5. Turn things around on listeners. Going to a concert with 12,593 local listeners who love Tim McGraw, JayZ, or John Mayer someday soon? Use a GoPro or other video (or even your iPhone) to take pictures and video with local listeners (focused on them and their experience).
6. Always spin content toward your website and your on-air. Yes, I mean that you can take content that anyone else gets (national content) and twist it toward you to make listeners curious that you have something unique they want to know and lead them to your on-air or Web content opportunities. You should have something unique: creativity. Go get em.

Dont back up a bit if someone tells you radio is under pressure. Tell them radio is the pressure. We are local. Even today and in the future we can give listeners an experience or experiences that are unique so that they depend on you more and more to deliver the local quality that means more than a national contest or any other trick.

Listeners crave to be validated. They are still encouraged to see validation from you. This is even more true in social media. So, get busy and validate some local listeners with experiences of creativity they cant get anywhere else.

You will grow ratings and revenue, but you will also grow a value you feel. This is the same value radio has always had. The more local you are, the better off you are. Becoming more visual and using the passion people have for radio and local entertainment will help you go places your competitors cant get to today.

Good luck and lets go!

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.