After launching a Facebook page for 97.5 WABB/Mobile in 2008, we currently have over 22,000 fans- 15,000 more than any radio competitor in our market. Our success is based on a guided team effort that involves constant participation and respect for what our listeners want.
Getting it Launched the Right Way
Whether you’re starting from scratch or evaluating your existing Facebook presence, don’t overlook the basics.
Your page should be a fan page and not a personal page. Personal pages are made for people, not businesses. Facebook will cap personal pages at 5,000 friends, and will sometimes shut down personal pages set up for business use. Listeners are also more likely to “like” a business page than “friend” a personal page, because their information remains private.
All business pages must be linked to a personal Facebook account. I suggest linking your station’s account to a non-searchable dummy account, not an employee’s account. The original account is forever tied to the station account, and you don’t want to set your page up for failure in the case of termination or a disgruntled employee.
You should also have an assigned page name, your station’s logo as the profile picture, and all info fields completed. Include a linked Facebook graphic on your station website, and you’re ready to roll.
Successful Maintenance: It’s a Guided Team Effort
Assign one employee as the social media manager. This person, usually the Webmaster or Promotions Director, should check the Facebook account several times each day, including weekends. He or she will make compelling posts, track progress, and respond to listeners in the “voice” of the station brand. Choose someone who writes well, is witty or fun, and understands how to “speak” to the demo.
Have your social media manager assign trusted talent and promotions staff as page editors of the station account. This will allow them to make posts to the station page while logged into their personal accounts, but will not give them password access to the main account. If you need to revoke access at any time, you can do so with the click of a button.
This guided team effort ensures that both programming and promotional content are represented, and that no listener question goes unnoticed. Facebook is a social network, so be social. Interact with your listeners, answer their questions, laugh at their jokes, ask their opinions. As the manager of the WABB Facebook account, I am constantly entertained and enlightened by what our listeners have to say. I share their input with management, and our DJs use their comments to reflect on their own show content. If you want to know what your P1s think, take a glance at Facebook for their input on show benchmarks, music, and more.
Take care of the fans you already have, and the growth will come. Use a filter when making posts by asking yourself if your demo cares about what you have to say. Post organic content; too many apps that do the work for you take the personality out of the posts. Don’t sell your Facebook page to clients- your listeners are smart and can tell the difference between a sponsored station promotion and commercial copy.
If you don’t see the numbers you’re looking for, consider launching a promotion that focuses on Facebook. Get creative. Have a scavenger hunt for tickets and post clues on your page. Announce that the winners of your next promotion will be chosen from your Facebook fan base. Do simple promotions for smaller giveaways on Facebook frequently; you would be surprised how many people would love to win that old (fill in the blank) from your prize closet.
If you give your listeners the content they are looking for, respond to their questions, and make them feel like their opinions matter, you will succeed with social media.
-written for the April 18 issue of Radio Ink