The news broke in late 2009 that Kim Kardashian is paid $10,000 per sponsored tweet. While some followers were amazed at the price tag, most were disgusted that they couldn’t tell which of her tweets were real and which were just paid ads. This got companies thinking about their own policies. Is social media a great opportunity to build digital revenue or territory better reserved for building the company brand only?
What about your NTR strategy? Do clients belong on your station’s Facebook and Twitter accounts? If your Sales and Programming departments haven’t had this conversation yet, they will… so get ready. Clients are frequently pushing Account Executives to promote their businesses on Facebook and Twitter. National clients send us written commercials for status updates, and local clients want all of their business events and radio remotes announced. Programming may make a convincing case that clients don’t belong in social media, but pressure to increase digital revenue pushes radio managers to consider ways to sell it.
Revenue from social media should be viewed as a side dish to your client’s entrée of spots, sponsorships or web advertising, and not as an à la carte option from the digital menu. The goal is to make clients happy by giving them results, not by giving in. Using social media to reinforce the client’s message in their spot schedule or web advertising will be more successful than using social media to create that message. Making social media buys available as an add-on will increase revenue, while providing a filter to ensure your social media accounts don’t become a dumping ground for client ads.
Here are two scenarios to explain the difference.
À la carte scenario: Burger Castle just placed a buy for 2nd quarter. Included in the added value notes are dates for a Facebook post with the copy “Hungry for lunch? Stop by Burger Castle and try their new bacon cheeseburger.” You make the post and receive backlash from your fans. “Gosh, I know you need to keep the station running, but a Facebook commercial, really?” “Thanks for the ad, WABC. Not why I like your page.” The comments are more in disgust of the “sell-out” than excitement about the brand or product you were pushing, which is not in the best interest of your client.
Side dish scenario: When Burger Castle’s 2nd quarter buy comes with the Facebook copy, you make suggestions to improve their request. You ask for coupons for the new bacon cheeseburger. You upload a picture of the burger to Facebook before lunch, with the post “Doesn’t Burger Castle’s new bacon cheeseburger look delicious? We’re giving away lunch for two at Burger Castle to the next five people who comment ‘Yum!’” Now your comments are from fans who are excited to win lunch from Burger Castle, will visit their location, and hopefully have a positive experience with the brand and the new product. You have given your client a positive result.
The side dish strategy is about weaving clients into your station’s social media tapestry without diminishing the integrity of your brand. Do it successfully and Programming won’t mind, and your listeners will be responsive. Here are five quick ways to use social media as a side dish, giving clients the results they want without bastardizing programming territory.
1. Offer your fans something and you will have interested people opt-in without annoying the fans that aren’t interested. Listeners love to win, so if the prize appeals to your demo, give it away regardless of the monetary value. Set your contests up for success by keeping them simple for less-valued prizes. Timing the giveaway during the client’s spot schedule reinforces their marketing message.
2. Have your client sponsor an on-air promotion and agree to mention their name in the tweets and posts you make on Twitter and Facebook. “Listen to win free gas in ten minutes from WABC and Mercedes.”
3. Draw your next promotion’s winners from your Facebook fans or Twitter followers. Just be specific when writing the liners. There is a fine line between saying “Please like us on Facebook to win” and “We’ll be drawing our winners from Facebook, so if you haven’t become a fan yet, no big deal. You still have time to do so before Friday at 7:35.” The key is to sell the inside scoop for our Facebook fans or Twitter followers, not we’re desperate for more online friends and this is the only way we can get them.
4. Have listeners upload fan photos that relate to the client’s brand. This requires more participation, so make sure the prize is a big one.
5. Send your Street Team on a Scavenger Hunt, posting clues to their whereabouts on Facebook and Twitter. Sell the stops to clients, and predetermine the copy for the clues. You have provided a fun game for listeners to win their favorite concert tickets, while reinforcing the brand for your client, and providing foot traffic to their business.