We’re not cell phone companies, we’re radio. So why are we concentrating so hard on getting likes, followers, and circles with no focus on how to keep them happy once we get them?
With social media, it’s easy to get allured by the numbers. We compare our Facebook likes and Twitter followers (and perhaps YouTube subscribers or Google+ circles) to those of other stations, other morning shows, other media brands. When we talk social media, we are primarily sharing stories on our status in likes, and how to grow that number.
Are we losing focus? It’s what we do with those likes and followers AFTER we get them that counts. It’s the interpersonal connection, the listener engagement that translates a like to a loyal listener.
You don’t really want a like, or a follower, or a subscriber, or a circle. You want a person who is or will be a listener who LISTENS to your station. You want a listener who won’t change the station because he or she feels connected to your brand, and the shows and DJs within it. You want ratings.
While it is nice to have large numbers online with social media, the focus should be not on the numbers themselves. Planning social media growth in numbers without a content strategy is like planning a wedding with no thought to the marriage itself.
Instead of concentrating solely on the number, share your focus to concentrate on your content strategy. How can you convert likes to loyalty? It’s all about the content.
➢ Let listeners get to know your brand.
Show some personality. Let your brand shine by sharing what makes you special- your talent. Give your jocks and promotions staff access to your accounts (under your guidance and the eyes of the social media manager). Encourage them to make posts relevant to your demo, in your brand voice. Share contests, promotions, station events, opinions on hot topics, and what’s going on behind the scenes. Have them end their posts with a name signoff. This will humanize your account and listeners will feel like they are connecting with the person behind the brand.
➢ Extend on-air content online with social media.
During show prep meetings, ask your team “What online element can we add to this feature?” You don’t have to create new material, but add a visual to what’s been said on-air. Post a picture or quick video of what’s going on in the studio during on-air stunts. For listener topics, solicit for responses online and include them in your on-air conversation.
➢ Treat social media like a cocktail party.
The most important and overlooked rule of thumb is to be social. Make sure your social media manager and jocks respond to listener comments and questions. Treat social media like a cocktail party, where the focus is on conversation.
For example, don’t post content asking listeners for their opinion and fail to respond once they give it. That is the equivalent to meeting someone at a party, asking them a question, and walking away after they answer without a word. It’s rude! Make sure your staff are facilitating the conversation- it only takes a second to respond.
Focus on the content and the value you are providing to your listeners online, and the numbers will come. When listeners feel connected to your brand, they will share their excitement over the entertainment you’re providing online AND on-air.
-written for Radio Ink Magazine