If you’re using your website and social media correctly, I should have a good sense of your character just by assessing your online engagement. What you do online should reflect your on-air brand. Does it?
Your character is well defined. You’ve worked hard to create on-air content that showcases your character. The content was well executed. Your show is over. You’re done, right? WRONG!
We’re all wearing so many hats in radio; it’s hard not to think of blogs, social media, videos, as one more duty. Stop thinking of digital as another job. You’re already doing all the prep; so think of it as the last step to work you’ve already done!
In building content around your character, there are two types of content to consider- the content you share and the content you create.
1. SHARING CONTENT
Most of you are already sharing content online, but there is a way to share content that reflects your personality. Anyone can post a link. Only YOU can post a link, along with your perspective on the topic.
Listeners can get the same content on their own at tmz.com or yahoo shine! What they’re interested in is the conversation (with you!) around the topic.
Use topical stories to define your character online the way you would on-air. During your show when you discuss a topic, you don’t just state the story in facts. You give the facts and your two cents on the story. The same goes online- post the content, along with your opinion on the topic. Share your opinion and suddenly you’ve started a conversation.
2. CREATING CONTENT
Put your own spin on a hot topic by creating a parody video or picture. When you share content, think about how you could take it one step further and create organic content based on a topical story.
For example, Miguel from That Guy Kramer at Island 106/Panama City recreated the viral eHarmony video with Debbie the cat lover. He dressed up as an obsessed Harry Potter fan and made his own quirky video.
Another recent example comes from Jay Styles and Nick Fox at 97.5 WABB/Mobile. When fried kool-aid was trending on twitter, they made it on-air, and created a video tutorial for curious listeners.
Take show features one step further by adding an online element.
When prepping for the show, ask yourself “What online element can I add to this feature?” You don’t have to create new material, but add a visual to what’s been said on-air. It only takes a minute to take a picture- maybe 20 to create a video.
You’re already doing the prep, so a few extra minutes can multiply your mileage out of a topic!
For example, The Dave Ryan Show at KDWB/Minneapolis did an on-air bit called The Summer Bucket List. Dave and Lena talked about things they wanted to do before summer is over, and encouraged listeners to tweet their lists, too.
It went viral, and two weeks later, the online content is still going, with content being added by the show and listeners as things off the list are crossed off. Dave took video of himself grilling a steak and Lena took video of herself in dance class. This went from a one-break bit to two weeks of serial content, all thanks to the addition of an online element.
Let them behind the scenes of the show.
It’s no secret that listeners love seeing what goes on off the air. Share stories, pictures or videos to give them a peek “backstage”. This will make them feel like they’re part of the show!
You can also let them in on what you’re doing when you’re not at work. Listeners feel like they know you from listening to the show, so posting about your personal life enhances that “closeness”.
Help showcase your co-host’s character.
Help each other by making posts that accentuate the character of another show player… This will in turn highlight your own character. It’s a very natural way to showcase your brand, and the show brand as a whole by emphasizing the dynamic between characters.
The Dave Ryan Show hosts are great at this. For example, Lena googled “ugly shirt” and found a site that sells ugly shirts (Dave’s fashion is a character flaw). Dave ordered the shirt and surprised them by wearing it to work. Lena took a video, and asked listeners to send in jokes about the shirt to win concert tickets. The video not only tells us Dave is unfashionable, but that Lena is fashionable. The content is about Dave, but we’re laughing at Lena’s humor. By showcasing Dave’s character, Lena has reflected both her own character qualities and the dynamic between her and Dave.
The thing to remember is to be social. Respond to listener comments and questions. Treat social media like a cocktail party, where your 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! Facilitate the conversation- it only takes a second to respond.
For the next month, challenge yourself to do one thing each day to extend your brand online. If you do it for 30 days, you’ll realize it’s not hard. It’s fun, it’s addicting. You just have to make it a habit. The results will surprise you- you’ll get more mileage out of your bits, you’ll connect with your listeners and learn what they like.
-Taking Show Features 1 Step Further
-Putting Your Own Opinion Or Spin On Hot Topics
-Showcasing Someone Else’s Character
-Behind The Scenes Sneak Peek
No rules- just do it. Be Real. Be Social. It will give you what Dave Ryan calls the addiction factor, and make you Irreplaceable, putting you at Randy Lane’s ultimate level of morning show performance.
-written for the Randy Lane Company panel at Morning Show Bootcamp 2011