By now you have heard the talk about circles, +1s and hangouts. Maybe you’ve checked out Google+, or maybe you’re overwhelmed by so many social media options.
Should you, your talent, your morning show, your station be on Google+?
Google+ for Managers and Talent
People who are social media savvy will love being one of the firsts on Google+. You can network both personally and professionally from a single account, while using circles to keep fans separate from friends and family. You can talk radio to people in your “radio” circle or have conversations with your listeners without your niece’s two cents about Justin Bieber’s new girlfriend. You control who sees each post.
If you have a hard time keeping up with Facebook and Twitter already, wait until the initial launch of Google+ and dive in when everybody’s doing it.
Google+ for Morning Shows and Stations
Google+ is still in its testing phase and will not roll out business profiles until the initial public launch. Stations and morning shows should wait until business profiles are available so that their accounts are launched on the appropriate platform.
Once the business profiles are launched, have your social media manager jump on the opportunity to be one of the first stations to sign up. Google has shut down businesses that have signed up under “consumer” Google+ accounts. Mashable and All Access were among the many companies whose profiles were deleted.
Plan Ahead for Google+:
1. Develop a strategy for circles.
The Google+ model is similar to Twitter in that there is no reciprocity. A listener can add you to their circle without you having to reciprocate. Plan your strategy now; decide if you’ll return the favor when listeners add you to their circle. While there is controversy in social media land over whether you have to follow or circle back, It is in radio’s best interest to circle back. Social media is about engaging with your listeners in a two-way conversation. Not adding a listener who interacts with you online sends the message that it’s all about you, and not about your relationship with them.
Adding listeners to your circles also gives you the chance to super serve them with promotions or special offers. Imagine separating your listeners into gender, geographic location, or age. Because you can add someone to more than one circle, the options are endless.
In a conversation with my own radio circle, +Erika Ewald suggested using music preference to promote upcoming station concerts and +Drew Bennett thought location would be great to promote sales remotes or offers from advertisers. +Jim O’Brien got me thinking about conducting a cyber listener panel using Google+ circles or hangouts. Google+ is brand new, and opportunity is knocking.
2. Use circles for show prep and tracking competitors.
You can use circles to separate profiles into groups. Create a “content” circle to use for show prep. Add people (and soon businesses) who post interesting links, videos, and stories. This circle could include news and entertainment outlets, as well as that girl with all of the relationship drama. You decide who does and doesn’t give you on-air material. Create a circle for other stations or competitors to quickly track what they’re up to online.
When you are searching for specific content, you can choose to view a stream from only that circle so you aren’t distracted by the comments on how much your best friend hates his job or how your mother wants another grandchild. This is similar to the way many people use Twitter lists.
3. Wanna hangout? On Google+, that is?
Google+ hangouts is a video platform that allows ten users to hangout together in one video conference. Hangouts have potential for radio. Imagine an intern at a station event setting up a hangout for disappointed listeners who couldn’t make it. Better yet, imagine giving ten listeners the chance to hangout with a core artist through your station’s Google+ account. Now THAT’S a way to start out right on Google+.
-written for Radio Ink