Three clients have approached me in the last few months, all worried because the station they work for is threatening to cancel their Morning Show Facebook page. Not because their behavior on Facebook is out of line with the station brand, or because it is distracting them from the on-air product, but because they view it as a threat to the growth of the station’s Facebook presence.
1. A radio station is only as strong as its shows, its music, and its promotions. A show that is using social media to engage P1s and attract new listeners is serving more than itself- but the station as a whole.
2. A smart radio station Facebook or Twitter account represents all aspects of the station brand. This includes new music, artist news, promotions and contests, and shows. Because there are only so many posts that should be made in one day, the morning show has limited opportunity to promote their show and its content on the station page (typically within the time the show airs).
Having their own Facebook and Twitter presence allows them to be a source of entertainment for listeners 24/7, creating brand loyalty and increasing tune-ins.
3. Fans “like” and “follow” radio stations for different reasons than they do shows or air talent. They expect the station to keep them updated with concerts, music news, contests and promotions. They like or follow a show or air talent accounts to find out more about what they’ve heard on the show, and to personally connect with the specific jock they love. Following a person and a brand are different, and they both have a place in social media.
4. Morning show talent almost always ensure their online presence is in line with the on-air brand. If they are growing a fan base online, it’s because they care about their brand and the show’s success. They want to give listeners what they expect, and would not post any content that doesn’t reflect the show’s branding.
It’s unlikely they will behave badly… Facebook isn’t Vegas, so they know what happens there will always make it back to Management.
5. Facebook is a great place to test on-air topics. Many shows use Facebook as a gauge by posting phone topics the night before. Often a topic they thought would be huge has “no legs,” evident by the lack of engagement on Facebook. And sometimes a small topic turns into a huge segment, as the show sees different angles in Facebook comments. Using Facebook to “test topics” makes the on-air product stronger, as it weeds out the topics that don’t resonate with listeners.
And why not let the show keep their page?
If you’re worried that the show’s on-air promotion of their Facebook page is hurting the growth of the station page, set parameters.
If your station Facebook page lacks morning show presence because they only post on their own, set guidelines for when they must post on the station page.
Just don’t cancel their account.
This is a controversial topic by nature. I welcome your opinions, as they may help guide compromise for Management and Morning Show talent.