“Twitter is not a technology. It’s a conversation. And it’s happening with or without you.” –@charleneli
It’s true. Your listeners are tweeting. Whether you’re rocking Twitter, have neglected your Twitter account or have never even signed up, people are tweeting about your brand- the station, the personalities, the music, the events.
As of September 2011, there were 100 million active users on Twitter. It’s is a social media powerhouse that radio shouldn’t overlook. If statistics alone aren’t incentive enough, here are seven reasons your station’s social media strategy should include Twitter:
1. It’s popular. In 2011, Twitter topped an annual list of most-buzzed about social networks conducted by Zeta Interactive. According to Mashable, “these rankings measure both volume (number of mentions in more than 200 million blogs, social media outlets and online posts) and tone (comparing positive and negative buzz).”
2. It’s a free focus group. You can manage your brand reputation by using Twitter to monitor what is being said about your station as well as the shows, personalities and music you feature. Use Twitter search to keep an eye on conversations about your station or competitors. Ask questions about new music, features or shows to get honest feedback about what listeners like and don’t like.
On Facebook, you only have access to the comments listeners make on the station wall. With Twitter, following the listeners who follow you gives you access to their stream of tweets.
3. Contesting is easy. Running a contest or promotion on Twitter is simple, with no budget for third-party apps required. Twitter’s official contest rules are much less rigid than those of Facebook.
4. It’s a resource for show prep. Use Twitter Lists to organize the accounts you follow. You can create separate lists for entertainment news, local news, and other stations or shows that inspire you. Twitter trends also provide entertaining on-air topics.
5. It’s helpful for on-air interviews. Celebrities prefer Twitter, and many personally manage their own Twitter accounts. Air talent can use Twitter to research their guest before an on-air interview. They can reach out before and after the interview, increasing the station’s exposure to the artist’s fans all over the world. Tweeting links to audio, video, or pictures of an interview draws web traffic from more than just the artist’s fans in your market.
6. You can tweet often. Research from KISSmetrics shows that it is optimal to tweet 1-4 times an hour. The frequency etiquette of Twitter gives you leeway to post a variety of content daily- contests and promotions, music news, concert updates, breaking news, entertainment stories, and character tweets from your air staff.
7. There is opportunity for creativity. Television is a great example of how Twitter can transform a one-way broadcast into an interactive experience. The X Factor used #hashtags, encouraging viewers to tweet #IAmSimon, #IAmLA, #IAmPaula or #IAmNicole to show their affinity for a certain judge’s comments during the show. They read the tweets aloud in real time to get viewers more involved in the show.
Whether you’re already a pro or just getting started, exploring new ways to use Twitter will create value for your station’s online brand.
Have ideas or other uses for Twitter to share? Leave a comment or send me a tweet @StephanieWinans.
-written for Radio Ink Magazine