Let’s get real. We often see tension between radio station management and talent when it comes to social media. Management wants to build both station and show brands. Talent are often focused on elevating just their show brand but undoubtedly benefit greatly when the station brand is strong. [Read more…] about Show vs. Station Social Media: Creating a Win-Win
Twitter looks fun, but you don’t understand exactly how it works?
How it Works
- You have 140 characters for each tweet. You’ll want to craft your tweets efficiently to convey your message within the character limit, but using too many abbreviations may make the tweet difficult to understand. Keep it simple, and don’t try to say too much in one tweet.
- Include shortened links. Long links take up precious real estate within that 140 character limit. If you use a third-party application like Hootsuite, TweetDeck or Sprout Social, the links will be automatically shortened for you. You can also use bit.ly or ow.ly to manually generate a short link from your original.
- Although you have 140 characters, it’s smart to leave room for ‘RT @yourusername’ so that your tweet is re-tweet friendly. Calculate the number of characters it takes to RT you and subtract that from the 140 character limit to determine your ideal character count.
Getting Set Up
- Choose a profile picture that represents your brand. If you’re a heavy metal rock star, a headshot in a suit and tie doesn’t suit you (no pun intended). Are you happy, brooding, serious or silly? Use your profile picture to convey your brand personality.
- Craft your bio wisely. You have 160 characters to explain what you’re all about. Include information about you and what you’ll tweet about. Try to make it interesting by showing some personality, too.
- Determine what you’ll tweet about. People use Twitter for different things. Some tweet industry news or helpful blogs, some tweet snarky personal observations, some use Twitter for conversation. Define your content strategy and stick to it so your other users know what to expect when they follow you.
- Create a Twitter background. If you use Photoshop or another graphic design program, you can create a custom background with dimensions of 2000×1200 pixels. If not, Twitter has some snazzy options to choose from in your profile settings, or you can hire me to create one for you (shameless self promotion!).
Understanding Twitter Lingo
- What are all these number signs? They’re called hashtags, and are used in two ways:
First, a hashtag categorizes your tweet. For example, if I add ‘#SocialMedia’ to the end of my tweet, others searching for tweets on social media will find mine.
Hashtags are also used as a way to display attitude, feeling, thought, humor, or personality. For example, a (male, non-Mom, radio) friend sent me a funny tweet asking about a Mom’s night out with the hashtag ‘#AwkwardMomsSwayBackAndForth’. (By the way, my awkward dancing has nothing to do with being a Mom and everything to do with being a sweeeeet dancer.)
Hashtags aren’t case sensitive, and you can include one anywhere within your tweet. Just don’t include irrelevant categorizing hashtags, or you’ll be considered a spammer.
- Aaahhhhh! What’s RT? MT? @? Twitter’s unique lingo may intimidate you at first, but it’s really quite simple once you get it. Here are some definitions that you’ll need right off:
- RT: Retweet, RT followed by @username indicates that the user is sharing another person’s tweet with their followers; considered a compliment to receive a RT
- @: Tags another user when followed by their Twitter user name; your tweet will appear in their Interactions or Mentions screen.
- MT: Modified tweet, a RT that is modified for character count or relevance but still gives credit to the original user
- #FF: Follow Friday, a recommendation to your followers to follow another user
- DM: Direct Message, a private message on Twitter; these are rarely used due to the high amounts of spam and auto-DMs
For a complete and hilarious list of all abbreviations you may encounter, read this blog by @PookyH.
- Give credit where it’s due. If you share a tweet or blog you saw from someone else’s tweet, credit them with a retweet or mention. Giving someone else credit doesn’t diminish your own credibility, it enhances it.
- Check your @mentions often. Users love Twitter because it is very much a ‘real time’ platform. Don’t let days go by without responding.
- Be authentic. Success on Twitter doesn’t come from copying the pros, it comes from being you. One of my favorite quotes is from Joss Whedon: “Always be yourself, unless you suck”.
Scheduling vs. Automating
There are many applications available that make it easier to schedule tweets in advance. Scheduling tweets ensures you’re reaching different people by tweeting at different times of the day, and makes it easier to share content without tweeting all at one time. Hootsuite and Buffer App both offer fabulous options for scheduling.
Automation is a hot button, and is not to be confused with scheduling. Scheduling is crafting your tweet and setting it up to be sent at a later time. Automating refers to the use of apps that tweet for you automatically. For example, you could use automation to tweet a specific blog every time a new one is published, without you ever reading that blog.
Whether you decide to pursue either, remember that neither replace real-time interaction on Twitter. In other words, you can’t schedule and run. You’ll receive @mentions and RTs from your tweets in real time, and you should engage often.
Growing Your Audience
So how do you find people to follow? How do you get others to follow you back? Here are some tips that may help:
- Tweet share-worthy content. The best way to grow your audience is to produce good content. Use hashtags to categorize your tweets so people who share your interests will see them.
- Share the content of others. Seriously, sharing is caring. Build relationships with other people on Twitter by sharing their tweets, blogs, etc. If your content is strong and relevant to their followers, they’ll return the favor.
- Use Twellow. It’s an online directory for Twitter. Sign up yourself, and choose categories that represent your brand and your tweets. Search those categories to follow people who share common interests.
Anything you learned the hard way when you first started on Twitter? Leave a comment and share your knowledge with newbies. It’s good karma.
You know what else is good karma? Following me on Twitter @StephanieWinans.
I had the pleasure of being a guest on It’s Just Business, Wink 107.1/Ohio.
I gave the Business Crash Test Dummy, Kim Turner, feedback on a recent issue he had with Yelp. I answered several caller questions about small business and social media, including whether you should self-promote on LinkedIn, the Facebook cover photo no-no’s, and which platforms to choose if you’re just getting started.
To listen, click here.
Content is king. It’s what gets you new likes and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and it’s what keeps existing fans coming back for more. To engage listeners and increase your station’s online following, create a social media content strategy and share your focus with your staff.
To plan your strategy, make listeners your first priority. What do listeners want or expect from your station’s social media efforts? To answer this question, measure your current efforts and ask them directly.
Measure your current posts on Facebook using Facebook Insights or another third-party analytics application. Which posts receive the most exposure, the highest level of engagement, and the highest “talking about this” rating? On Twitter, which posts get @replies or retweets? You can also ask your listeners’ opinion using Facebook questions or a poll on your website.
Here are a few content tips to help you craft your own content strategy:
- When promoting your social networks on-air, use words that focus on the listener, and not the station. (Think “what’s in it for them”, not “what’s in it for us”.) Promote what the station’s social media accounts have to offer the listeners instead of just requesting likes, which can sound desperate on the air.
- Respond to listener questions. Listeners are more likely to ask a question on Facebook or Twitter than to call or email the station. If you don’t know the answer, find it.
- Share concert announcements and music news. You are your listeners’ source for music information.
- Post information about station promotions and events. Include the basic details and a link to your website for more information.
- Post pictures and videos of in-studio celebrity interviews or performances, and at concerts. Create excitement about the interview or show by posting mobile uploads during the event.
- Promote an upcoming guest by soliciting for listener input on what you should ask during the interview. When you use their questions, tell the guest the question is from a listener on Facebook or Twitter.
- Share what’s happening behind the scenes. 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.
- Integrate social media into your on-air topics. Get listeners who post entertaining comments on-air, or read their responses along with their name and the source.
- Listen to what your listeners are talking about online. 50% of conversation is listening, so make sure you pay attention to what is being said about your brand. Twitter search is an easy way to keep tabs on conversation about your station or show.
- Plan a social media-intensive promotion. Use a third-party application to run the contest legally within the Facebook framework, or host the contest on your station website and promote it on your social networks.
- Use Facebook, Twitter or even YouTube to share exclusive hints to a big on-air or text promotion.
- Plan a picture of the day campaign for Facebook and Twitter. Post a different picture of your staff as your profile picture each day. Tease the picture on-air.
- Conduct a fan of the day or fan of the week promotion by highlighting an active online follower. Create a graphic that includes the fan’s picture and interesting information about him or her. Mention the fan briefly on-air to draw attention to the promotion and encourage others to join the online conversation.
- Conduct a scavenger hunt in your market for prizes. Use social media to post hints on your location. Post mobile uploads to Facebook and Twitter for a visual hint.
- Create an entertaining on-air segment or promotion around social media. Read a funny status update or tweet of the day. Include Twitter trends in your entertainment report. Plan topics like “Facebook Court” to help listeners decide if they should unfriend someone.
-written for Radio Ink and The Randy Lane Company
Before you get worried, I’m not talking about what goes on behind your bedroom doors. I’m referring to the Twitter and Google+ social media model. Unlike Facebook profiles, the relationship of Twitter followers and Google+ circles doesn’t have to be a reciprocal one.
People can follow (or circle) others they find interesting, and those people can choose to return the favor… or not. So should you reciprocate? If you’re a media personality or a social media manager for radio, then yes.
Radio personalities and station accounts should use social media to engage with listeners in conversation. When you follow a listener back, you’re telling them that you care about what they have to say. And if you don’t care? You’re missing out.
Advantages to a #FollowBack Strategy
1. It’s not just about you. Social media is about being social, which involves two-way communication. If your idea of social media is to throw out some links to your website, you’re missing the point in what social media has to offer radio- an opportunity to get to know your audience. Giving listeners more information about you is only one half of the equation.
2. You can use social media for show prep. When you follow your listeners, you can see what they’re talking about. You may see a trend in listeners’ tweets, or you may see one interesting tweet that sparks an idea for on-air content.
If you use Twitter (or other social media) for on-air content, mention the names of the listeners who participated in the online conversation. People love to hear their names on-air. This exposure will increase your online engagement and likely get you more followers, as well.
Because sharing links and information is such a big part of Twitter, it isn’t a bad idea to “listen up”. Stay ahead by identifying viral topics before they reach their peak.
3. You’ll learn a lot about your listeners by following them on Twitter. Want to know what topics your listeners care about, or what music they’re into? Follow them and read their tweets for a peek into the lives of your demo.
4. You can create deeper relationships with listeners by joining their conversations. You don’t always have to be the conversation starter. Treat your online experience like a cocktail party and mingle. Chime in when you have something to say.
5. You’ll get more followers when listeners see you #followback. P1s get so excited to see their favorite station following them that they often tweet about it, creating added exposure for your Twitter account.
6. You’ll be able to send them a direct message (DM). Twitter’s private messaging system only allows you to message people you follow. If a listener has an issue that requires a private conversation, you may prefer to take the conversation from public to private using DMs.
With that being said, there are a few cases in which you wouldn’t follow back. If the follower has no profile pic or bio, tweets that appear to be spam, or tweets that are sexual or illegal in nature, skip them. You wouldn’t want your staff to be exposed to content that isn’t consistent with your company standards.
While we’re talking about it, follow @StephanieWinans. I follow back.
-written for Radio Ink