January is an optimistic month that connotes a new beginning for business owners and managers. New budgets and new goals bring a clean slate full of opportunities to succeed.
Amidst these opportunities for success lies your station’s online presence. Make your online brand a priority in 2012 with these five tips:
1. Define your goals.
Do you want to increase your number of Twitter followers, Facebook likes or YouTube subscribers? Would you like more traffic on your station website? You can’t measure progress if you don’t know what your goals are.
Ask your staff for input. The people who implement your online strategy on a daily basis are likely the same people who know its weaknesses best. Ask your webmaster, social media manager, promotions team and air talent for their insights.
2. Assess your competition.
Take an objective look at other stations in your market. Is their website superior to yours? Do they have more participation from listeners on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube? Comparing their online brand to yours will help you create goals for 2012. If they have a competitive edge over you online, check in regularly to learn what they’re doing right.
If your station is sitting pretty compared to market competitors, compare your brand to successful stations outside your market. There is always room for improvement.
3. Develop frequency strategies.
How often will you be tweeting or posting on Facebook? How often would you like your air talent to post a blog on the website? Develop minimum frequency goals and stick to them. This will ensure your website and social networks don’t get stale. If social media participation isn’t an issue, consider a maximum frequency goal to ensure you aren’t over posting or tweeting.
Plan a meeting to discuss frequency parameters with your staff to ensure that the strategy is realistic. The goal is to increase participation, not to stifle it. Their input will generate attainable goals you can work toward as a team.
4. Make it easy for air talent to manage the station’s social networks.
Choose a social app to manage various social networks. Your air talent will be able to manage the station accounts and their personal accounts from one interface, increasing their participation. Because air talent participation humanizes your station accounts and showcases the personalities you have on staff, it’s important to get them involved.
Your social media manager can also schedule some of your promotional tweets and posts so your message reaches a larger percentage of your audience. Social Bro, Buffer, Hootsuite, and Market Me Suite are a few of my favorite apps.
Many apps will even tell you when your audience is “listening”, which helps you understand the best times to post important information about contests or promotions.
Make your air-talent page admins of the station Facebook page so they can post content without logging out of their personal account. (You can always revoke access later, if necessary.)
5. Follow up.
Don’t wait until 2013. Evaluate progress and re-evaluate your strategy quarterly. Because the Internet is an ever-changing entity, a winning strategy isn’t static. Regular evaluation of both your efforts and the changing online environment will ensure you’re celebrating with your staff at the end of 2012.
-written for Radio Ink Magazine