Twitter was founded in 2006, has 310 million monthly active users today and is the social media darling of TV. So why is radio still confused about how to use it? [Read more…] about A Guide To Sucking Less At Twitter
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.
Photo credit: Modified from a photo from clotho98 on Flickr via Creative Commons
Based on the digital landscape in radio today, here are 11 predictions for radio’s future in digital:
1. The fusion of on-air content and online platforms will be seamless.
As radio stations develop strong digital strategies for their on-air talent, the content and engagement of online platforms will be naturally integrated into the on-air show. As the request lines ring less and less, jocks will use texting, social media and website commenting platforms to add more listener interaction to their shows.
2. Air talent social media platforms will be owned by the radio companies who employ them.
Many of the major radio corporations are already enforcing company social media guidelines upon air talent for their individual and show accounts. While some may retain control based on a “grandfathered in” negotiation, many will lose control as they are required to follow specific rules and even give administrative access to corporate staff.
3. Air talent will be held accountable for their online results.
Website traffic and social media success will no longer be measured out of curiosity or used for bonuses only. Air talent will be required to meet quarterly goals set by management, for both the station website and their show’s digital platforms.
4. Stations will budget for social media third party apps.
To achieve results with social media, radio will invest in applications for scheduling, contesting, and analytics.
5. Podcasting will no longer be the redheaded stepchild of radio.
Radio will follow the model of television (think DVR, on-demand), super-serving the core listeners with on-demand listening. Instead of viewing podcasts as a threat to both radio’s ratings and budget, managers will innovate and restructure podcasts to create ROI, regardless of the minimal ratings return.
6. All stations will have mobile apps and websites.
As mobile website usage continues to rise, even the smallest companies will focus on the mobile optimization of their station websites, and will invest in reliable mobile listening apps.
7. Stations will own advanced video equipment.
As the pressure to incorporate video into digital strategies builds, stations will invest in video equipment for use in-studio, at promotional events, concerts, and client remotes.
8. Radio will invest in social gaming for branding and promotions.
As listeners become more savvy to standard online advertisements, digital strategists and sales managers will invest more money for better results, with creative branding campaigns and promotions using social gaming.
9. Radio sales executives will sell the entire brand, rather than just terrestrial radio.
As advertisers seek more creative, multi-platform ideas, radio’s sales superstars will view their station brand from a big picture perspective, creating unique solutions for clients that involve marketing from a variety of platforms.
10. The radio industry will become an early adopter to digital innovations.
We’ve watched the newspaper industry’s struggle to innovate, and we won’t be left behind. Radio companies will be exploring new innovations as they arise, mining them for revenue opportunities.
11. Social media strategists and content curators will be standard positions in the radio industry.
As radio’s digital efforts continue, companies will hire content producers and social media strategists to create online content, design individual station strategies, and measure results.
Get our your Magic 8 Ball and make a prediction of your own in the comments. I’d love to hear it!
Photo courtesy of Sassy-Stock at deviantart.com.
Blog smog. You aren’t a blogger. Why should you worry about improving your writing skills?
Becoming a better blogger will give you organic content for your social networks, increasing web traffic as users are enticed to click through. Better blogs may also forge stronger relationships, turning casual listeners into P1s.
Convinced? Read on. (Unconvinced? Keep reading!)
Before we get into the tips, let’s define “blog”. According to Google, a blog is “a website on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis.” For radio, that includes your talent blogs, as well as the content you add to your website to reflect that day’s show topics.
So your entertainment buzz, stupid news, phone topics, and audio clips count as blogs, too.
Here are eight tips to improve your talent blogs and the content you post from the show each day:
1. Focus on Your Headline. When you plan your show, you write teases to keep people listening. With blogs, you write headlines to keep people reading. It’s really not that different.
2. Include your opinion. Often you blog about pop culture, music, or current events. Listeners can find these stories anywhere, but they found it on your website because they have an affinity for your brand. Along with Gotye’s new video or news about John Travolta’s massage misbehavior, include your opinion the way you would on-air. Don’t blog just to meet a corporate requirement or to provide listeners with strong content. Use the opportunity to showcase your character and create a connection with listeners that will keep them coming back- to your website and to your show.
3. Define your goal before you begin. Are you writing to inform, entertain or inspire? Read your blog when it’s done and make sure it cuts through in the way you planned. Will your readers learn something (about the subject, or about you)? Will they laugh? Will they be entertained? Will they be moved (to tears, or outrage)?
4. End with a call to action. Write to Done has a great blog on this that says “you need to make the reader take action”. Ask your reader to leave a comment, or to tune in to tomorrow’s show to listen to the topic on-air. For example, end your blog with:
- “Are these masseurs telling the truth about John Travolta? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.”
- “Listen tomorrow at 7:20 when we talk to Gotye and ask him about the ex that inspired this song.”
5. Respond to blog comments. Your blog is an opportunity to engage listeners. Call listeners by name. Continue the conversation with your reply. Be personable.
6. Craft Your Social Media Tease. An enticing on-air tease often makes a great tweet or Facebook post. Like on-air teases, your social media teases should pique the reader’s curiosity. Ask a question, develop a creative headline, and use images to increase traffic to your blog from your social profiles.
7. Be Enticing, Not Misleading. As this blog by Daniel Sharkov suggests, make sure you can back up the claims you make. Writing headlines that are enticing but misleading will only annoy your listeners and keep them from coming back. Follow Huffington Post on Twitter for a good example. Their tweets are creative and intriguing, but never misleading.
8. Measure. Don’t wait until your contract is up for renewal to find out how you’re doing online. Track your website traffic. Use Facebook Insights (or other third party measurement tools). Let the analytics guide your content. Listeners will tell you which blogs they find interesting. You just have to listen (or study the stats).
Have other tips to share? I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below- I promise I’ll respond.
Your cigarette lighter is out of fluid and you have an electric stove. Pam Anderson is doing a book signing at the mall and you’re bummed you have to work. You think “loaded dishwasher” means your wife is drunk. These are white trash people problems, and apparently they resonate with people all over the world.
How do I know that? Not because I’m “white trash”, but because Tuesday The Dave Ryan Show at KDWB/Minneapolis had the #1 U.S. trend and the #2 worldwide trend on Twitter with #WhiteTrashPeopleProblems.
Dave says it all started when they were talking on-air about how Crisco saw a woman at the gas station leave her 4-year-old in the car while she purchased Mountain Dew and Lottery tickets. They brought up white trash people problems and tweeted a few, asking listeners to tweet their thoughts with the hashtag #WhiteTrashPeopleProblems. 90 minutes later the topic was the #2 trend in the world.
Starting a worldwide trend is every social media maven’s dream, and the goal of many social-media-savvy morning shows. Dave calls it the “Holy Grail of Twitter Success”. But what does it mean for radio? And how can your show create the next big Twitter trend?
What It Means
One Helluva On-Air Topic
A topic becomes a Twitter trend because the masses find it entertaining and relevant. If resonates with your audience, then your show that day was a hit even without the Twitter trend.
National or International Exposure
Starting a Twitter trend is free marketing, extending the market reach for your show (and the station, too). People who have never heard of your show or station are engaging with your on-air topic.
Increase In Cume
Thanks to streaming, the added exposure means you could acquire some new listeners.
With a Twitter trend, many people will tweet the hashtag without ever knowing how it began. However, if you do a good job marketing with retweets that attribute your part in it, tweeps outside your market will gather that you started the trend. This should, as it did with The Dave Ryan Show, lead to a spike in Twitter followers for the show players and station. (Dave says his account received 500+ new followers in 24 hours.)
Street Cred with Listeners
It’s true. Telling listeners “thanks for helping us create the #2 worldwide trend on Twitter” makes you sound cool. And who doesn’t want to sound cool?
Part of the brand essence of radio stations and morning shows, especially in CHR, is to be on the forefront of trends. Having success on Twitter with a trend will support (or build) your morning show and station brands as “cutting edge.”
An on-air topic that goes viral. Free marketing for the show and station. Social media success. This translates to some credibility with management, too.
If that sounds good to you, keep reading.
Tips To Get Your Topic Trending on Twitter
1. Be Funny
Who doesn’t love to laugh, or to make someone laugh? A topic that’s funny has a good shot at being shared.
2. Be Relatable
The Dave Ryan Show knew that everyone could relate to white trash people problems. Admit it: you know someone (or are someone!) who has had these issues.
3. Be Universal
A topic that is only relevant to your market will only be shared in your market. Choose a universal topic and you’re more likely to create a national or international trend.
4. Keep It Simple
Get too creative and others won’t be able to devise their own tweets to help your hashtag rise to the trending topics list.
5. Promote It
Promote it on the air, and on Twitter using the hashtag. Let your Facebook fans know what’s happening on Twitter, too with a post that says something like “Tweet us with your suggestions for our topic using the hashtag #WhateverItIs. Not on Twitter? Leave us a comment here.”
When you start to achieve some success on Twitter in the way of retweets or tweets using the hashtag, share them on-air. Make it sound big and more listeners will participate. Share the best ones on-air and credit the user’s Twitter name when you do.
Learn more about Twitter trends here.