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
How Do I Respond Publicly to Station Mandated Changes to My Show?
Station management has made a change to your show— reducing the length of the show, moving your daypart, or a change to the co-host lineup. The decision was out of your control and you’re not necessarily excited about the change. How do you respond on social media to changes to your show? [Read more…] about How Do I Respond Publicly to Station Mandated Changes to My Show?
Instagram’s New Algorithm: Upping Your Instagame
Remember when (cue Alan Jackson for you country fans)… Facebook was the only social network whose algorithm changes could get your panties or whitie tighties in a bunch?
Instagram recently announced that their feed will change from a chronological feed to an algorithm-based feed.
So what does this mean for your station or show? It means that you need to keep doing what you’re doing and just create good content.
Users are upset because they don’t like change and enjoy the existing Instagram user experience. Marketers are freaking out because they envision (and wisely so) that this change will make it more difficult for their posts to hit follower feeds unless they buy ads.
But you aren’t a marketer. You aren’t pushing a product and trying your best to find a creative way to sell on social. You’re selling the one thing that organically performs well: engaging content.
The trick is that you need to know what “engaging content” is. The silver lining of this change is that Instagram will make that obvious for you if you’ll listen. You won’t have to worry as much about the best time to post and whether you need to repeat posts throughout the day to reach more of your audience. You can focus on testing and measuring what types of content work instead.
So how do you do that? You regularly measure which types of posts drive the best results. If your station doesn’t subscribe to social media measurement or listening tools, you can setup an Excel spreadsheet and track your progress on your own. Here are tips to making the algorithm work for you:
- Define “success” first. Are you trying to drive likes, comments, or traffic to the website? Increase your followers? Know what you need to measure.
- Research hashtags regularly. Post a combination of hashtags with each post. Limit yourself to 7 or fear looking like a spammer (someone has to tell you that!). Include a mix of station hashtags, market specific local hashtags, relevant to that post hashtags, and trending hashtags to increase your reach. Note whether certain hashtags seem to drive more engagement.
- Pay attention to post types. Does your biggest response come from personality-focused posts? Entertainment news? In-studio video? Personal posts unrelated to your radio show? Track your posts long enough and you’ll know what your listeners want to see from you. Here’s a creative example on how to use Instagram video to promote entertainment headlines from Shoboy in the Morning.
- Spend time on your captions. The best images or videos fail to get response without a strong caption. Think of the caption as your on-air tease; craft it carefully. Track whether certain types of captions drive more engagement (i.e. short ones vs. long ones, questions vs. fill in the blanks).
- Ask for the engagement you want (but don’t sound desperate). “Double tap if you agree” after posting an opinionated caption is a classy way to ask for engagement. “Tag everyone you’ve ever met” is not.
- Try new things. If no one likes it, Instagram will make sure it gets buried in the feed. You can take some risks and see how your ideas pan out.
- Leverage what you know about Facebook. The Instagram algorithm-based feed will react similar to Facebook’s News Feed. Although Instagram is a visual social media, Facebook (and the rest of the web) is becoming that, too. It’s a fair assumption to begin with that the types of content that do well within the News Feed will do well on Instagram, too.
- Re-strategize. That’s right. When you collect this data, you need to set aside time to interpret it and shift your strategy. If no one ever likes your posts about your pet squirrel, it’s time to tell Rocky you’re sorry but he isn’t an Instaceleb.
For an excellent write-up on how all of your favorite social media networks’ algorithms work, check out this Hubspot post.
Photo credit: Flickr/miguelb
Hey, Radio DJ! You Have a Responsibility to Fact-Check Facebook Posts
Buzzfeed News reported this week on Facebook’s war against fake news. Fake news sites like National Report create false stories with clickbait headlines, and depend on Facebook to drive traffic to them. Facebook is doing their best to curtail the traffic they’re driving to these sites unintentionally. [Read more…] about Hey, Radio DJ! You Have a Responsibility to Fact-Check Facebook Posts
Why Morning Shows Deserve Their Own Facebook Page
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.
While I understand the need to streamline the on-air message regarding social media, I believe morning shows deserve their own social media accounts. Here are five reasons why:
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.