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.