Friday, August 21, 2009
FACEBOOK, SOCIAL NETWORK AND YOUR RADIO STATION NOW Loyd Ford
Are you open-minded? Are you ready to embrace the present? Beware of the people who tell you, “Oh, yeah, we work Facebook at our station.” It’s like those people at radio stations who have the massive e-mail databases and send out spam once or twice a month. They want to scare you with how amazing their database is, but they are not doing what they should to really form relationships with their listeners and generate two-way participation with their audience and the station. How are they really doing? Better yet, how much trouble are they in? A lot. Maybe you are doing better. I hope so. After all, radio is great when it is locally focused and the companion for the listener. The listeners are discovering Facebook and using it a lot. Let’s talk a little bit about Facebook and the two kinds of people who use this social networking phenomenon. Facebook What has sailed past 250 million users? What has more than 120 million users who sign on at least once a day – every single day? Facebook. What is the fastest-growing demographic on Facebook? Teens? WRONG. Twenty-somethings? WRONG AGAIN. Try 35+. No, it’s nothing like MySpace. Facebook is lightning fast and content spreads beyond belief. But They Wouldn’t Choose Facebook Over My Station At Work, Ma? Yes, they would…and do. Brace up! According to a new study, more than 75% of workers have a Facebook account. Most have access to Facebook during the day at work. Think about this: Be replaced by social networking or make radio a part of social networking. Does this sound like Napster and the record companies? It’s time to really engage these people who are finding other distractions and forming other attachments that are not you. Use Facebook and other social network sites to reform their attachment to YOU. In What Century Is Your Station Living? There are two kinds of people on Facebook right now: 20th Century people and 21st Century people. You and I are essentially 20th Century people. Oh, I know, you’ll tell me how hip you are today, but I will tell you that your listeners – especially the early adaptors and younger audience – are much more advanced than you. You are behind. Study is needed. Is your morning show communicating with listeners via Facebook? Do they have a page on Facebook with a blog? Are they posting pictures? Do they encourage listener feedback and requests for content? Do they allow the listeners to have a relationship with them on Facebook? What about the other people on your station? Have they opened up to Facebook? Don’t stop with the morning show. You, your personalities and everyone working at the station should be connected and involved. If you are not, you are fading away. Who wants to fade away? Role On Down The Road Do the personalities on your radio station have a role on Facebook? After all, they have images. They have an opportunity to connect with their audience like never before, but you must try to manage their brand even on Facebook. Better yet – get them to understand and manage their own brands. To do this properly, they should have a role on Facebook that fits their on-station image and helps attract loyal audience on Facebook and back to the station. Please don’t think I’m kidding. You should be doing this with your remaining talent. Do it now and grow the station. If you are a personality on the radio today, you must concern yourself with growing your brand because many of the broadcast companies have reformed their view around radio “workers” being like factory workers. If you can be replaced for less, you will be replaced. Make sure you are bringing even more to the party than ever by working social networking. Let your bosses know you have the answers and are growing value beyond your other duties. You Better Get Visual 1 billion photos are uploaded to the site – each month. More than 10 billion videos are uploaded each month. While radio cuts people, Facebook and other social networking sites are looking to take over out of pure hunger. More than 30 million active users are currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices. That number is growing. How can you take advantage of this? Radio stations have a visual presence. Think about your logo. Think about your image. The image you are trying to grow in your market should and could be enhanced greatly by your social networking. Pictures. Videos. Blogs. Every great personality. Every great radio station. It Is Smart To Be A Part Of It Great morning shows are usually “into” things. They often share these experiences with listeners. Some morning shows are doing a great job of using Twitter and Facebook as additional tools for their shows. However, some are reluctant. In fact, this reluctance comes out of being a 20th Century radio personality in the 21st Century. You must find a way to motivate them, and it can be easy to motivate them once they begin seeing the feedback from listeners. To move ahead, you must live the lifestyle with the listeners and showcase that in social networking. Facebook is a great way to “get in it.” If you were shocked by the Facebook 35+ growth earlier in this article, you better get your team involved and learn all you can about joining the social networking revolution. Why? Because it is a revolution. RADIO STATIONS AND PERSONALITIES ARE COMPANIONS You have the CUME. You should consider every resource to direct listeners to participate with you. Show them that you are like them. Show them that they can be your friend, your companion. If you have been a forward-thinker, staff members have likely been blogging on your station Web site for a good while now. Those blogs are an extension of their on-air and off-air lives. Their participation in becoming more social online, rather than simply on- air, has probably contributed to their further employment. You should be putting those blogs on Facebook on your own station “group.” JUST LIKE THE LISTENERS You should use Facebook like the listeners use it. For example, post a quiz that focuses on a “friend” (personality) and what other friends (listeners) may not know about them. Tag it to thirty “friends,” maybe tagged to thirty more and thirty more and thirty more. Have you done this on Facebook yourself? NOTE MORE RATINGS FOR YOU Post notes about everything related to your station, from contests -- where the listener really has an opportunity to win something they WANT -- to interviews or special content. Again, tag it again and again to other friends! As with Twitter, emphasize “appointments, appointments, appointments” and “benefits for the listeners.” Don’t think like a radio station – think like a listener. (Please tell me you have special appointment content in 2009.) Who Is Your Chief Experiment Officer? What? You don’t have a chief experiment officer? You should. It’s more of an unofficial title, but chances are there is someone on your staff who is already big into social networking. Your job is to find them and get them to help you establish a new social network marketing evolution for your brand(s). OF COURSE YOU SHOULD BE MARKETING You have reached a point that is critical to your brand. If you think social networking is going to carry the load and you don’t have to market, you could be in the group falling further behind in revenue in 2010. If you have not been marketing in some time, now could be more critical than you recognize. Think about this: Those who market now will catch their direct competitors flatfooted and gain MARKET REVENUE SHARE directly from them in 2010. Are you ready for that kind of action? Check in with the Americalist Team and we will show you options to market for less than you may think. Call 877.475.6864 or email Americalist1@aol.com. Our consultation is free. While this article focuses primarily on Facebook, this article is only an idea-starter for your team. These are a few basics to get you moving in the right direction. If you are already doing these things, continue to research and use social networking to enhance your marketing and your on-air images. You’ll be glad you did. Thank you for reading. I hope this is helpful, but it will only be truly helpful if you put it into action. Good luck!