Thursday, August 20, 2009


How Do You Measure Social Media Success by Jessica Northey I have heard from several media outlets about how they measure success in terms of social media. I am not quite sure that I can say I agree, in fact I feel like radio is totally missing great opportunities here. Looking at a couple radio stations I follow and consider to be industry leaders I realize they fall short. Social Media is a free way to increase and influence positive public opinion about your station. Country music fans are passionate about their radio stations. Twitter, Facebook—these are just ways to engage listeners and get their insight so you have direct communication with them. These tools can only make you better. Without qualitative information it’s difficult to know what’s working. I’ve always said, “I don’t know what makes a station good but I can tell you when I am listening to a bad one,” and so can your listeners. I like to think of social media as being a big thermometer that gives you the opportunity to take you and your consumer’s temperature. Worst case scenario, you need a little penicillin? I am guessing you already feel like you take social media seriously, in fact you have a link on your website to Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Youtube or FriendFeed. You're Tweeting, Feebing you even have your Twitter linked up to your Facebook, so you’re posting, blogging, friending and following. You're social, right? Wrong! It’s not that hard to set up accounts and you’re in radio so content is easy, but unfortunately with social media, the measure of success is not 90 percent ‘just showing up’. First things first, it is important to determine what you want to accomplish with your social media marketing efforts. In other words, what is your purpose? Define your goals and you manage your own expectations! You will want to decide what to judge success by. Amount of active members within a certain time frame, new subscribers, posts you make, questions for you, links sent to you, being seen as an authority when it comes to social media, replies to your posts, direct messages you receive and answer, re-tweets and shared videos or images. What resources do you have for management plan? Who is going to represent your brand/station in the best way possible at all times is probably going to be the most difficult decision. I realize you’re spread thinly and social media may not seem so important. This is true in most organizations and the reason why I have a job. How much time will you have to devote to social media efforts? Someone recently asked me how much time I spend on all this. I had to think because I manage more accounts than just my own and I use tools that give me automation but still look like a human. I utilize over 20 social media networks and have them connected through a single system. I check twitter twice daily and respond to messages from Twitter and Facebook through a mobile phone application when I need to. I try to post something obscure or informative outside of my automated results once a day. That’s it, less than an hour a day, I used twice as much time on emails—I love 140 characters! Needless to say, I have a social media plan that works for me. Yours would be what works for your goals. Just a few simple things to keep in mind: Choose a good picture of your logo or if you are a DJ something candid that portrays you in an engaging way. Write an interesting bio that will capture attention in 160 characters Put your website address everywhere you can….I was surprised that a few stations/personalities weren’t doing that. Make sure “Protect My Updates” is NOT checked Change the background from Twitter under setting designs. Nothing says I don’t care more than the default Twitter background. Ask your followers to do more than just follow you. You want them to turn on the SMS alerts. You can’t take it for granted that your followers will see a post. Like radio listening habits you can determine when people are most likely to see postings and promote what’s happening tomorrow. I can’t stress this enough: NOT following back is just rude and a bad practice- it’s like saying you don’t think someone is important enough to follow them back. You can use tools like TweetDeck to separate followers into groups. Re-Tweet and Re-Tweet again. This has been by far my greatest tool for making people feel a part of my social network. It is a compliment and it draws attention to what others have to say. We all think that what we say is important and when someone echo’s this, it feels good. Try to do at least 2-3 of these a day. Find out who Clicks on what you say. I use a URL shortener that has great analytics and I can refer them back to my Facebook pages, blogger or website. Be a resource to your listeners and even get them on Twitter by providing helpful information and encouraging their usage. You can become an authority! I have helpful tools/info for this, just ask! Engage Listeners…This should be the fun part for you, it is for me! Provide cool links with entertaining or educational info, quotes, thought provoking statements, something that is worth responding to. Have face to face Tweetups with your followers. I do this on Twosdays at a local restaurant and actually show people how to Twitter. The restaurant that I work with and I even came up with two drink specials for Martweetis and Margatweetas. Unlike most other campaigns you have initiated, social media starts with more questions: – Can we learn something about our listeners we didn’t know before? – Can they learn from us? – Did we start new conversations with our listeners? – Do we have a new tool for management of feedback and reputation? Jessica is the Social Media Editor for Full Throttle Country-Country Radio's newest full-service and free interactive idea sharing and new media on-line service. She specializes in big ideas and is known for her ability to create complete marketing campaigns and bridge marketing partnerships. Her company Finger Candy provides interactive experiences on mobile handsets and social media networks. 559-349-5933

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