Friday, December 11, 2009

The Digital Daypart - Using Social Media to Win Big in 2010

by Jessica Northey
This past week I took the last Conclave webinar of the year featuring digital-age entrepreneur Doug Zanger addressing, The Digital Daypart - Using Social Media to Win Big in 2010 and hosted by Jay Philpott.  Those of you who are not familiar with the Conclave, this organization was founded as a regional gathering of communications professionals. “Through education, the Conclave’s mission is to improve the quality of broadcasting and related industries so they may better serve the public interest.” In order to do this the Conclave conducts seminars throughout the year keeping with its mission statement, and makes available on an annual basis broadcasting school and baccalaureate scholarships. 

You may know Doug as a former radio guy from Portland, Oregon or heard his national voice over work or one of his popular podcasts, you might know him as the copy writer that has picked up a national award or perhaps as the first-ever radio jury president of the London International Awards, or you may have caught his work as a blogger on Advertising Age. Any way you know him, Doug shared his thoughts on radio today and what you can do to make the most of your resources.

“Social Media has the power to take your communication one step further – to the listener’s turf,”exclaims Zanger. As you know therein lays the power for you to get them where they are and bring them back to you! "Promotions could and should live online. People accept a certain level of advertising; they understand we have bills to pay. The secret is to understand the power of the new conversation, and to have courage. You need to accept the facts - it's the end of the bullhorn era. You must embrace the new litmus test of content - can the listener get this somewhere else?"

This was my first Conclave webinar.  It was great to see that my ideas, opinions and punditcy were validated by a nationally treasured thought leader.

Emotion is the most important part of effective creativity! As you know communication and conversation changes daily and we’re not “broadcasters” any more, radio is an “entertainment option.”

According to a University of Oregon Entertainment Option Survey here is how people “entertain” themselves and their using habits:
1) iPhone - constantly
2) Facebook - up to 4 times a day (morning, lunchtime, evening, before bed)
3) Twitter - 3-5 times per day
4) Other Social Media - once a day
5) Entertainment Websites - twice a day
6) News Websites/Blogs - once a day
7) Video Games - around 3 times per week
8) TV (often on-demand such as Hulu, YouTube, iTunes) - around 3 times per week
9) Alternative Weekly - once a week
10) Internet Radio/iTunes (Pandora, Rhapsody, Imeem) - daily
11) Hanging out with friends - daily
12) Radio - occasionally (often NPR)

 “Seem bleak? Not really,” says Zanger, “at least we know what they are doing. So why not get to them when you know they’re there... and tell them you’re there!” Facebook posts and Tweeting for morning shows should be weekdays at 6a, 7a, 8a and 9a.

Earlier this summer I looked at hundreds of Country Music Radio Stations websites and reported my findings, Doug looked at all formats and pointed out the following:
-fb/twitter/etc. not easy to find at all
-fb & twitter posts were are at odd hours
-fb pages don’t have links
-fb pages have dated/no photos
-newsfeed/RSS feed’s are unavailable
-blog post gaps and/or no blogs
-movie news was “news” news
-jocks aren’t tweeting and there are huge tweet gaps
-no sharing icon opportunities (like a tweetmeme, Facebook share button or DIGG widget)
Social media needs to happen every day and CONSTANTLY! Also you should link all platforms together like your Blog, Facebook, Website and Twitter.

Another area I agree with Zanger on, and a constant theme in my writing is: Blogs are your best friend! Blogs are good for: search, traffic, content.  He adds, “make sure you: tag, tag and tag-you’re creating a digital footprint. Remember, Social Media at its best, is storytelling and promotion to highly targeted people. This drives listeners to your digital/social side and then drives them right back to on-air.”
“Each Social Media Platform has a personality: Twitter is like a cocktail party.  Facebook is the backyard BBQ.  Blogs are like a coffee shop conversation.”

In closing he stated:  “It’s ok to experiment. It’s ok to be incremental. It’s ok to try a few things
But you need to be as aggressive as possible.  In fact, I would recommend you hire a full time Social Media Manager!”

Adding my own twist to this webinar:
Don’t forget to determine what your goals and strategy for Social Media are first!
Social Media tools will change. They always do. There was a time when AOL was top dog. Yahoo seemed invincible. Myspace too.  If you get caught up in the tools, you’ll constantly be changing directions, with no real plan to guide your way. 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. As you know without qualitative information it’s difficult to know what’s working.  I’ve always said, “I don’t know exactly what makes a radio 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?

For more information about The Conclave:

Social Media gives you FREE access to promote you/your business.  With a little effort you can achieve respectable reach and unprecedented frequency!

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 has over 19 years experience including Radio, Television, Internet and Print Sales as well as an On-Air Radio personality.  She is an Entrepreneur who owns servicing all website needs including domain names, hosting, SSL Certificates etc. She specializes in big ideas and is known for the ability to create complete marketing campaigns and bridge marketing partnerships. Her company Finger Candy Media provides Social and New Media optimization planning for businesses, brands and individuals.


No comments:

Post a Comment