Saturday, May 29, 2010

Loyd Ford w/ Social Media and your traditional world

Social Media & Your Traditional World
By Loyd Ford

If you want to create some buzz in this industry, talk to people about social media. In fact, some stations are doing exceptional jobs with social media on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. However, many broadcasters engage social media hopeful that it will replace traditional marketing. Their actual expectations are that they will receive the same kind of results with social media that they receive from television, telemarketing, direct mail or billboards. Others in our industry think social media is a waste of good time and energy. Neither is true.

Social media is a tool. It is as simple as that. Traditional marketing tools have been powerful in helping propel stations and clusters in ratings. Now your team can use both traditional marketing and social media together today for increasing ratings and actually getting closer to your listeners. Both are important. This is especially now true in a PPM world, but it is important that your social media strategies have realistic goals.

If you add to your tool kit, you must still use the right tool for the right job. It does not matter if you have a Facebook page unless you are willing to give the people on your team correct training and understanding to know their role on social media. These roles on social media should match the expectation of the listener about your personalities and your overall brand.

You’ve heard the now old saying, “Having a bunch of Facebook friends is not the same as really being connected to all those people.” Social media – like real life - is only real if you are creating value for your “friends.” If you don’t have goals for your social media strategy, you really don’t have a plan.

You must ask your team to create value for your listeners and you must join their conversations if you want to truly use this new tool correctly. Don’t expect social media to give you the same type of results that a traditional television buy has in the past or expect it to have the same influence as your current telemarketing or direct mail campaign. However, you are losing ground if you are not appropriately using social media as a tool along with the other tools that work for securing higher ratings and what I would call “better access” to listeners.

The closer radio brands get to their listeners’ lives and the more broadcasters start to see social media as an additional tool to help them in their quest to create local value, the more revenue radio will produce for itself in the long run. How are you planning and executing your social media strategy to help your stations connect with listeners and actually grow ratings and revenue? If you’ve not thought this through, you should know it may be the single biggest question of the next decade.

Loyd Ford is the ratings and marketing strategist for Americalist Media Marketing. Americalist has helped radio stations grow consistent ratings since 1987 and now provides new generation ratings programs like their Magnet Program™ for PPM, FastCUME Tactic™ for Holiday Music Stations, Neighbor Selects™ and AWEPOP™ E-Mail to move stations forward in a brave new bottom-line world. Loyd spent seventeen years programming in medium, small and large markets across the U.S. and has worked in the radio business all of his life. You can reach out for Loyd via or 877-475-6864. Americalist is market exclusive and consultations are free and confidential. You can network with over 1,500+ program directors, market managers, promotions + marketing directors, personalities and more by joining the RADIO group on Facebook “Social Networking for Radio Stations.” The focus is social media and it’s free to join.

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