Subject: A really long question for you.
Oh my all knowing Uncle, I have a question that needs your wisdom. Long ago in Allentown, you taught me that playing requests was .1% of the listening audience. With all of the energy that todays radio is suggested to invest with social networking, is it really paying off?
I.E. Say Meatball and Mary in Metropolis USA are #5 in the morning and they have a FB page with 4,396 friends and 2,457 following on twitter. They cume 487,000 listeners according to Arbitron. Their FB friends only count for .009% of the listening audience. But on average Meatball and Mary reference both sites 3-4 times a show trying to drive traffic to follow them.
In the 6+ years of PPM experience in Philly, one important thing I learned was commercials kill audience (Duh?) For every person who doesn't have FB and can't Tweet and for every person who doesn't want to follow you, every time you talk social media, it's a commercial.
Facebook and Twitter and the next 'great social networking site of the future' are great tools for grasping todays topics and buzz. It's the easiest way to start a phoner 12 hours before your next show. It's a great way to make the listener feel like they are part of the "inner circle" of your show. Social networking is a great way to continue the brand of the station, making it omnipresent. But is social networking going to pay off in a ratings war?
My answer: Any way to stay in contact with your audience in a new media world is worth employing. Social Media is not the same as the "phones". The request line was for fans of the station and personalities. Social Media is for median level fans to connect with you and might not be a ratings tool at all. It helps build coalitions of listeners who might never call a station, but will text or social media mail you or post. Please share your thoughts.