Something Original: A Consultant's Views On Social Media
May 10, 2011
Flying back from the Worldwide Radio Summit, seething with anger from a humiliating and confidence crushing loss to a far better opponent for "Consultant Of The Year," drunk on $6 beer in seat 32J, I decided to do something about this.
I needed a hook ... omething that no one had done yet. And then it hit me ... I'd write a piece on Facebook. Ha! That would show the haters. While this social network is still new and no one has yet to espouse theories or equations for conquering it, I would vault to the front.
In your face, Fred!
When Facebook evolved from being just a college thing, I knew that at some point:
It would become one of those things with established goals that needed to be achieved.
And as a medium, we'd by-and-large screw it up and make it a vibeless platform for spamming the audience.
It's great to have 87,000 Facebook fans. I've seen stations with ridiculous numbers of fans who are getting slaughtered in the ratings by a station with a fraction of their number
It doesn't translate to "loyalty." No one is going to fill out a diary or tune their radio exclusively to a station because at some point, they clicked "like."
I'm a FB fan of a nail salon in Sacramento. I don't even know how that happened. If I was in the 916 and needed a pedi, I doubt my decision would be based on my long-ago click.
Some Wise Advice From A Wise Guy (Steve Jones with Newcap):
Thousands of FB likes are useless unless they are activated. Friends and followers and likes don't always translate to listeners. Certainly the key is doing things to engage those people, and finding ways to bring that engagement back to the radio. But there is no magic number of FB fans in relation to cume. I'd rather have 500 FB fans who are active with my media vs. 5,000 fans who ignore me.
At the station level I insist all Twitter and FB posts include direct links back to our audio stream, not just our website.
FB and Twitter posts should be 75%-plus about the community, market, etc. and less than 25% about the station.
The Operative Word Is "Engage"
This is allegedly a community. Communication in a community is two-way. Radio usually treats their Facebook community like Jonestown. We talk at them and don't ask for or expect them to talk back.
Great examples from the Bin Laden killing ... Tony Travatto from Mix in San Antonio posted on that Sunday night, "What would you have wanted to say to him if you could have had the last word...?" and got 100 replies in moments. Passionate, angry, connected listeners.
John Shomby posted, "What would you like to say to the Seal team?" and got an equally amazing response.
Prior to OBL, the three best uses of FB in recent memory were by B-96/Chicago, Y-94/Fargo and K-Hits/Tulsa during winter storms. It was a community of people sharing experiences.
Here's a test: Go to your page right now and post "Don't forget to join (night guy) at (inevitable Friday night club gig)" and see how many people reply.
Jay Kruz, from Rewind in Cincy, in the middle of a storm the other night, posted, "Who else still has power?"... and got 90 almost-immediate replies. He engaged them. At 1:30 in the morning.
Spamming the audience with appointment times to spin the birthday wheel doesn't offer people a real opportunity to comment.
Post a tease for when to play your contest.
Post "I was at (mall) and ran into my sixth grade teacher Ms. O'Brien. She was awesome. She used to give out candy for good grades. Who was your favorite teacher?"
Post your standard club gig tease, ie: "Join Johnny Bravo at Club Skank for "Women With Bad Self-Esteem Friday."
Then post: "(Female anncr) was telling me that some guy actually said 'I love your shirt. It would look great in a ball next to my bed" to her the other night. Ladies? What's the stupidest thing a guy ever said to you at a bar, and BTW, don't forget that the STUPIDEST guy to ever go to a bar, will be at..."
Go to your FB page and then to the competition. Who is getting people actively involved with what they're doing in their social communities, and who is spamming away with no reply from the audience? Which, by the way, is pretty embarrassing to see.
I've known Jo Jo Wright since we were literally kids at Kiss 102 in Charlotte. The bastard is now across the street at KIIS. He's dead to me. (Though his wife is still hot.)
Jo Jo has never EVER turned down the opportunity to meet and hang with the listeners. He was invited to Thanksgiving dinner at a listeners' home when he was new to town. And he went. In the 22 years I've known him, he's said "Yes" to every single request. Even if it meant catching a ride in a State Patrol helicopter so he could catch the last dance at a prom 80 miles away.
He's used EVERY new technology to stay connected to the listener. Pagers? He came in an hour early and called listeners back. EVERY afternoon.
Here is his FB page. No gig spamming. Just him sharing with his fans, who share back. http://www.facebook.com/officialjojowright
Here would be the opposite where it's almost no personality; just info about clubs and contests with a few decent posts of photos
We're in the "communications" field. Not the lecturing field. Though it's hard to see the difference when you go to most stations' fan pages.