Taking A Page Out Of Social Media
August 16, 2011
Do you give away free ads? Not bonus spots based on a purchased schedule, but truly free ads? Probably not very often. Admittedly, there is always the free plug here and there when you mention products tied in with the rest of your content. An example would be your morning show talking about the Old Spice guy, and the Old Spice marketing campaign that went viral sometime last year. But how long was that conversation? Did it extend into a regular "thing" on your station? Are you still talking about it? Probably not.
Have you ever thought about how much free advertising your station gives away to Facebook and Twitter? It's astonishing if you do think of it. I am a social media geek. I love all the tools we can now use to market, advertise and promote something through social media. But even I have my limit on being saturated with unintended ads for Facebook and Twitter. Nationally it must amount to tens of millions of dollars, if not hundreds of millions if you took every mention on every radio station, TV network, and newspapers and applied the standing rate for such a mention.
You might think that in order to connect with your listeners, you HAVE to mention your station's Facebook and Twitter profiles, or that your jocks have to. But it is just not so. Think for a moment what would happen if Facebook went away. Where would you send your listeners to connect with you? I know you're thinking it's "too big to fail," but let's consider a few things:
Your most valuable place on the Internet is your own address ... that is, your own website. This is where you have the most control; you know if you will be around tomorrow or not. And this is where you should ALWAYS be sending your listeners. Facebook and Twitter should be extensions of your web presence, not your primary web presence. Twitter is like a cocktail party where your listeners hang out -- and Facebook has more of a dinner party feel where you can share more, such as photo albums, and promote a calendar of events your station is involved with. This is how your talent should be using these social media channels to promote your station, but you should not present them as your primary Internet address.
Google Plus (G+) has arrived, and within time your listeners will be adding G+ to their bookmarks of social networks. They may dump Facebook and/or Twitter in favor of the new platform. Are you going to now have to add G+ to the "Follow Us Here" dribble that your announcers talk about? The airwaves get cluttered with the free adds for these networks: "Follow us on Twitter" ... "Follow us on Facebook" ... next we'll have “Follow us on Google Plus." Half the time, the exact web address is not given, and the listener is left to search for your station. The solution is to direct your listeners to a page on your website with icons and links to the social networks your station and announcers are on; A page like "
mystation.com/social" or "
On your social page, you should have the popular icons so your listeners can easily see where they can connect with you, and those icons should link to your presence on those networks. Next, your announcer's page on the station's website should have the same thing, so your listeners can easily connect with their favorite personalities. Your announcers should then direct the listeners to their page on the station's website: Connect with me at
mystation.com/announcerspage. Talk of what was "Tweeted" or "Facebooked" should be kept to a minimum. Announcers can talk about what they have posted, but it should be framed this way: "Today I posted about the latest debt ceiling talks. Check it out by connecting with me at
mystation.com/announcerspage." If your announcers are talking about something that a pop star posted on Facebook, then they should be blogging about it on their station blog and direct listeners there. "I can't believe what Lindsey Lohan posted today. We're blogging about it at
I can't help but defend an advertiser’s position -- so much free advertising is being given away to Facebook and Twitter, yet your advertisers are the ones paying your bills, but do not get the same exposure or consideration.