Thriving With Social Media
April 26, 2011
What I'm about to tell you is just one way to ride high on the social media madness.
But first, I sense a disturbance in the Force, like maybe how Zeus felt when his lightning bolts weren't cutting it anymore. Okay, I more than feel it ... radio's esteem has plummeted. It's quite palpable. It was a successful morning guy who recently told me there's more money in VCR repair than in radio.
No, no. Don't give it up. Radio is loved. Mr. DJ, you still are king, or at least in the royal family. People still get as giddy by a shout-out as I did when I heard that cute Hayden girl dedicate Ugly Kid Joe to me on KRAI-FM. It matters. You matter. Here's how and why.
First off, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit and the online horsemen of the radiocalypse prove one, overwhelming thing: Everyone wants to broadcast. But we radio dorks were the first to be arrogant enough to do it. So, welcome to the club, you tip-tapping keyboard narcissists. In radio we've still got a big stick and a whole lot of juice, and darn it, we had god complexes long before Yoda23 had two thousand followers.
When I started out, I didn't have "friends" or "followers." I had stalkers. Now that's passion. Ask any of your Facebook friends if they like you so much they'll break into your house in the middle of the night. Probably not. Have you noticed that the Facebook "like" button is the new pretending to listen? Facebookers are already desensitized to the free iPad you keep promising. Yet there are still radio listeners waiting for that "cue to call!"
Secondly, I missed the heyday of the radio party. I came in during the more sobering years of '90s deregulation, so I'm ready to make it happen again. I don't care how many hipsters swear that radio is as dead as Friendster. If any one of them heard themselves on the air, they'll get giddy.
For those of us who've toted our temerity in a wheelbarrow, we can show others just how to love thyself, and in much less than 140 characters.
Here's one way to do it. You get your staff to get clips of listeners at every event. You accost people in the street, especially the hipster, the non-listener, and get them to talk about how they lived in the '80s and '90s (or whatever your format.) You get listeners to say great things about the community. You record them talking about themselves. And they'll love it! It's like Facebook, but without the hassle of being poked by people you barely know. You do this and drop their cuts into your music promos and your imaging pieces.
Yes, you've done this before, but this time you get their information. You get their e-mail, their Facebook name and their Twitter handle. And they'll give it to you because they are still excited about radio. Get it all down and give them an identification name or number. Then associate that ID with the produced cut. When it comes up in rotation, you hit their Twitter and Facebook and whatever other web juggernaut that's just been invented by a seven-year old, and you announce, "Hey, you're about to be on the air."
On the outside they'll solemnly sip their coffee and maintain their discussion about post-modernism. On the inside they'll be doing a Price is Right dance. They'll get every one of their friends and followers interested in your station. It will be cool, actually super-cool, because radio has lasers and reverb.
It's time to celebrate our being pioneers of self-adulation. We'll party, radio style, and every somber surfer prying into their old high school girlfriend's Facebook photos will be thrilled to have something else to do.