Social Media: A Time Suck For Radio?
October 25, 2011
Facebook’s mission statement should be understandable for any brand: “To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”
So, to observe and understand how people interact on Facebook is simple right? They are chatty, they share things -- it’s all about them, and the moments of their lives:
This is who we are socially -- recording our “timelines.” We aren’t especially interested in talking with companies, but if a brand has mastered an engaging social reputation, we’ll treat you like one of our friends and interact with you. And maybe even advocate on your behalf.
Understanding just that about social media sounds pretty easy (and cool) for radio to participate in, doesn’t it? After all, we’re chatty media outlets, so it almost feels too easy to weave our brands into the fabric of their daily social life.
So, why are half the readers of Inside Radio (presumably radio people) making our industry look dated and disconnected by dissing social networking? This headline jumped out at me last week, along with this excerpt:
Inside Radio Readers Poll: Half say social networks a revenue-building bust
“Facebook is fun and Twitter is a 140-character soapbox but when it comes to making money or contacts, half of Inside Radio readers say social networks haven’t done a thing to advance their career or promote their station.”
Are you serious? Do you realize we’re pretty much the only industry that says stuff like this? This Inside Radio “unscientific poll” is downright embarrassing.
Another statement from the article included: “Social networks, however necessary to what we now do, are an incredible time-waster” and as IR concluded, “Lots of people said that while they’re on it, they’re not really sure why - or whether it’s doing much good.”
This article speaks to the lack of understanding of social media by many radio people and it points to a key problem:
You can’t measure ROI when you don’t bring value to the audience experience, and when there’s no defined meaning to what you’re even doing in the first place.
Social platforms are some of the greatest gifts ever bestowed on the radio industry. With them, you can:
* Monitor and stay ahead of conversations about your brand and your audience’s lifestyles, and translate what people are saying into opportunities to better connect with them.
* Build effective gateways to your station’s website with properly composed posts.
* Increase your website metrics and brand authority by using social networks to move listeners to your best and most compelling content
* Tap into a whole new league of listeners - those who want a stronger relationship with your radio station, who have the propensity to share your content with their audiences, and would love to become “brand advocates” for higher visibility and more station listening and usage.
But in order to understand the benefits of social media and its fragmented audiences, radio needs to invest the time and energy to learn. Here are some start points:
- Social networking accounts for one out of every six minutes spent online in US.
comScore June 2011
- A study of 24,000 consumers across the 16 largest countries found that those who are most connected, and using social media tend to be more 'pro-social' than average; being more likely to do volunteer work, offer their seats in crowded places, lend possessions to others and give directions.
Let’sHeal.org May 2011
This last study reinforces a concept that’s paramount to social media: The only communications tolerated by listeners are those that are appropriate, timely and relevant to the brand.
For Inside Radio readers who call social sites a “time suck,” it’s time to adapt to a multi-channel environment and study the motivations behind each channel.
It is essential to find the right people -- internally and externally -- who can assist you in developing and meeting your radio station’s social networking objectives. It is then imperative to create an “umbrella strategy” that merges management, sales and programming to get everyone on the same page, so there are less “random acts of social” and instead, stations focused on strategic activities that can truly help you measure success in this social space.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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