Radio Has SUHper Fans Too, It's Just A Matter Of Unleashing Them
September 11, 2012
"The Boys of Fall" are back in action and no doubt we will hear about questionable tweets from fans or players – it happens every year. But the season (at least in Detroit) started out with excellence on Twitter when Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh found a fun way to interplay with fans to make the Lions season home opener game something to remember.
Suh, like many celebrities written about here on Merge, understand that this social space is simply opportunity to make your fans feel they count.
Suh could take the "easy way out" and just give his game tickets to a friend (in radio terms – "to caller 10") but he chose the path where many don't go. He took the time to hang out with his fans on Twitter.
The first person to show up at this secret location and knew to say, "I'm a SUHper fan" won the tickets.
What's special about this is that Suh made sure he was personally there to give the winner the tickets. Nice touch!
The outcome was fun. All of the fans that showed up were saying loudly, "I'm a SUUUUH-per fan." Even the fans that didn't win the tickets were grateful they had a chance to meet one of their favorite Lions players!
This was just a cool, simple way for Suh to let his fans know they matter. It's one of the most important things any brand can do for fans - one by one – finding ways to communicate with them on their preferred platforms.
What's unique about Suh is that he keeps the interplay going. The next day – after the Lions big win over the Rams, Suh was still chatty with his fans, including them in his social space:
Radio could be doing this, too. We have the opportunity to get fans of our stations closer to the artists (and other local celebrities) they love. It's simply a matter of going beyond the common mindset of "giving away lots of tickets and prizes to caller 10" and thinking of ways to create brand impact, one fan at a time.
As a former Program Director, I know that the "mother ship" (the FM stick) comes first and the heaviness placed on creating listening occasions is significant. But if the frenetic energy of the day-to-day pressures distract you (or your team) from learning the balance between traditional programming tactics and building social value – your brand will ultimately become a commodity to fans – nothing real special - something they can get anywhere.
From the way radio's "real estate" is being challenged in areas like the automobile dashboard to iPod/iPhone docks, isn't it time to be extraordinary with our fans by offering them acknowledgement, unique experiences, and these great moments of unexpectedness?
The key is in identifying people who can help you balance it all so that we are always looking ahead and finding ways to keep our brands in the hands (and the hearts) of the social fans.
Here's to a "SUH-per" football season! (And by the way, Twitter can be fun on Sundays. Join me @lorilewis as I enjoy the occasional football smack talk – just not when the Packers lose.)
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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