What Radio Can Take Away From The FedEx Social Media Dig
March 26, 2013
You may have already seen the new ad by FedEx where a company executive explains to his team that in order to grow the company, they need more "social visibility." He introduces his team to the "social strategists" that will get them "lots of likes and tweets" – those social strategists are his son and his son's buddies.
As funny as it is, most comedy is based on some element of truth. You know there are companies out there today doing the same exact thing that's played out in this spoof.
Perhaps it's because the social space is really still in its infancy – with Twitter just turning 7 years-old and (removing the college years) Facebook is only a 7 year-old child, too.
So this space is not yet defined, nor fully understood. In order to avoid some of the more popular social misconceptions for your own brand, consider the following principles the next time you're plotting your growth as a radio station:
- Social Media Is Not A Silver Bullet
Social in isolation will not grow your brand.
In a recent company blog, Wendy Clark, Coca Cola's senior VP-integrated marketing communications and capabilities, talked about how the value of marketing is about using the right combination of integrated tools.
"None of [Coke's] plans are simply social. On the contrary, it's the combination of owned, earned, shared and paid media connections -- with social playing a crucial role at the heart of our activations -- that creates marketplace impact, consumer engagement, brand love and brand value."
- Vanity Metrics - A Brand's Favorite Sin
The amount of "Likes" or "followers" you accrue does not equate to brand impact nor does it measure the quality and depth of your fan relationships. Affinity trumps "likes" and tweets.
To build affinity, you must speak the language of your fans and not that of radio promos and pitches.
Not being present and connected socially, ignoring fans, and straying from what they value about you with those random posts only makes your brand forgettable in the social space. And that behavior makes it hard to pull off cool moments with fans when you need them most.
It's about building anticipation – not a vanity metric.
- "Social Natives" Do Not Correlate To Business Sense
Many times, the people speaking for our great radio brands socially are not required to have brand voice sophistication or even perspective on what went into building the brand in the first place.
They are speaking for brands socially because they either fall into that "native social/digital" generation or worse, they "know" social because they've been "doing it" for a while.
But having social media "knowledge" does not mean they have the maturity and common sense necessary to speak in a brand's singular voice. Doing social and being social are two very different things.
It's time to scout, train and, monitor your social team. How are they creating value for your brand? Is it a chore to respond to fans? Or are they clearly having fun?
When it comes to building great radio brands, we work on the fundamentals: research, putting the right people in place, and having a plan. It's intuitive to us to build dynamic radio stations with that discipline.
But when it comes to building a social brand, we're not as buttoned up. And radio's approach to social may actually be stunting its growth in the space. Coming at social with, "What can it do for my ratings and revenue?" contradicts the interactive nature of these platforms in the first place.
Social is personal. Real people don't go on these platforms with the idea of helping you get ratings or generate revenue. They are there to interact with their friends – not brands.
But they will participate with you – if you've built anticipation and trust.
Assess your social assets and your strategic approach. Does it look more like it's "Brock and his whole team" from the FedEx commercial - racking up likes and tweets for the station?
Or does it look like a live and local social brand your fans are talking about?
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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