Social Media + Radio = ?
June 11, 2013
The importance of driving chatter on social media for indirectly promoting and sustaining brands is something Mary Beth Garber, EVP/Radio Analysis and Insights at Katz Radio Group, knows all too well. Mary Beth specializes in strategic analysis and development for sales and marketing.
She recently shared with me an insightful (and funny) interview that All Things Digital's Kara Swisher conducted with Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, and I. Marlene King, executive producer of "Pretty Little Liars" and "Ravenswood."
The interview is about the impact that social media has on today's pop culture. When you have a minute you can read the entire interview here.
It's a conversation everyone in radio should be having internally about the power of the fan's voice, having the entire team on board with Twitter, and the essence of social.
All too often, we see brands approaching social with basic questions such as, "How do I get more followers," or "How can I generate revenue from it?" And while there's certainly nothing wrong with wanting a large social fan base or creating a secondary revenue stream, the fact of the matter is that social media is personal for people.
Therefore brands should have a human approach – not that common thinking bottom line approach.
A great starting point could be answering some of the questions ATD's Kara Swisher asked the ABC execs. For example:
"How does Twitter help you as a creator?"
"Do you want to be guided by your fans?"
"Do you see [Twitter] as a marketing thing, or is it really an integral part of the creative process now?"
How would you answer these same questions?
The social space isn't about persuading fans to listen to you as much as it is fitting your brand into their conversations and making a commitment to use these platforms to make their lives better.
Making them feel seen and heard.
That's the real currency today.
Allowing people to feel like they have a voice.
Fans today are already exchanging ideas and reactions with creators and actors of some of TV's biggest shows. It's exciting when Shonda Rhimes, creator of ABC's "Scandal," gets on Twitter and teases fans – but more importantly – when she thanks them, and dialogues with them, too.
There's no doubt a show like "Scandal" is getting a lift in ratings from their use of Twitter (even during re-runs).
They are involved. They participate in the conversation that fans have about the show.
You may recall in April that a study from Nielsen compiled with SocialGuide reported a "statistically significant relationship" between Twitter activity and television ratings – especially among younger demographics.
We may not have anything tangible in our hands right now regarding radio's ratings and Twitter but it's a safe bet that we can benefit from social, too.
But only when trust is built.
We are not entitled to a social fan base.
We may have remarkable traditional brands that fans come to every day and even participate with – but when it comes to having believability in the social space, you can't force trust.
If social is going to correlate to higher ratings for your radio station, genuine effort is required. Fans will not automatically participate with us socially just because they listen to our radio stations.
But when we consistently play to their passions, emulate their language, and acknowledge them when they speak, they are likelier to be more interested in us socially.
There are steps involved in putting a social fan base in place and when executed properly, you will find this group of fans more active and engaged than perhaps the passivity you see in your email marketing database.
It's because these are chatty folks who love to voice their opinions and point their friends in directions where they perceive value.
Evaluate your social behavior.
Allow this space to not be just about your brand but an indirect path to your brand that fully involves the fans.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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