Radio Benefits From Triggering Millennials' Emotions
July 9, 2013
Radio may have strong, traditional brands that fans listen to every day and even participate with. But when it comes to having believability in the social space, you can't force trust - especially with Millennials. They're the first "native" generation to these platforms.
Now it's not that it's harder to build credibility with Gen Y because of the misconception that because they're immersed in this space that it somehow parallels to "knowing more" about it.
It's just that it's harder to earn their trust in this space due to their native social mannerisms and expectations – all of which is very different than the generations before them. Many marketers and programmers don't understand that about Millennials.
So it's imperative for brands to fully embrace appropriate social behavior in order to trigger emotions and to activate this GenY base every day.
Case in point: XHTZ (Z90)/San Diego and the recent Justin Bieber concert.
From Jacobs Media's Techsurvey9 Millennial pyramid, Z90 knew that Twitter would be a great tool to use for Bieber's local concert appearance. First, the "real time" element Twitter provides is much more effective than Facebook, and secondly, Bieber is a big fan of the platform, too.
So, how could they make this moment for "Beliebers" memorable and credible?
With a cardboard cut-out of (a shorter) Bieber, Twitter/Instagram "captains" in place and Z90 personalities on site, a strategic plan was developed. Fans stopped by Z90's station outside the concert for a chance to win a meet-and-greet with Bieber and tweeted about it.
Other stations were giving away the same thing (maybe even doing it the same way), but it was in Z90's "Millennial execution" of social and how they made fans feel that prompted these Gen Y consumers to make Z90 the top trending topic in San Diego for the day:
Trending topics are what people are talking about at a greater rate than anything else. They are also used to help consumers get a sense for what is happening in their city, country or around the world at that moment in time.
And how cool is that? There's Z90, a local broadcast radio station, as the most talked about topic during the Justin Bieber concert.
While that was a nice pat on the back for the station's efforts, it was about to get even bigger. Bieber (who is active on Twitter) presumably saw that Z90 was the most talked about topic, so he rocked the Twittersphere and tweeted the station:
Having Bieber involved with Z90 elevated an already active social fan base to a much higher level. The fans went crazy when they saw Bieber acknowledge Z90 and glommed onto the station by tweeting, calling, and texting – asking when they were going to play Bieber's new song, "Heartbreaker."
And it didn't stop there.
At the end of the night, Bieber once again gave Z90 a nod by retweeting its "Thanks for a great show" tweet:
That inspired over 14,000 fans to retweet Z90, too – accelerating the interaction between listeners and the station.
What made Z90 stand out during this Bieber frenzy is that they never stopped acknowledging the thousands of fans in (and after) the moment. That's the essence of what social is all about – an actual exchange.
Z90 also converted a great number of fans to its airwaves and their website – "pinballing" this activity from social sites to their owned assets.
In order to gauge success, analytic tools must be used. For example, Google Analytics can be used for conversion and Tweet Level for reach.
As you can see below, Z90 was mentioned by over 3,000 uniquely composed tweets during Bieber's concert. Other similar formatted San Diego radio stations were mentioned 36 and 7 times respectively:
An important side note here is that one of the other stations on this chart has a lot more "followers" than Z90 on Twitter. That should serve as a reminder that the number of "Likes" or "followers" does not equate to brand impact nor does it measure the quality and depth of your fan relationships. It's simply a vanity metric, and charts like this prove that very clearly.
This was a great "Millennial moment" for Z90 and for radio. It tells the story of how broadcast radio still matters to this generation.
But in order to maintain this place in the hands and the hearts of these fans, brands must honor the fact that they are not entitled to an active social fan base. Studying how to properly activate it is what's key to success.
There's a whole generation in Y (and another in Z) that expect different things from brands socially than what Gen X and Boomers desire. It's critical to learn the distinctions between generations. That's one of the key reasons why our Techsurvey9 is broken out by the various generations because they tell many different stories.
A good starting point to consider is to know that brand impact happens when you trigger emotions.
Just take it from these radio loving, tweeting Millennials:
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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