No Matter How Good You Are, You Can't Coach Yourself
October 22, 2013
Attending radio gatherings (and even events outside of our industry) can challenge our thought process and get us to think about things differently to help us improve and enhance our brands.
So last week when Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit was held in D.C., I "attended" via the live stream as well as followed the Twitter hashtag, #FortuneMPW."
The lineup included heavyweights from Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to the highest ranking woman in the auto industry, General Motors EVP Mary Barra.
There were incredible insights and sound bites to take away on leadership. And one of those moments came from tennis legend Martina Navratilova when she said, "No matter how good you are, you can't coach yourself."
Perhaps it resonated so strongly in the room because deep down we all know it's true.
Despite our talent and experience, we all need someone to keep us centered – in life and in our work. This applies even more so with social where it's easy to be self-indulgent and lose sight of your goals.
For brands, there's a tendency to push out randomness from promotional posts of persuasion ("listen and win"), to content that begs for attention. All the while, stations forget that what your fans really want is to feel seen and heard.
Audience perception has a bottom line effect.
The opportunity to complement already great radio stations and build on emotional capital lies within social and digital tools today. But the fundamentals of brand building and fan development have changed. Brands need to know their values and ultimately how to communicate those values on these sites.
It starts with the following:
Discipline - Just because someone is on Facebook or Twitter, does not equate to having the necessary skills for speaking as a brand socially.
And it's not just about posting, but monitoring, too. That means communicating with fans outside of "regular business hours," like this moment from WBT/Charlotte, NC. They respond to the audience over the weekends, too:
Learning time management and structure will help you become generous with attention.
Continued Education –Social isn't just about acknowledgement but also moments of unexpectedness. And "liquid content" - the stuff that ignites contagious emotion – is at the center of a brand's social presence.
Not everyone can pull this off. We all need assistance.
Specifically in moments when there isn't an obvious "fit." For example, when the government shut down, WBLM/Portland, ME found a perfect way to look present without straying from their brand essence:
It's all in the approach.
Maturity – Those who speak for your brand need to know your station's history – how it was built, what it took to get there, and its voice. That doesn't mean hiring vanilla, stiff social mouthpieces.
It means personality with a business sense. AARP is a great example of how to do this right. Here's a response to a tweet that Fred sent out that captures this meaning:
This is the era of "earn."
The brands that understand are using these platforms to build on their long-term health.
There's no doubt social is familiar to everyone but it's complicated. We're dealing with a space that's very personal for people. There's a human element to social that you don't find in any other marketing platform.
Just because social is free does not mean it's easy.
The most dangerous game a brand can play in the social space is suiting up and running out on to the field – without a coach.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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