More Charm, Less BS - Five Things To Think About For 2014
December 10, 2013
Understanding what it takes to build and sustain an active social fan base is critical as the space grows and becomes an even bigger part of people's lives.
To "be" social (as opposed to "doing" social) means your brand is less about empty contesting and self-promotion, and more about interplay – that "engagement" word people like to toss around.
And while you hear everyone use the "E word" – you rarely see brands consistently follow through with it. Is it because it's simply become an empty buzzword that everyone tosses out when explaining their philosophies?
Engagement is about reciprocation. Your fans share your content, and you do the same in return - a genuine exchange among brands and fans. Not frivolous interaction like those "Tweet and Meets," where stations tell their fans to tweet incessantly in order to meet an artist backstage.
All you're creating with stuff like that are problems for fans socially. They lose followers, their friends get mad at them and mostly – you miss the point of the social space.
Social is not the new request line. It's deeper than that. Social is personal. It's an opportunity to create meaningful moments – making people feel like they matter.
Below are five fundamentals of fan development every brand should add to the body of their "code of conduct" for 2014.
More Charm, Less BS
It's been a long tradition for radio to superficially touch fans in bulk (caller 10 contests) but the core tenets of brand building have changed.
It's not about the number of fans you touch at one time.
It's about hacking your way the best you can to personalize each fan's journey with your brand. And participating in their existing conversations socially rather than trying to force new ones.
Being caller 10 (or the random winning tweeter) is not the currency for today's consumers. It's acknowledgement from you in front of their peers and unexpected moments.
Social communication is now more visual. With the rise of sites like Pinterest and apps like Snapchat, let pictures and videos with fewer words tell the story.
Here's an example from KSWD/Los Angeles. Which Woodstock approach triggered more reaction?
Patience Is 'Not' A Virtue
Consumer expectations for service and ease of use are increasing. Tolerance is decreasing. A solid customer service plan would be good to have.
And when you serve, be one of those smart brands that speak as though they are individuals - without losing the business sense that helped build the trust and capital among fans. Never miss an opportunity to be good to people.
For the first time this year – people are spending more time on mobile and tablets than on their PCs. While Facebook is still important as it remains the greatest of all social assets for conversion rate (for most brands), it's time to really start thinking about apps.
Whether it's for gaming like the Deer Hunter app WCSX/Detroit created, or the social outlets such as Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat – complement the station with a mobile angle.
If you've heard me speak – you've heard this word before. Forget selfie – "flawsome" should be the word for 2013. It means to allow your brand to be flawed and awesome simultaneously. It just feels more real. There's an appeal to it that is inviting.
We're not always going to hit it out of the park with "being" social or even with our in-the-moment reactions. But the more we back away from the notion that we must be perfect socially, the more we actually expand our creative genius. We become open to all ideas and less critical of ourselves and also of each other.
Radio has some of the greatest brands in media - but that doesn't mean we're entitled in the social space. We have to work at this.
The era of entitlement is over.
It's a new era of "earn."
And if it means serving one fan at time, or small fragmented fans at a time, in order to earn their attention, that's what it takes.
Here's to being social in 2014!
On behalf of Jacobs Media, I hope to see you at the Worldwide Radio Summit April 2nd - 4th, 2014. It's always good reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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