Social Is A Way Of Thinking, Not A Trick
February 25, 2014
After spending last week in Nashville for the Country Radio Seminar, I feel like I was just inside a giant love letter to radio.
What's even more remarkable is that CRS may be a country radio family affair but even outsiders (like me) are welcomed with open arms. I attended this year on behalf of Albright & O'Malley & Brenner, and of course, All Access. (Along with Jacobs Media clients, I now assist A&O&B's portfolio.)
One of the most moving moments from the week was when country artist Kip Moore took the mic before his one song set at the historic Ryman Theatre.
Moore was among 17 well known country artists and acts that performed for hundreds of radio managers, programmers and on-air talent during a luncheon. We heard from artists like Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, even the legendary Vince Gill.
But it was Moore who stood out and resonated deeply with many.
He started out talking about those days where we all find ourselves going to work and wondering if we're even making a difference. I thought Moore was just saying that as a lead in to a "Don't Stop Believing" type song.
But I was wrong. He looked at this room filled with radio people and told them that by playing his music, every radio programmer and on-air talent are the reasons he has so many opportunities today.
"So don't ever think what you do every day doesn't matter – because it does," Moore said.
He went on to perform his one song and then other artists followed. When the event was over, of all the artists that gave thrilling performances, it was Moore that many were still talking about.
And here's where the application to the social space of this story comes into play:
Kip Moore wasn't the biggest name on stage that day. And some might even say that others out-performed him (although he was excellent). But it was in the way he made every person feel that made the difference and set him apart.
It was a stunning visual of one of the core tenets that we talk about. And something every brand should be more focused on regarding social:
Personalizing the fan's experience with your brand and making them feel like they matter.
Interestingly, many folks that spoke at CRS about brand building or social media shared "tips and tricks" for garnering more likes, or even how investing in Facebook ads will "save radio" (yes, someone really said that - it was painful). It felt more academic than emotional.
And while there's nothing necessarily wrong with coming at social from a book-learned level, social is personal – there's an emotional, human element sometimes missing from brands.
We should put more emphasis on the fans - how to enhance and improve their experience with radio socially, how to foster genuine exchange and interaction with the people who already like you, and how to create those "holy crap" moments that build deeper affinity between them and your station.
Radio has some of the most active and loyal audience of all media, but too often we underestimate the impact we can have on their lives. We frequently view social on a scalable mentality that leads to hollow, superficial actions – how to touch them in bulk with empty transactions, rather than the "serving one fan at a time" philosophy - what we can do for them.
We don't use tricks and gimmicks in our personal lives for people to like us more, do we? So why are we so intent on doing this with social media?
Nobody remembers superficial offerings. What they do remember is how you made them feel. Just like how Kip Moore made all of those great radio people feel last week.
Someone told them they mattered.
Social is a way of thinking, not a trick.
Prove that your station is a valuable part of the audience's social lives. Shift from control to collaboration. And emphasize acknowledgement rather than trying to game Facebook.
Show the fans your brand's soul.
Otherwise, you're just a commodity – something we can get anywhere.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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