With Social, All Formats Are Not Created Equal
April 22, 2014
Never before has radio's audience been so fragmented socially.
Just a few years ago, it was pretty much about Facebook and a little Twitter. Because there was only one or two social platforms that were being used by mass audiences, stations had time to study social media patterns, and then craft ways to elevate excitement about the brand and build on its strengths.
Today, it feels like there is no time.
The social space has grown (and will continue to do so) with Twitter now a major player for many station brands, along with Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, and others.
So it starts with identifying the social platforms they're on, and then find the time to be effective in these spaces. After all, if we're doing what the fans' appreciate – interacting with them socially – we could even see an increase in listening.
Fred Jacobs revealed that nugget during Jacobs Media's Techsurvey10 results at Worldwide Radio Summit a few weeks ago:
We have long talked about the value of acknowledgment, but it's been a leap of faith to assume it might translate into more listening. But this data suggests one of the returns on your time investment in social could be more listening when you're serving them well. The first step in attaining that should be finding where they are every day.
Whether you use your database to make this determination, hire an outside company, or participate in Techsurvey11 in early 2015, it's imperative to ask the fans – not count on the opinions of employees who offer opinions based on their personal use of social media.
Every format is different, and fans tend to gravitate toward distinct social media hubs.
Jacobs Media's Techsurvey10 showed us, all formats are not created equal.
While it's exclusive information for only those who participated in Techsurvey10 – I can tell you there are formats (you wouldn't suspect) that should be focused on platforms well beyond Facebook.
Many format fans have a higher propensity to use apps like Instagram and Snapchat while their use of Facebook is declining. And what's nice about having research like Techsurvey10 is that the programmers who use it are now better focused, and are able to apply real principals on their fans' preferred platforms, instead of just winging it.
It's about looking at the overall picture of where your fans really are and how they use social media platforms on a daily basis. That is the kind of information that should inform your strategy:
Social provides brands the opportunity to:
- Improve brand awareness
- Drive, cause, or inspire something specific
- Protect and build reputations
- Increase relevance in comparison to its competitors
- Make fans feel like they matter
But we only have so much time in a day.
It's time to find out where the social fans are; then begin the task of carving out the fundamentals it takes to stand out in each space.
We limit our own opportunities to be seen and actually give fans permission to interact with the competition when we're not present and connected to where they are.
We also create unwanted, awkward experiences for the fans when we try to force them somewhere they just aren't – yet.
Knowledge is power.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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