Lessons From Radio For The Social Space
May 6, 2014
At Jacobs Media last year, we compiled a list last year of "10 Life Lessons From DJs" for our blog.
And after stumbling on it last week and reading it again, it was clear that the lessons we've learned from being on-air equally apply to every person and brand using social. While some of the advice may sound like common sense; it's not common practice.
1. What you sound like and what you look like are often two very different things.
We often get listeners who tell us we look nothing like we sound when they meet us. While that can be awkward and out of our control – socially – we are in complete control of what we look like.
It's imperative to know your brand's role and that starts with a social mantra.
Let those principles guide you so that when you're sharing stories you're complementing the station, the culture, the city, the fans and what your brand stands for:
2. 60 seconds is a LONG time.
While there's nothing necessarily wrong with video going over a minute, NBC Sports proves short is the new long. This is an excellent use of video prior to the 140th Kentucky Derby:
3. Great storytelling requires a beginning, middle, and an end.
With limited characters, we sometimes leave an essential part of the story out because we don't know how to tell it with fewer words. Hashtags are a great way to apply the end of the story:
4. There is no substitute for great preparation.
Self-indulgent and/or mediocre social posts and tweets are as brand erosive as a bad break. Over time, the audience becomes fatigued and unmoved – creating passive fans.
And there is no value in a passive social fan base.
5. Being honest and real is the most effective way to communicate.
Go personal at times and strive to be unique, showing everyone something they haven't already seen.
6. Know your audience and tailor your content appropriately.
It's not about what we want to say, it's about what fans want to hear.
7. Interact kindly with everyone – you never know who will help you out...or hurt you.
Radio has some of the most active and loyal fans, but we miss the real win when we're not using social to personalize their experience with our brands.
We actually give fans permission to form new loyalties elsewhere when we underestimate the power of the personal touch.
8. Talking endlessly about you is rarely entertaining.
While it's tempting to blurt out self-indulgent bursts of nothing, how sustaining is that, really?
9. Get to the point.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, we have an attention span of 8 seconds.
And to make it worse, our attention is also rarely in the present moment as we are multi-tasking, even though research shows only 2% of us are truly good at it.
10. Roll with the punches – on the air and in life, things often don't go as planned.
Social is a place where we can organize fans around the brand and cater to them on their preferred platforms. But before tapping into cultural trends, ask yourself if there's a conflict with your brand. If so, attempting to create organic, user-generated content is likely to backfire.
The "BashTagging" that occurred when the NYPD tried to run a "feel good" hashtag campaign using #MyNYPD should serve as a cautionary tale.
While some nice pictures were tweeted, the dark underbelly of Twitter surfaced when thousands of people started tweeting pictures of alleged NYPD brutality.
This is just one example:
And here's a bonus lesson, presented without comment:
11. There will always be people who have nothing nice to say about you. It has little to do with you and everything to do with them.
That's the one that took me a while to "get."
Is there one lesson that took you the longest to learn? I would enjoy hearing about it.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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