The Weight That Radio Talent Carry
June 24, 2014
Just on the heels of writing last week's Merge, "Why Casey Kasem Mattered," I saw something on Twitter a few days later that spoke to the essence of that piece:
Why talent matters.
When the news broke that long-time New York radio talent, Angie Martinez, resigned from Hot 97 to join Power 105, the fans couldn't stop talking about it:
And while the move was covered by all kinds of publications from All Access to the Washington Post, it was the fan chatter that elevated Angie's name as a top ten trending topic on Twitter – above the respective radio stations that were affected in this move:
This moment served as a reminder of the value of radio talent – and why they matter.
Radio personalities can build a bigger social fan base than their actual station's social accounts – because they are human. They have an easier time looking real, and emulating how fans actually speak socially.
On-air talent recognize that fans use social platforms to record their personal "timelines," and share what matters to them. So often, it's a DJ's social behavior that draws fans to the station.
Great talent will typically have three common attributes that run through their social presence. These are often behaviors that brands may not pay as much attention to:
- Validation – Responding to everyone, and making fans feel that they have been heard strengthens the trust and anticipation for talent.
- Inspiration – Putting more care in their content selection than "Caller 10" type posts. This creates a more personal fan experience, and it confirms what they value in the talent as they share what it is the fans care about.
- Information – They tell fans something they don't already know, especially when it comes to breaking news or commonly shared stories. And that elevates their brand authority.
Brands would do well to include their talent in the overall culture of the station's social presence. Besides crafting a mutual agreement about how much time talent spends on the station's social assets and their own, there is worth in pulling talent in and learn from their social interaction.
All too often, we see brands harming themselves socially with promotional type messages. And all the while, it is the talent connecting to the audience. That's why we see stars like Angie Martinez with twice the number of social fans than her departing station has.
Stations need to think smarter in the social space. And talent can help.
Understanding what it takes to build and sustain a social fan base is critical as social becomes an even bigger part of the fabric of people's lives. There's nothing easy about humanizing our brands socially.
So don't overlook the secret weapon in your arsenal chest – the talent that fans trust.
They often have energy that's greater than the station itself.
And you don't have to take it from me. Take it from the fans that have been acknowledged socially by their favorite radio talent:
Talent can be useful in building trust in the social space for stations. Tap them for help to build the station's overall assets, too. Don't wait until it's too late and a personality or team take their influence somewhere else.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
Please enjoy MERGE archives here.