Your Radio Station Is Looking At The Wrong Social Media Stats
March 3, 2015
When measuring the success of your radio station's social media efforts, the temptation is to look at the number of fans and followers you have. Over and over again, I hear people boasting about the number of Twitter followers or Facebook fans they have.
But these numbers don't matter all that much.
In fact, they can be misleading. With a small budget, it's easy to artificially inflate these numbers. Spend $100 on overseas click farms and you can see your "following" escalate dramatically. But so what? This isn't going to increase your station's listenership, and it's definitely not going to impact the bottom line.
What should you be looking at then?
How about engagement?
If somebody likes your Facebook post, that's good, right? And if they retweet your station on Twitter, you've hit a homerun, haven't you?
While engagement is great and you should definitely encourage it, it's not going to move the needle by itself. And while it's a good practice to track your fans, followers, likes, and retweets, the most important social media statistics can't be found in your social media dashboards at all.
You find them in Google Analytics.
The two most important social media statistics are these:
- How much traffic are you driving to your website from social media?
- How many goal conversions is that traffic producing?
Ultimately, you don't just want people to engage with you on social media; you want them to click through to your website. Why? Because you want them to do specific things. We call these things "goals." Goals for your radio station website might include:
- Signing up for your email list
- Clicking on an advertisement
- Buying tickets to the station concert
- Filling out a form to request information about advertising
These actions have tangible values in a way that "liking" and "retweeting" do not. Every time a website visitor completes one of these goals, it is called a "conversion." The only way you rack up conversions is if a visitor clicks through to your website. (You'll want to track both the absolute number of conversions and the "conversion rate," which is the number of conversions expressed as a percentage of unique website visitors.)
To get listeners to click through to your website from social media, you will need to be constantly creating compelling online content and sharing it. If you write a blogpost about the new music you've added to your playlist this week and share it on social media, you will drive traffic to your website, where it can produce conversion. If you share a video on TMZ's website on social media, you will drive traffic to the TMZ website, where it will not produce any conversions for the station. Even if your blogpost receives less engagement than the TMZ video, it will still be more valuable to the radio station. For example:
Original blogpost => 500 clicks to the station's website => 10 email signups
TMZ video => 2,000 clicks, but none go to the station's website => 0 email signups
If you are monitoring the wrong social media stats, you might get the idea that your TMZ post was a big success. But it wasn't. Was it more popular? Sure. But did it produce any results for the radio station? No.
Don't get caught up in the hype over the wrong social media statistics. Let Google Analytics tell you whether or not your social media strategy is succeeding.