How Radio Stations Can Embrace 'Live And Local' On The Web
March 8, 2016
I often hear radio broadcasters talking about the importance of being "live and local." On the radio, that means broadcasting in real time and tailoring your content to serve people in the immediate vicinity.
But what does it mean for your radio station to be "live and local" in the digital space?
Essentially, it means the same thing: Interact with people in real time and in the immediate vicinity. But how do you do that?
One great way is to identify and engage with "influencers" in your local community. What is an influencer? Anybody in your market who has their own following. Influencers may be:
- Local bands
- Club DJs
- Professional athletes
- Television personalities
- Newspaper and magazine journalists
- Colleges and universities
- Chefs and restaurateurs
- Festival organizers
Create a spreadsheet. In it, make a list of influencers in your market. Add columns for their organization, title, website URL, email address, Facebook page, Twitter handle, YouTube channel, etc.
You're looking for people who are well known enough to have a social media following, but not so famous that they are unimpressed when the local radio station engages them on social media. Kim Kardashian and George Clooney are unlikely to rewteet your station, but the local university or arts festival might. Finding the sweet spot will take some experimentation. You may discover that the local football team account doesn't respond to you on social media, but individual players do.
Once you've made your list of influencers, here are ways that you can engage with them:
1. Share influencers' content and tag them in your social media posts.
If some of your influencers create content, like blogposts, online articles, or YouTube videos, share them! When you share an influencers' content in your station's Facebook posts or tweets, tag them. For example, if you share a local band's video on Twitter, include their Twitter handle in the tweet. They'll notice.
If your influencers don't create content, you can still engage with them by retweeting them. They'll notice that, too.
2. Include influencers in your blog content.
Write blogposts that namecheck local influencers. For example, write a post offering "5 Things to Do This Weekend" and include the local food and wine festival. When you share this post on your social media channels, be sure to tag the influencer.
3. Invite influencers to contribute content to your blog.
Invite people with a particular area of expertise to contribute to your radio station's blog. For example, find a great food blogger and invite them to write about the best places to eat before a show at a local music club. (At Jacobs Media, we have started to invite broadcasting experts to write "Guest List" columns for us.) One easy way to get guest posts from people who are not normally authors is to do a written Q&A. (I do this for my Broadcaster Meets Podcaster column.)
4. Invite influencers to comment on your blog.
If you have published a blogpost on your radio station's website and there is an influencer who might be interested in the topic, send them a personal email asking them to offer their opinion in the comments section. For example, if you've posted an audio interview with a local athlete, send a link to the local sports writer and invite him to react to the interview.
The web is more than just a tool to reach listeners. It's also a great way to engage with influencers in your market. If you invite them before your audience, they are likely to do the same. This is a powerful way to use the internet to keep your radio station "live and local."