The latest studies and research show that stations that use blogging and social media to supplement their online presence, gain more in listener loyalty than stations that do not. The use of social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can be very creatively used by any radio station today to not only instill listener loyalty, but to drive branding as well. As a matter of fact, by not embracing social media and blogging, you are telling today’s progressive online listener that you do not care to cater to their demographic requirements.
One of the great benefits of embracing social media to promote your station and its online streams, is that it is free. I definitely do recommend however, that if you are going to use social media, and particularly blogs, that you need an in-house staff member that knows the details of your marketing mission and can effectively create and maintain that online effort. After all, the everyday events, remotes, interviews, guests and promotions that a radio station is involved with on a day-to-day basis, has to be then translated over to these mediums by someone with integral knowledge.
Twitter is perfect for setting up a page to send your playlist information to, and display artist/title/album, album art and/or show information. This is a very easy thing to do. All you do is set up a free Twitter page, and export your playlist metadata to the page using an API script. Ok, so that may not be your expertise, but that’s why you have a tech department, webmaster, or web development firm. It takes 5 minutes and then you can start promoting it, linking it on your site, telling your listeners about it on-air, and by whatever other means you use to get the word out.
Setting up a Facebook fan page is also very simple to create and maintain. Here is another chance to promote your station and events, document interviews and guests, create discussions with fans and more. Facebook also give your listeners the ability to post messages and comments, and also click on your ‘Like’ button, linking themselves to you. This information is also shared with others and a viral effect takes place, pushing your brand out there even further. Listener-interactivity is the key to keeping listeners’ attention longer. The more ways you have to communicate with your listeners, the higher the loyalty rate and recognition factors.
Set up a LinkedIn page if you haven’t already. This may be more applicable to the individuals in the organization, as LinkedIn is seen more as a corporate and business networking platform. It’s a great way for the execs and DJs to establish a profile, backgrounders, create links to your other social media sites, web sites and blogs and further promote your image and mission. LinkedIn also has many industry organizations that you can join and link up with others of the same business and networking mindset. Easy to do, but like the others, it takes time to create and maintain. Again, this is more of an individual thing.
Blogging is one of the easiest and best ways to promote what you are doing on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis. Anyone can set up a free blog using something like WordPress or Blogger, customize it pretty much any way you want, add heading, titles and keywords, and start publishing your own material intra-day of you want. You can set up an email subscriber box so visitors and listeners can join your mailing list and keep up with the station’s events and promotions. You can pull RSS feeds, and even your Facebook and Twitter posts can all be integrated into the blog using simple APIs that are already built-in. The blog allows you the ability to become a publisher in real-time, and at the same time, pull all your social media together into one nice and neat piece of online real estate.
All of these things done together, by the right person, using up-to-date content and information of interest, will definitely help to set you apart from the competition. You need to show the listener that you care about them by using these common forms of new media, which are not-so-new anymore. The right staff member that knows your organization can easily enhance and shape your image like never before. There was a famous Clint Eastwood spaghetti western called, “For a Few Dollars More.” All it takes is a few dollars more, or a few hours more, spent on creating and maintaining your social media profile to notch yourself up in the game. It’s not ‘new media’ anymore, it’s a required action for every broadcaster, big or small.