The 3 Reasons #Radio #FAILS #Social Media
A couple of weeks ago I read a post by brilliant radio consultant Jaye Albright of Albright & O’Malley — it was about a Twitter promotion a station in Texas was doing and how it’s only a matter of time before you see more Social Media contesting.
Which makes sense.. it’s ALL media.. radio, television, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter.. it’s about connecting with others. It’s a win/win.
Except for the fact that the majority of Radio fails miserably at Social Media.
Very few radio stations are using social media well. Most aren’t using it at all. In this economy and the state that terrestrial radio is in, you THINK they’d be all over it.. after all, more listeners = more ratings = more money.
But they aren’t. They are either just not bothering or they are doing it poorly.
There are over 12 THOUSAND radio stations in the United States and only 121 of them are on Twitter. (http://radioontwitter.com/)
Radio is missing a huge opportunity to drive web traffic, create listening appointments and increase time spent listening.. but they don’t seem to recognize what they are doing wrong.
The 3 biggest reasons:
1. Radio does not engage.
When I was in radio school, not to mention working in radio, the Program Directors would encourage the jocks to talk on air as if they were speaking to their best friend. One on one with another human being. Entertain them. Engage them.
So why isn’t radio doing that with Social Media? They are breaking their own rules. Most radio stations have a disproportionate ratio of followers to following on Twitter and seem to rarely interact with those “friends” on Facebook.
I randomly selected stations that I listen to as well as other stations from the U.S. and Canada.. Ninety five percent of the stations I researched are following less than ten percent of their followers. Some aren’t following ANY. HINT: The more you follow, the more will follow you back.
Many stations had less than 100 followers. And they’re only following 10 or so. Most of these seemed to be following celebrities and the like. Great for research. Bad for communication. Dudes… I have more followers than you. And I don’t have a big ol’ broadcast centre.
If radio would become “friends” with these listeners, the listeners would be far more likely to be loyal. Plus, sending out one “tweet” a day just doesn’t cut it. Nor does being unresponsive when listeners send messages to you. Hard to have a conversation with someone when you’re the one doing all the talking. Just sayin’.
p.s. Having your jocks “blog” by writing 3 lines with a link to a cat singing Happy Birthday. Yeah, not riveting.
2. Radio doesn’t promote itself.
I know! Hard to believe! Think about how many followers and friends Joe Average would have if he were on your local radio station every day telling everyone his Twitter handle and/or Facebook address or YouTube link. Lots, right? Thousands..maybe even bajillions…
If radio actually DID such a thing, they would. Listening to some of these stations, and checking out their websites.. most did not even have a link to any of their social media sites. Nor did they talk about them on the air.
Unfortunately, many in radio think that social media sites are competition for hits to their own websites.
Most listeners will go on a social media site at least once a day.. not so much their favourite radio station’s website. Using social media effectively, radio could drive far more listeners to their own websites.
Using tools like Facebook, Radio could have listeners upload their own content for contests.. much simpler than Buddy emailing a pic and webguy having to then upload it to the station’s site.
Connect the dots people. It’s what links are for.
3. Radio vastly underestimates Social Media’s value.
Unfortunately, most in radio don’t think social media is a valuable tool for them. However, now I will speak in their language. Demographics.
Looking at the facts and figures provided by Mashable, Neilsen and Quantcast there are currently 14 million Twitter users in the U.S. alone. Which makes it sound kind of piddly when you realize that Facebook has over 200 MILLION users.
And, my radio friends, sixty-six percent of those using Facebook are between the ages of 18-49. 58% of users make over 60K a year. 54% Female.. 46% male. Sound familiar?
Twitter usage has jumped from just over 5 million users to 27.6 million users in 6 months. Twitter is most popular with working adults between the ages of 35-49. Accounts for 42% of their audience.
Seventy-two percent of Twitterers are in the core demo of 18-49. 54% Female. 46% Male. The vast majority of Tweeters are not only regulars, but they are “addicts”. From February ’08 to February ’09, Twitter usage increased 1382%.
Yet, most stations don’t even have a social media strategy. Why not?
Radio: Let me know if you need help with that.. firstname.lastname@example.org
**Note: you can now find this and more on my website.. www.evilgeniusmarketing.ca**