I was recently asked to write a column for superstar radio consultant Gary Berkowitz about Facebook and what radio stations should know about how to really use it. While the piece was geared towards radio brands, it is relevant to any business. If you’d like to discuss how these concepts refer to YOUR business, just contact me.
Facebook is the internet’s most popular social networking site, and if your radio station isn’t on Facebook, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with your listeners and would-be listeners. However, you need to plan and execute your Facebook presence the right way, and here are five factoids that will help you maximize the Facebook experience for both your station and your listeners.
1. LIKES DO NOT EQUAL RATINGS Just because you have a bunch of people who LIKE your station’s page doesn’t mean you’ll see a bump in your ratings. Yes, you want lots of people to LIKE your page so your updates will show up in their news stream, but that’s only the first step in creating meaningful engagement on Facebook. Don’t expect an Arbitron bump because you have a huge Facebook following. There is virtually no way that the two things are connected.
2. SPEAK WITH ONE VOICE It’s fine for your Air Personalities to have their own Facebook pages and communities, but in order to build your station’s presence and engagement on Facebook, you need to have them communicate with listeners via the station’s page. They can still use their page, and probably should put their updates that have to do with their work on both their own page and the station page. But remember, if they don’t update listeners through the station page, you lose a chance to get the station name on people’s news stream.
3. YOUR ENTIRE WORLD IS RULED BY CUME OCCASIONS You’ve probably heard that from people like Gary or read that somewhere. In the PPM World, cume occasions are key to winning. The same holds true for Facebook. Only the heaviest users with no life are on Facebook all the time, so you need to be in their stream whenever they check in. That means pushing updates out throughout the day and night so your 5:30AM update isn’t missed by the person who just gets to Facebook at 3:00PM.
4. MORE OF YOUR LISTENERS VISIT FACEBOOK THAN YOUR WEBSITE It’s not because your website sucks, although most radio websites do, but because they want to see things they know they’ll be interested from people they know on Facebook. That means you’re missing a big hunk of your audience if you spend a bunch of time posting on your website and not putting that content on your Facebook page.
5. USE FACEBOOK TO BRING PEOPLE TO YOUR STATION AND WEBSITE You already know more people go to Facebook than your own website, so your page should have links to your website, your online stream, and directly to a loyalty club if you have one. Think as every Facebook page visit as a way to get people to listen longer and interact more with your brand. If you don’t do that, you don’t have a Social Media strategy.
Mark Edwards is a longtime award winning broadcast programmer and innovator. His quarter of century of programming top radio stations includes WLIT/Chicago, KOSI/Denver, KYKY, KEZK, and WVRV in St. Louis and more. Edwards led innovation in the radio industry by launching one of the first websites for a radio station, creating the first direct mail video, and using New Media to market radio. His pioneering work in Social Media, internet marketing, and multi-platform branding is well known in the broadcasting and online industries. Mark Edwards Worldwide serves the entertainment and consumer goods industries with best in class Social Media, Internet Marketing, and Content Creation. Reach Mark at http://www.markedwardsworlde.com.