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How many Facebook “Likes” does YOUR Format have?

Which formats are most successful at attracting Facebook “likes” to their pages?

The chart above provides some insight.  It’s based on data gathered by Fred Stiening for and it depicts the top 20 format categories ranked by the number of Facebook “likes.”

Fred is quick to acknowledge that these data may not be perfect or perfectly up-to-date or completely comprehensive.  But if they are close to the truth, and I suspect they are, there are some interesting takeaways.

First, it’s obvious that the formats that attract the most “likes” tend to be either more numerous or high cume or both. Obviously, the more stations a format has the more “likes” it may have, but this relationship is hardly one-to-one. It’s also clear that the formats targeting younger audiences tend to drive more fans.

Note, too, that the more “active” formats deliver more “likes.”  Every one of the top-ranked formats here has an element of current music in the mix.

It’s also interesting to note the relatively poor performance of News/Talk, Sports, and even Public Radio.  Is this because of smaller cumes and older audiences or lost opportunities to convert real-life fans to Facebook “likes”?  In other words, are there fewer reasons to “like” these brands on Facebook?

But what is perhaps most interesting of all is the standout performance of Christian and Religious stations. They certainly are attracting a disproportionate number of “likes” to their Facebook pages.

So there are two questions I’d like you to consider:

First, does any of this matter?

If you believe that a “like” vote relates to the kind of consumer passion which can sustain a radio brand no matter what kind of competitor comes along, then I say the answer is “yes.”  The issue isn’t whether or not a “like” is “monetized.” The issue is whether or not it exists at all.  Every radio brand should strive for the kind of emotional affiliation reflected in the simple act of clicking “like.”  I’m not naively assuming that Facebook “likes” are the same as real-life fans, but I’d bet money on a positive correlation.

Second, if Christian and Religious stations can convert a greater fraction of their consumers to “likes” without the vast cumes of Country or Contemporary Hits, then why can’t you?

Could it be that the benefits of Christian and Religious stations are bigger than the music or teaching propositions alone?  Could it be that granting a “like” to a Christian station means more than simply voting a thumbs-up on the music?

Every radio brand lives in three dimensions, or at least it should.  And, to paraphrase Gary Vaynerchuk, the more “human” and “great” the brand is, the more it is likely to attract “likes” like bees to honey.

Finally, it’s good to remember that the game isn’t just about the “likes” but what your fans are supposed to be saying to each other about your brand via social media – what the “likes” are for.  As Mike Walsh writes:

Your most important decision this year will not be the amount of money you spend recruiting fans on Facebook, but rather the investment you make in the stories through which your brand tells your customers what it stands for.
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