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How Social Media Can Improve Your Radio Station’s Ratings


Why are you investing the time, energy, and effort you’re putting into social media? And more importantly, are you investing that energy right?

I could write a post about tactical techniques to spike listenership via social media, but authorities like NuVooDoo will happily walk you through exactly that kind of campaign.

Instead, I want to write about something larger: How does your brand view social media and its ongoing role in stoking attention, interest, tune-in, and tune-back to your station?

Here I’m talking about the over-the-air manifestation of your brand. There are a host of specific online tactics that can more directly and easily draw people to your stream, too, of course.

Think of your radio brand like the folks at NBC think of the Tonight Show and its new host, Jimmy Fallon. How is NBC driving tune-in via social media and what can you learn from it?

uberVU, a social analytics company recently acquired by HootSuite, provided Lost Remote exclusively with numbers for March 11-20 showing what ‘Tonight Show’ segments are resonating most with fans across Twitter and helping Fallon continue to win the late night battle.

Highlights from the uberVU via HootSuite data:

– Jimmy Fallon received 431,280 mentions

– Demi Lovato tweeting about playing Pictionary on ‘The Tonight Show’ the night before the segment (March 11), and Kevin Bacon reprising his role from ‘Footloose’ (March 21-22) represented the largest spikes.

– Women (57%) drove the majority of the conversation

– Kevin Bacon’s ‘Footloose’ dance (8.2 million views on YouTube since Friday), Fallon’s mentioning of comedian David Brenner’s passing, Billy Joel’s rendition of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight,’ and the Jon Hamm/Fallon photobombing session at ‘Top of the Rock’ were the most-talked about topics.

What do all these notable elements have in common?

They are all, in their own way, remarkable content. They are “unique and compelling.”

They are also “highlights” designed to exist on their own in any context that carries or embeds them.

They are not a “tease,” they are not a “contest,” they are not a long-form “podcast,” they are not a “promo,” they are not an “ad,” they are not a part of a larger whole. They are self contained content chunks. They are content as marketing and marketing as content.

And the subtle message they send is “if you want to see more stuff like this, watch the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

So how do you use social media to improve your station’s ratings? You do it by creating unique and compelling content and atomizing the best of that content across social platforms.

Does this mean you need to “go the extra mile” in content creation? Yes. Just like Jimmy Fallon does.

You need to recognize that while it’s still possible to bribe and tease consumers to listen to your radio brand, there’s no better marketing for your brand than samples of the spectacular content the listener can hope to discover simply by tuning in your station.

Now it’s up to you to deliver that content.

“Push” is dead.

Long live “Pull.”

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