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Radio Does Not “Heart” Twitter


I just read a fascinating report on Radio’s relationship to Twitter in the U.S. and the results will startle and unsettle you.

You can download the full report here. It’s from Brandwatch, a social media analytics company.

Here’s a summary of some of the key bullet points from the study which sampled 20 radio stations from various genres (but lacks several important formats like Rock, Alternative, Country, and NPR, yet – oddly – includes two Classical stations):

  1. On average, only 0.06% of radio listeners tweet about a radio station in the US. This is 10 times less frequently than listeners in the UK.

  2. Radio stations are not interacting with their listeners; instead, 75% of their interactions are with celebrities and brands [i.e., clients]

  3. Tweets that mention brands [i.e., clients] receive less interaction from fans.

  4. ‹Tweets with hashtags receive 43% less interaction than those without.

  5. ‹Tweets featuring celebrities, links and pictures were more popular than those without.

  6. 93% of those who mention broadcasters on Twitter were loyal to one radio station

  7. Almost 5% of radio tweeters did so on a regular basis (at least five times)

  8. Followers were 54% more likely to engage with a DJ’s Twitter account than with a radio station’s Twitter account

  9. Over half, 52%, of official TV show Twitter accounts engage with fans compared to just 26% of radio stations.

If we assume that these results are representative of a broader sample of radio stations (and they may not be), it’s an alarmingly poor report card for radio, particularly when compared with TV in the US and with radio in the UK.

That said, it’s a small basket of stations. I’d sure like to see a larger one!

Even if we view this analysis as preliminary, here are some of my key takeaways:

  1. Engagement with fans takes work, and not enough stations are putting in the work

  2. Twitter is not about our clients, it’s about our relationships with our fans

  3. Fans want to engage with the people behind the brands, not with call letters

  4. Radio is ultimately about people – people behind the mic and in the audience

Bring on a bigger and broader sample of stations, Brandwatch!

Full disclosure: I’m quoted on the opening page but had no role otherwise in the report.

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