The average radio station does a very poor job of connecting with its audience off the air, except for those all-too-routine weekly “email blasts.”
What if your station had a way to reach out directly to your audience with many more – and shorter – messages that were aimed at people who actually wanted to hear them?
Well this is a lot easier than you think. And the price is…free. One tool is called Twitter. Another similar one is called Pownce. Both are free and simple social networking services that allow users to send short “updates” to friends, colleagues, or – in your case – listeners.
Here are some ways you could use these tools based on my own thoughts and some contributions from David Corts:
1. Weather emergencies? Natural Disasters? Traffic alerts? Keep your audience up-to-date with the latest news – automatically.
2. Program info…who is on the morning show today?
3. What’s today’s “song of the day”? And when can I hear it?
4. Links back to your station website (note: use “tinyurl’s“) to introduce new features/content
San Diego public station KPBS has a thousand people following them on Twitter. How many could your station have?
Use your imagination! If you could talk directly to your listeners even when they are not listening to your station, what would you say? What would you want them to do?
(Note: Use this communication wisely. You have their permission. Provide value, not SMS spam)
Put a Twitter or Pownce “badge” on your station’s website that displays everything your customers are twittering about. See what they have to say! Let your web audience follow along, start to follow, and join the conversation.
Twitter can be tool to extend your brand and your value to you listeners. It can reach them even when they aren’t tuned in. It can bring your listeners closer to you and to each other. AND DID I MENTION THAT YOU CAN DO ALL THIS FOR FREE? Here’s the bottom line: Local radio provides tremendous value to its listeners, particularly when it comes to local news, weather, sports, etc. Who said that service has to be exclusively over the air?
When oh when will local radio stations realize that the stubborn insistence to push listeners to the radio to get all the stuff they want will be circumvented by tools and competitors who offer an attractive menu wherever and whenever the audience wants it?
Those ears and eyes are ours to lose.