Value of Social Media and Radio Stations

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Written by Kerry Brewer of Securenet Systems, featured on RadioInk.

If you are not already embracing social media, it’s definitely time to take a hard look at the benefits of using it to promote your station or broadcast. Why? Because everyone else is doing it and it’s proven to increase listener loyalty and expand market reach. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn really lend themselves well to this end of the entertainment industry.

The great thing about creating and using social media sites to help promote your station is that they are free. All it requires is a little time and a pretty small learning curve, as all three are pretty easy to use. Hey, if I can do it, you can do it. But you know what? You really need a staff member (or time for you to put on another hat) that knows and understands your business from the kitchen out. This is important, because there are things going on in real-time that you will want to promote, and the only way to do that in a timely and cost-efficient manner is to designate an in-house staff member with the task of creating and maintaining your social media sites.

If you haven’t already done so, Facebook lets you create a Fan Page that everyone can add to their ‘Like’ category and now you have a rolling wall of news posts, going out in real-time to all of your Facebook fans. All you need to do is update your page anytime, anyplace . . . using a desktop, iPhone or laptop, and you are cranking! With a Facebook Fan Page, you are now gaining more credibility as a broadcaster because you are keeping up with the ‘new media,’ which, in order to not stagnate in the market, you really need to do. This is the first and easiest step into social media.

Twitter is a whole other beast in the way that it works; it’s more like a news service that lets you send out little blurbs and rants with links, but you are limited by 140 characters. Twitter is great for DJs, artists, entertainers and luminaries that naturally create followings, and it can work well for radio too. Twitter is a great way to keep your listeners and followers informed of events, special shows, remotes, etc. Twitter is also used by a lot of stations nowadays for sending your playlist information directly to a page you set up for that express purpose. You can use certain streaming services to send the artist, song and album info, along with the album art, directly to your Twitter page to create a real-time branded playlist.

YouTube is another great tool for radio stations and broadcasters. You can take all your videos from events, remotes, concerts, interviews, station hi-jinks and more, upload them to YouTube, and embed them just about anywhere on the planet, in particular, right on your Facebook Fan Page wall or Tweet them all to your Twitter followers. YouTube is a great way to add more variety by introducing video performances and interviews to traditional radio listeners that are now following you on the internet. This really broadens your scope and reach, and keeps your listeners paying attention to you longer than they will your competitor operating without social media.

And lastly, LinkedIn is more of a corporate executive and sales professional networking platform, but is great for building profiles and establishing credibility. Like Facebook, it allows you to build a profile and promote yourself and your business interests. Key station personnel and management can easily build a LinkedIn profile, link it to the station’s Twitter and Facebook pages, create a larger presence, let people see the ‘inside’ of your business, and get a better overall impression of you as a broadcaster.

The more people know about you and your business as a radio station owner or broadcaster, the more familiar they become and familiarity in radio creates loyalty. But, just like everything else in life, you have to spend the time and put in the hours to build and maintain your social media profiles. But in today’s age of trends and fads, it’s certainly one you need to be a part of in order to fairly compete! Don’t let your competition pass you by. Embrace and use social media. It’s there to help you if you use it properly, and by following these few simple little guidelines, it can definitely make a difference!

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