Why aren’t more radio stations being social?

Blog: When I was listening to a radio station in the US recently a piece of imaging leapt out to me. It was on 98.7 Simon in North Carolina and the script went:

“We check our Facebook page even more than you do!”

This article by Justin Kings first appeared in eRADIO, a weekly free email from RadioToday. Click here to receive articles like this first in your email each Wednesday.

It seems to me this sends a really simple but important message. It says, it is worth interacting with us on Facebook. It says, we do read what you post; we care.

You may think reading comments is a basic of social media use but you may be surprised.

In my view still too many stations put all their effort into what they are posting without being seen to read or interact with listeners.

In my social media training with broadcasters I make a quick demonstration of the problem. I ask a participant a question (much like many posts pose) and then as she answers I turn on my heels, walk out the room and close the door. I ask the participant if she would be discouraged from interacting with me again and, of course, she would.

What message does it send if your station starts a discussion on social media and it is not seen to have read the comments or interacted?

Some broadcasters are realising the social dynamic is critical and they are building time into employees’ work flows to read and respond appropriately to social media comments. This also allows programme makers and marketeers to find out more about their followers and to learn what is on their minds.

Radio stations need to plan carefully who is editing their social pages; 24/7 if possible. I am reminded of a broadcaster who hadn’t checked their Facebook inbox for a few days and seemed surprised to find upward of 50 unopened messages in there.

So, why not audit your social pages? Forget the posts you have written but look out for the number of times when you have interacted or said thank you for comments that have been left. Perhaps you have shared a follower’s content. Because using social media purely to broadcast isn’t very social at all.

Justin Kings has helped broadcasters worldwide use social media more effectively in his role as trainer at the EUROVISION ACADEMY and he lectures in social media for the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.

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