The other aspect is revenue. Engaging with your listeners is not really generating revenue. Telling your listeners that you are at a remote can get them to come, but will it get them to buy? It depends on a few things, obviously. And this is not about the anatomy of sales. But there are things you can do to engage your audience with your sponsors to encourage a sale. But in order to make sure you can make some revenue, you need to be sure you are set up properly to manage your Social Media accounts.
A Blog - Ideally, each jock or announcer on your station should have a blog that is updated regularly. It does not have to be done daily, but weekly is good. What do you use the blog for? Simply put, it is written communication to your listeners of what is happening at your station. If you are a small station and don't have much going on, then talk about what's going on in the community. It can be your Public Service portal. Your announcer or jock blogs should be an extension of their personality on the air. They should be giving their listeners the information they want, such as concert updates, artist news or even artist history. Some thought should be put into the blog, and it should not just be ramblings, or mundane updates. All the blogs can then be automatically fed to your Social Media channels such as Facebook or Twitter, through a service like TwitterFeed or Ping.fm. This will bring traffic back to your site, which is what you really want. There are numerous blog sites that are free, and you can easily add a tab on your stations website to open up the blog page. Or you can use software like Word Press or Blogger to build your website.
How can you use Social Media without hiring a full team to manage your brand? You start by using some of the free tools that exist. When you learn how to use them to generate some revenue, you can then move up and use better tools that have premiums to use them, and maybe hire someone to manage it for you. But how do you get started? What tools are essential? I will cover three today. As you read this you may already be advanced past these basic tools. There are many more that I will be writing about, but felt I should build the foundation to a strong Social Media management strategy. I hope you'll agree and choose to share this with your colleagues.
- Email - I know you already have this, as so much communication is still transmitted via email. And yes, email is still relevant and always will be. When you create your Social Media Accounts, you should use a "manager's email". I prefer using GMail because of some of the features that are easy to use, such as being able to forward, tag and archive messages automatically. So, in this "manager's email" account you would "forward" the social media messages to an employee or intern to handle, but you can also archive a copy in your email. This way you can also monitor the incoming messages, or at least have a record should the need arise. Using email allows you or your community manager to make sure the station doesn't miss any interaction with your followers. When you sign up for any Social Media account, make sure all email settings are checked. Yes, this means your email flow will increase which is why you need a unique account specifically for Social Media use, or at least a way to filter the messages to a specific folder or tag (as GMail uses).
- A Social Media Friendly Web Browser - This is a time saver in many ways. If your station wants to keep up on pop culture and share that with your listeners through some Social Media sites, having a Web Browser that has Social Media elements integrated makes it easy. If your morning show is keeping up on Lindsay Lohan, it is so easy to pop onto Perez Hilton's site, and select the latest Lindsay Lohan gossip and share on your station's Twitter or Facebook page! If you are a sports station, you can click on any sports website and easily share the latest scores with the click of a mouse. These are just a couple basic examples. If you have a unique station, feel free to contact me and I'll show you what you can do.
There are 3 browsers that I recommend: Chrome, Firefox and Flock.
- Chrome is Google's web browser. It is very fast and now offers quite a selection of add-ons, or extensions that make Social Media management easy, such as the share button.
- Firefox is created by Mozilla and has been around for many years and there are hundreds of thousands of add-ons. This is probably the most widely used browser for those into Social Media.
- Flock is also created by Mozilla but was created for the Social Media butterfly. It integrates many tools right into the browser to make sharing easy. They recently made some changes and have a Chrome engine running it.
There are many other tools that I plan on writing about. I will also delve a little deeper into some of the Social Media sites that are out there and where you should have a presence. Hopefully you already have a Twitter and Facebook Page. Please understand the difference between a Facebook Profile and a Facebook Page. You'll want to set up a Page for your station, not a Profile. One reason is the limitation on the number of people that can follow a Profile (which is currently at 5000). Also, Pages were set up specifically for Pages. See this post I wrote for more info: http://blog.cabradio.com/2009/04/social-media-101.html.
If you can't wait for my next post here, don't hesitate to contact me. Find my contact info here: http://contact.charlieprofit.com. I'm happy to give you a free consultation with ideas you can implement immediately.
Don't forget to click to share and tell your colleagues to follow this blog. It only takes a minute, and you'll feel good about it! Comments are also welcome!