Radio Station’s Twitter Contest Needs Tweeks

twitter_logo_headerKPLX (The Wolf) in Dallas may be the first station in the country to air a Twitter Song of the Day contest, but they won’t be the last. It’s a simple, great way to integrate social media into a station’s over the air platform, and build a network of listeners.

According to Radio Online, the station is working with a promotional company to run the first ever $1 Million Twitter Song of the Day contest. To qualify, listeners must tune in to The Wolf until September 4 and listen for the “Twitter Song of the Day.” After registering on Twitter and following The Wolf at twitter.com/995theWolfDFW, listeners must tweet the appropriate response after hearing the daily song.

Each day, The Wolf will award concert tickets to ten contestants. At the end of the Song of the Day contest, one finalist will be selected to play for $1 million. To win, they must correctly predict the final score of the Dallas-New York football game on September 20. (I’m a little baffled by the football score curve thrown in, but I guess if it’s September and you’re in Dallas it’s all about football..)

I signed up to follow the station and indeed, they started the contest yesterday. It turns out, they don’t actually tell you the song of the day on twitter, they tell you when to listen to the station to hear it. A good, old fashioned ratings promotion, with a minor twist.

Instead of forcing me to listen at 10:10am everyday, I’d rather see the station use twitter to give listeners what they really want – a way to stay in touch with the station and participate, even if they aren’t listening at the correct moment in time. Tweeting the name of the song would do that. Or even better, use one of those fun tools to actually tweet the song. Like blip.fm – stations can build their own channel on blip, and share the music on twitter and other sites.

This is a good illustration of the dangers of using an online platform that you’re not familiar with. The station started tweeting on August 24. They probably put an intern in charge of the tweets. They have about a thousand followers so far, but they’re not even returning the follow to ten percent of them. (If you want to keep them, you should return the follow to your listeners..) Twitter is a social tool for building a relationship with your listeners and connecting with your community. A social tool. Even a branding tool. But a way to get listeners to jump through timed hoops, not so much…

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