Tag Archives: social networks

Love Your Listeners On Twitter

I read an article on wsj.com about a well known NYC Restaurant owner who has started building his brand online. Michael McCarty started a blog and has videos on YouTube, and his latest social media creation is a Twitter feed that tells his followers who is having lunch at his restaurant. He doesn’t limit it to rich and famous, instead he focuses on frequent customers. What a great way to make your customers feel appreciated!

What a great idea for a radio station.

I’ve talked before about the right ways and the wrong ways to use a Twitter feed, but in case you missed it or forgot, here they are again:

  1. DO ask your listeners to follow you on Twitter.
  2. DO follow every single one of them back (it shows them you care, and you can organize them into lists to manage them if you want).
  3. DO send them interesting information everyday. Tweet things that your listeners care about, like local news and stories, info about music and musicians, or just random thoughts. But keep it short, the shorter the better, so people can retweet your stuff.
  4. DO use a service like Blip.fm to tweet songs that you are playing on the air. Not all the songs, just one once in a while for fun.
  5. DO think of Twitter as another channel of content that you are creating. Make it fun and interesting.
  6. DO love your listeners on Twitter. Thank people for listening and following you by tweeting their names. That helps them get more followers, which is fun for them.
  7. DO NOT tweet promotional announcements.
  8. DO NOT tweet advertisements.
  9. DO NOT try to do giveaways on Twitter.
  10. DON’T make people follow you, make them want to follow you.

Twitter is a way for stations to build a better relationship with their audience and get more listeners. I tweet a few times everyday and it has definitely helped build my brand and audience.

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Stations Can Grow Audience With Social Media Strategy

Bridge Ratings has some new study results out that focus on the successful use of social media marketing by radio stations and other businesses. It finds that effective social media marketing executed on properly selected social network sites can have jaw dropping results.

The study outlines a Social Media Network Hierarchy strategy based on social media behaviors within various demographics. For example, girls 12-17 use different social media sites than other age groups. Once the correct social media behaviors and sites are identified, and “If messaging is done properly (short in length, keyed on strategic products or services with targeted creative) and with precision, response rates can accelerate. Repetition plays a factor as well.”

Basically the study says that social media marketing can be extremely effective, provided that the target demographic’s online social behavior is well understood, product messaging is “laser-focused”, repetition is limited, and campaigns are well executed.

Several examples document the strategy, such as  a CHR station that used frequent messaging on social network sites to promote contests, on-air features and client promotions and saw a 25% increase in response. A record company that increased digital downloads by 34%. A broadcaster that grew listening sessions by 75% in 4 weeks, and an Internet radio station that grew sessions by 20% over 6 weeks.

You can read the study summary here.

Pandora Gets Social With Facebook

Last week Facebook implemented a new phase of integrations with other sites that allow people to share things they like on their favorite sites throughout their Facebook network. The “Open Graph” is Facebook’s new game, and Internet radio darling Pandora is a big winner in it.

“Pandora is mapping out the part of the graph that relates to music,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during his announcement this week. “If we can take these separate maps of the graph and pull them all together, then we can create a Web that’s smarter, more social, more personalized

Listen to Pandora CTO Tom Conrad in this interview with Robert Scoble as he explains how Facebook came to them several months ago and offered a glimpse of their next phase in order to engage Pandora in becoming a launch partner.

What’s so cool about this, says Conrad, is that Pandora was already personalized and easy – “one button, you lean back and you’re done”  he says. Now, as songs are playing, friends who like the same music will pop up on your screen where you can see what stations they like and what songs they have bookmarked, even leave messages for your friends.

It’s a way to make Pandora more social right within the product. Until now, notes Conrad, Pandora’s been social because people talk about it – sharing songs and bands they found on Pandora over drinks or Thanksgiving dinner.

With 400 million users, Facebook is the social internet. The Open Graph, as this new integration is called, puts them at the center of the web’s social infrastructure. I think this is a huge step that will spur even more exponential growth for Pandora. A couple of years ago (almost) the launch of iPhone spurred millions of Pandora app downloads and a huge jump in awareness of the music service as well as Internet radio. I think this is bigger than that…

Study: Teens Are Very Brand Conscious Consumers

PriceWaterhouseCoopers has released a new consumer study suggesting best ways to market to teens. Teens are hugely influenced by their friends however, advertising is considered a credible source of information on a brand. And speaking of brands, teens take them very seriously, and develop a strong affinity for the ones they believe deserve their interest.

Social networks play a critical role in the way teens communicate about brands. Users pass on music playlists, video urls, and opinions about movies, games, sites and services to their friends on facebook and other sites. They also regularly use search engines and pay attention to ads, especially entertaining ones.

Teens listen mostly to their peers, particularly those they consider to be adventurous, cool, confident, good looking, funny, or in-the-know. Often intellectual, creative and male, these influencers can really help make or break a brand. Savvy marketers should understand this group and work hard to capture their (positive) attention.

Best ways to do that include advertising – particularly across several or many online platforms; brand collaboration – working with other brands that engage this age group to enhance an offering (such as Xbox working with Netflix); and free trials. Trials are often this age group’s introduction to a brand. Advertising in exchange for content is acceptable to this group as well. And in case you don’t know one, teens prefer typing and texting to talking.

According to MediaPost, teens wield influence over $176 billion in spending power and have significant influence over friends and family, making them an important segment of any brands online marketing strategy.

The Facebook Phenomenon

Visiting social networking and blogging sites is now the most popular online activity according to a new Nielson report, outpacing email. The study found that two-thirds of the world’s population visited a social networking site  in 2008, with Facebook leading the way. According to Nielson owned Brandweek’s summary of the study, Facebook gets monthly visits from 3 out of 10 Internet users in nine global markets.

While the audience for social networks started out as a younger demographic, this has changed significantly – last year Facebook added twice as many 50-64 users as those under 18 years old. Kurt Hanson’s Radio and Internet Newsletter yesterday summarized several articles on the social media explosion. Edison Research’s Tom Webster recently reported that 60% of a country music stations audience is on at least one social network (42% are on Facebook).facebook-graph1

From my personal experience I can tell you all of this is true. I got on Facebook about six months ago, mainly to keep track of my teenage daughter. Once there, I found a large group of my graduating high school class, quite a few college connections, distant cousins, siblings of friends, and nieces and nephews. Now I check it daily for the fun of it, hear from my connections often, and get requests from friends that want to connect. It’s a new conversation that runs through my life connecting me with people from all parts of my life. It’s fun, addictive, relevant (to me) and compelling. facebook

Like many new online media, audience growth is outpacing spending on social media sites at this time, but that should change as advertisers and agencies adapt strategies and better understand how to use social networks. 

Stations should be building their online social networks, and I don’t mean by assigning the task  to the part time overnight guy or the webmaster. If you’re a business owner or manager, and you haven’t started to personally spend time with facebook, start today – it’s the only way you’ll really understand it. Get smart about social networking.

It’s all happening online, on Facebook and a few other places, and the  more time you spend with it, the more you understand that it’s not just about a website, it’s a culture changing behemoth of a trend that spells enormous opportunities to create relationships and interact with your audience.

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