The Social Media/Digital Content tidal wave. It seems like the entire radio world seems to be dwelling on this now, but frankly, without a lot of progress. There’s a lot of activity, but not much in the way of results.
Here’s why: Facebook (and all social media) is what people do to kill time; but radio is what people use as a companion while they’re actually DOING something. (And for purposes of this discussion, let’s not even talk about podcasts. Their rate of success is minimal, and they’re not even going to begin being monetized to any successful degree for another decade.)
But here’s what DOES work, in my opinion: SHOW ME MORE THAN WHAT I HEARD (on the air).
The “peek behind the curtain” factor is what really pulls people in. Wally of “The Wally Show” on WAY-FM is a great example. He’s posted scores of videos on You Tube and ‘social’ with a lot of success, because even though someone might have heard, for example, singer Jimmy Needham stack cakes of Spam into the shape of a pyramid with his MOUTH in order to get Wally to play his song, SEEING it is a whole other experience – an additional experience.
Video of you running back into the room, hopping past a chair to put your headphones on, or dropping something you’re reading, etc. – “outtakes” – are, to use Paul Harvey’s term, “the REST of the story” for our medium, and about the only thing I’ve seen so far that actually enhances the listening experience, and might possibly drive people to the show through the additional avenue of social/digital.
Another terrific example is Johnjay Van Es, of the Johnjay & Rich Show. Johnjay is constantly posting on Instagram and Facebook, and his “Love Pup” campaign is the stuff of radio legend. Not only does it dig deeper into some of what you hear on the show, but it also reveals his heart in a truly dramatic way.
You can waste a lot of time creating what you think people will click on and then immediately come to your show as a result. And if you’re using social primarily just to promote, you’re setting yourself up to fail. (A lot of people are sick of every single thing you ever talk about being followed by their being told to go to your website or Facebook page for more.)
Keep in mind that most people don’t go to Facebook, Instagram, etc. searching for Content. They go to see pictures of their kids/nieces/nephews/grandkids, or “Minions” memes. That’s the real world. Like all winning Strategy (and what I coach people to do every day), you have to start with what people are actually thinking about – what actually MATTERS to them — then reflect it back to them, filtered through your observations, experiences, and opinions.
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