The White Noise Is Deafening

“We’ve reached peak social – a point at which the signal to noise ratio of social updates is unsustainable…”
~Larry Kim, Founder of WordStream


“We’ve got several thousand participants and  thousands of responses.”  So I thought, “Uh huh, and what does that mean?  Do we have more listeners, more donors, more people moving toward Christ?”

Are we drilling down to optimize our stations for PPM, but ignoring meaningful measurement of social media or community development?   We measure our social media efforts on a whole different level than we do other things.  Pushing  “like,” or reading a Bible verse seems like “engagement,” but I’m not sure it is.

Radio continues to churn out hundreds of thousands of posts, blogs, tweets or Instagrams a day, but I’m not sure many of us know what it means.  How does it affect us?  Is there any kind of measurable benefit buried in there?  Because I have 300,000 likes on Facebook does that mean I’ll rule the world?

It’s easy to confuse activity with accomplishment and reaction with meaning, but what Larry Kim says is true.  The insatiable desire for more compelling content is blurring the lines of what’s compelling and what’s not.  It’s not about “likes,” it’s about “loves,” and what is compelling to us is not necessarily compelling to the “audience.”  I always start with, “Are they saying you’re compelling because you’re you, or because you’re Christian.”  It’s a confusing measure that we all in the format have to understand.  Compelling has to do with something “I can be first to tell others”, and “something that moves me.”  I’m sure there’s a lot more, but it’s a beginning.

TJ Holland is one of the brightest programmers I’ve ever worked with, and he has some interesting observations about the use of Facebook.  Some radio stations keep reposting content that doesn’t provoke a response because it’s important to them.  Most don’t take down posts that aren’t getting responses.  There is a “me focus” in a lot of what we do, rather than a “we focus.”  And, of course, that doesn’t work on Facebook.

I’m plagued with the question of whether what we do makes a difference, or is it just something we do?  I know the effect the Warriors’ Seth Curry has had on his team.  Are we as good as Curry when it comes to impact, or are we assuming everything we do must be compelling just because we’re doing it?

There are no radio people on the list of the 100 most influential digital marketers.  Is it maybe because we’re great radio people and just ok social people?



Alan Mason

Alan is an active contributor to the industry, featured speaker at conventions, published in trade magazines and publishes Mason's Morning Minute.

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