Social Media For Radio: Why You Should Make Digital Personal

Brian Curee

Did you see the 2021 3rd quarter "Widely Viewed Content Report" released by Facebook? According to Radio Insight, "Content from three radio stations appeared in various parts of the report, but each case shows that despite the massive reach that their social media content brought to the station, no metrics can correlate that reach bringing new local listeners to the stations." This may leave some of you asking "then why do social media for radio?" A quick answer is because it can help you build connections with listeners. But social media is only going to be effective if you take the time to make it personal. In this blog post, I will explain what I mean by "making digital personal" and share why the stations on Facebook's report missed the mark in their social media strategy.

Understanding Social Media

Before we get into "making digital personal", let us recall why social media exists. Social media is intended to be used to build relationships. On your personal social media accounts, you're sharing updates and thoughts with people who are scrolling their newsfeeds looking for updates on what's happening in the lives of their friends and family members. When people are asked why they use social media, they say "because I want to stay connected." That was the exact reason why I jumped on Facebook back in 2009! So if social media is about building relationships and staying connected, what relevance does that have with radio stations?

My 2009 Flashback

Just for fun, here's my first FB profile image and image post from 2009. I was all about sharing my family experiences with the world. Before "going viral" was a thing on social media. 🤣

The Relationship Between Radio and Social Media

Radio has been around for 100 years! It's a tried and true medium, but change is the only thing staying constant in this world. As I've watched stations and businesses on social media try to adapt to the constant changes in digital, I've noticed that some are constantly changing their message and mission on these platforms as well. I don't think it's purposeful, but due to lack of direction. Too many people are chasing vanity metrics. That’s not an effective strategy for social media.

Making Digital Personal

A couple of weeks ago, I talked to the CEO of two Chick-fil-a restaurants about digital strategies. As we talked about businesses and what we do on these social media platforms, I explained that their mission is crucial. We're always coming back to the mission with the Christian radio stations we serve as digital consultants. When you lose focus of your mission on these digital platforms, you're no longer making digital personal. Let me explain.

"Transforming the way Christian radio does digital by making digital personal."

Our Mission at Killer Bee Marketing

As a company, we use our mission as a filter to determine what we do and why we do it. By staying loyal to our mission, we align what we do on digital and make digital personal for our followers and our team.

For example: let's say we want to remind our audience on social media that serving should always be their primary focus as a Christian radio station- not chasing likes. We know people love memes on Facebook, so we plan to make this a fun meme, so it doesn't feel like a business post. Is that a good idea? 

3 Questions Before We Post

Below are three questions we use to determine if this social media post should or should not be published. You can use these three questions to help determine if your station is making social media personal (mission-focused).

  1. Will our audience find this post useful or valuable? Yes, if they are trying to learn about more effective ways to use social media.
  2. Why should our audience care about this post? Creating a post to drive more likes does not serve the audience or build trust. Serve people first and they'll love what you're posting about. That builds a tribe instead of a crowd on social media.
  3. Does this post align with our mission? Yes. This post will impart information that could transform the way radio stations think about social media content.

Now that all three questions have been answered we can determine if this post aligns with our mission at Killer Bee Marketing. It does, so we would move forward with creating and scheduling that post.

Missing The Mark On Social Media Strategy

The stations referenced in the Facebook report that stated, "that despite the massive reach that their social media content brought to the station, no metrics can correlate that reach bringing new local listeners to the stations" missed the mark when they focused on chasing vanity metrics over making digital personal for their audience. They created open-ended questions to drive engagement on their post, but the questions had nothing to do with that station or their mission. When a station (especially a Christian station) steps away from its mission on digital platforms, it loses its identity and transforming power. Why would any station expect someone to be transformed into a listener by posting content that has no connection to who they are as a radio station? These types of posts may work for driving engagement, but is it quality engagement? These are questions you need to be asking your digital departments or agencies your station may be working with.

If you're going to do open-ended questions on social, have a strategy on how you’ll respond to comments in a way that leads them towards your station’s desired goal. How can you guide them to tune in, download your app, visit your site, etc.?

Transform The Way You Do Digital By Making Digital Personal

Before I wrap up this blog I want to give you and your digital team permission to forgive yourselves if you notice you've been chasing vanity metrics and missed making digital personal. It’s not your fault. I've been on calls where digital agencies and/or experts have told radio stations’ digital teams to keep doing those types of posts because it's working. But, as we’re all learning, it’s not working in any meaningful way. When you look solely at the social media insights, it can be misleading if you’re only looking at those metrics as success. People need your stations to make digital personal again. It's not too late to transform the way you do digital. Schedule a call with Killer Bee if we can help your team, and remember that when you make digital personal, it will transform peoples' lives.

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