Why Does Social Media Matter?

We know that a strong presence in Social Media is table stakes for radio stations in 2016. But, if you needed more information to convince yourself (or someone in your team), start with the data from our Ratings Prospects Study 8 (including over 3,500 respondents 14-54 across all PPM markets) showing that the more essential Facebook is in someone’s life, the more receptive they are to being a ratings respondent.

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We see those who say Facebook is less important in their lives under-index in likely PPM or diary participation. While those who say Facebook is essential to their lives over-index for predicted participation. In other words, those who are paying the most attention to Facebook are more likely to end up in ratings samples – meaning it’s critical to have a strong communication strategy for your stations on Facebook (and other Social Media, of course).

The percentage of listeners who pay more attention to stations using Social Media has been rising. The percentage now stands at 2/3 or more of ratings-likely respondents. This means that the people we need to influence most are within our reach – if we use Social Media wisely.

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Since Social Media represents the channels where our one-to-many medium becomes a one-to-one medium, it’s critical that we work hard to make that communication work to our advantage every time. Posts and other station-sponsored communication needs to be curated carefully. Take time to consider the best way to compose the post to make it as interesting and relevant to followers of the station. What’s the benefit to the reader? Is it engaging? Is it authentic? Would you want it in your news feed?

As critical as the posts themselves are station responses to listener comments. Those communications need to be on-message for the station, reflecting the station’s brand, while being one-to-one, human-scaled communication. It’s an easy place to become too glossy, too much like 1980’s public-relations speak – and come across as bull***. Done well, these responses become extensions of the station’s brand and attitude – and speak to the things P1’s love about the station.

We all know that stations today communicate their brands on channels beyond just their transmitters. Those communications include websites, apps, Social Media and, yes, responses to listener comments. We spend hours wresting with music logs to get them absolutely right. Responses to listener comments deserve attention as well.