How to make the most out of social media

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December 4, 2014 by johnnyseifertradio

Remember these headlines- 2003 is the year of Matmice! 2004, the year of Piczo!  (remember when you became an expert in html language [bold] [/bold]). 2005 is the year of Bebo! 2006 is the year of MySpace! 2007 is the year of Facebook! 2009 is the year of Twitter!

In the past ten years different social media websites were created to give users a place to engage with their friends and share content when they are not together. For example, these websites were big for school age teenagers to engage with their friends with photos of their holidays. However, as these websites gained more interactions, parents started to join which put teenagers off leading to a new social media platform forming which parents would apparently not understand. Do you remember when Facebook took over Myspace and there was uproar that Myspace users were not going to join Facebook and how weird it was that you ‘can’t order your top friends’ or ‘own a photo’ anymore? Come 2009, the use of computers and brick phones started to fade with the introduction of the Blackberry which in turn in 2012 led to the use of tablets and Iphones to carry out social media tasks on. These accessories paved the way for applications to be used 24/7 including Snapchat, Instagram, Youtube, Viber, Vine, FlickR and Buzzfeed amongst others.  But, since Facebook is widely used originating with University students radio stations have gone from interacting with listeners to trying to sell the radio station to the listener.

Lori Lewis at Jacobs Media over in the USA states, “In the past year alone, Facebook has talked about not wanting to be seen as a free distribution platform for promotions”. The problem is that we like a Facebook page as we are showcasing to our friends what our interests are so that when the possibility of getting a date arises from the girl that just changed her profile picture to a bikini picture in the sun you can stalk their profile and decide if you are a suitable match. However, what has happened is that radio stations have taken advantage and will plug their social media channels too much and it leads to casual readers unliking the station to stop the spam (yes you Capital Fm). I am guilty of this as well. When I first starting the Breakfast show on Scratch Radio in Birmingham, I would write status’s that are eight lines long listing EVERYTHING that would be happening on the show over the next three hours. So what should we be doing to make sure that potential and casual listeners with short radio hours help increase our RAJAR’s? My advice, go viral!

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Youtube– Last week Scott Mills on BBC Radio 1 played a prank on his co-presenter Chris Stark by setting up an interview fail with Friends actress-turned Hollywood MILF- Jennifer Anniston as seen below.

This video has currently been seen  3.7 million times. Scott Mills has been criticised heavily in the press in recent years that he is to old for Radio 1 being aged fourty, the same age as Chris Moyles who was taken off the station for being to old. However, what Scott has done has remodelled himself thinking of his audience and creating content such as those interviews or his feature  ‘Innuendo Bingo’ that is also watched on Youtube which in turn is being shared amongst listeners and their peers. Therefore, instead of having promotional advertisements on Facebook, what Scott has done is found a way to create on air content that has been shared off air through word of mouth, the strongest tool to ever exist and has even made it around the Amercian news channels. With more listeners turning off conventional radios and going online, it has been found that 42% teenagers spend more time on Youtube so engage with that idea. If we leave social media for a second and look at the power of speech lets take a look at the Serial Podcasts that I spoke about recently. The Serial Podcast is Amercian and found on Itunes Podcasts but how did anyone find out about it? It did not appear on the Radio Times schedules? It all happened through word of mouth. I found out about it at a conference, you may have heard about it on Twitter or discussed in your radio station offices. Point being word of mouth is the most powerful tool. I want to look at other options though aside from Facebook that can be used to help radio stations output.

 

Twitter- Twitter as  we know is a great tool and Seth Resler states: “Share content you find interesting, follow and reply to other people, and just generally engage”. It is important that you bring followers to you they will do your promotion and advertising free for  you. If they hear a funny link on the radio, they will reproduce and interpret that content on Twitter and then tag you in it to get noticed! Brilliant! RT it. I do not understand the point of Favouriting tweets. I favourite tweets when celebrities tweet me but I have been favourited for topical tweets that serve no meaning ten minutes after. In contrast, RT’s help to promote yourself on another persons network.

Snapchat– BBC Radio 1 took Snapchat to the Teen Awards in October 2014. We all use Snapchat to talk to friends but the problem with a radio station engaging with their listeners on it is dare I say it, too many listeners. The person who has taken their Snapchat is likely to put it straight on to their ‘story’. If you are a Snapchat user and have not checked your phone in a while and go through your stories, it is likely you will have a back log and find it easier just to click on all of them without actually engaging in the multimedia used. However, what then happens when the snapchat has been seen? NOTHING! There is no call to action used, you can on looking through the other snapchats.

Audioboom- Whilst Audioboom has been used more for audio producers it has been made with high quality embedding options to showcase audio on various platforms including Twitter and WordPress which every day people are starting to also use to hear news stories in audio form such as Transfer Day on Sky News Radio. Whilst we have the BBC Iplayer to listen back to shows, Audioboom allows for broadcast content that could have been three minutes long to be shared on the platform and then sent out to various social networks. For example, Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2 recently had a reporter on a new rollercoaster in Yorkshire which was recorded on an Iphone rather than a box heavy Myrantz. Tim Johns, producer of Vine uploaded this audio onto Audioboom and then shared it amongst his network which then listeners shared on their network, again showing the power of word of mouth due to the hilarity in the rollercoaster screams.

https://audioboom.com/boos/2652548-the-radio-industry-s-roller-coaster-moment-of-2014

Instagram- I recently met with a person in their 60’s who has fame for one reason and wants to be more known for another aspect of his life and has decided the best way to do that is through social media. This person suggested getting Instagram, when I asked him why he was not really sure. Instagram is a great way of showcasing just photos in your network of friends. I am not sure how successful the tags that you do are though. I know that I will do a lot of tags then receive some likes from the Philippines but does it actually do anything? I have seen in recent months that companies are taking the idea of uploading a photo or a fifteen second video a step further. For a second I want to look at the work Somethin’ Else has done. Somethin’ Else is a production company in East London which I interned at for a month in July 2013. Somethin’ Else won Silver at this years Radio Academy Awards for Creative Innovation for the work they have done at BBC Radio 6 Music. Furthermore, they incorporated social media into The Review Show that they produced in 2013 for BBC Radio 1. However, now to add to their already impressive repertoire they have started  producing The Surgery on BBC Radio 1 and has started producing brilliant short engaging videos to sell the show to bring in audiences on sensitive issues on Instagram. However, let’s say you like their video or a photo and you click ‘like’ what then what happens. You had originally chosen to ‘follow’ their feed so they are now targeting you but they cannot reach a potential audience in your network which could be done on Twitter through a RT.

In conclusion, what I have demonstrated is that there is no right way to use social media especially if we do not have Facebook to promote on. With the introduction of smart phones, there has been an increase in interactivity but they all come second to the power of word of mouth. We need to make content that can be engaged with and have a reason for users to share amongst their networks.

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