It’s a while since I last wrote a blog, the truth is working in marketing you tend to neglect your own promotion in favour of your clients. But that’s no excuse it is important to be consistent. So today I wanted to talk a little about the wonderful world of social media. I remember being one of the first of my friends to sign up to Facebook in April 2007. Back then there was no Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter was only in its first year.
How far social media has come since then? Facebook now has in the region of 2.23 billion users. They’ve recently had a ‘rough’ time losing £90.8 billion of their share value following the Cambridge Analytica scandal (I must hasten to add the company is still valued at nearly £400 billion – yes billion).
What is true is that businesses of all sizes are looking to harness the power of social media. Just like any other media there are different channels which may be more suited to your target audience. Instagram users for example are predominantly aged between 18 and 29 and there is a greater tendency for them to be female over male. Whereas Twitter and LinkedIn users, tend to be older and more business orientated. Effectively utilising social media reminds me a lot of my time as a Radio Presenter. Different stations appeal to different audiences.
But the similarities don’t stop there. Just like the world of radio particularly commercial radio;
You need to plan…
Before each show I’d spend at least an hour prepping. My prep would include reading the local and national papers, checking on upcoming events, researching in to any new music that was added to the playlist, creating topics to encourage listener interaction. Planning was imperative to an enjoyable show (for me and the listener). The same can be said for social media, making the time to produce a fortnightly or monthly social media plan will make the process of generating regular content a far less onerous task.
In radio this is usually the station you work for, other presenter’s shows, local events or special guests. But equally as a business owner utilising social media to promote your business is a wise choice. What other media gives you the opportunity to directly promote your product/service to your customer?
Encouraging listener participation brings the show to life. One of my favourite features was my topical themed final song of the show, during this feature I would get listeners to get in touch suggesting a song themed around a news story from that day. People love to receive a direct response from a company, favourite brand or business . I once tweeted Screwfix about a great experience I’d had with their Cheadle store. They passed the message on to the store who responded to my tweet with a thank-you – I was touched. Conversing with your social media supporters encourages brand loyalty and sets you ahead of your competition.
I remember a few years ago whilst I was working for Cheshire Silk 106.9 there were a number of school closures due to excessive snowfall. Silk became the go to station to find out whether your local school was closed. That’s one of the things I loved most about radio was its speed. If you were on air when a big story broke you could share it with you listeners instantaneously. That speed still puts radio ahead of other media such as print. You can utilise your brands social media to share something relevant in your industry or to your followers.
Sharing, conversing and promoting is the holy trinity as far as establishing a successful social media presence. But I would encourage you to exercise caution when utilising social media. Unlike the world of radio which is regulated by Ofcom anyone can get online through social media and share news, views, pictures and videos. Without the necessarily having the knowledge on what you should or shouldn’t share. I once received a piece of advice whilst working in radio which I still reflect on today ‘If in doubt, leave it out’.
Also avoid the temptation to sell too much. I once took a call from an irate listener during one of my shows for a commercial radio station following a particularly long ad break who asked ‘Are you running an advertising agency or a radio station?’ the truth was a little bit of both. But they raised a good point effective selling should blend in to overall content and be informative not overpowering, if you ‘sell’ too much people will switch off or in the case of social media at a click of a button they have unliked/unfollowed your page.
Radio is a medium which will always remain special to me, my five years working for stations in Manchester and Cheshire has taught me so much. If you’d like to have a friendly chat about your social media or broader marketing strategy feel free to get in touch email@example.com