Building a Thriving Community
To start you need a solid base. The best place to get followers of your social media profiles is with current staff, volunteers, friends, family and other community radio stations. Once you are are posting regularly and have some interaction you can widen the net by inviting your advertisers, listeners, members and other external stakeholders.
Once you build up more and more quality content and the interaction with your existing audience increases, your social media network should organically grow in numbers, new audiences and engagement.
Remember to continue to take care of your social media profile. It is obvious to visitors when a profile has been established then forgotten about. You don’t have to rock the world with every post, but check in and say hello and acknowledge posts made on your profile by others. Find the right balance of post frequency so your fans and followers don’t feel forgotten about or harassed. With more use of social media sites you will get better at remembering to post and identifying what kind of information makes good posts for your sites.
Acknowledge posts made by your fans on your social media profile. Even if there is nothing substantial to add to the conversation, people will enjoy being thanked for their input. Answer questions that people ask. A response, even if it isn’t the one they want, shows the station is listening to fans and cares enough to respond. Don’t forget to be a good fan yourself! Interact with your listeners, local artists, local businesses and organisations when opportunities to have a conversation present themselves within social media.
Give your posts a clear call to action if you want people to do something. For example, ‘We have a local vet joining us in the studio at 9.30, post your pet questions on our wall and listen for answers.’ or ‘Local artist XX is performing on the afternoon show, become their fan on Facebook and see what they have to say.’
If the information you post is of real interest to your current listeners then it should be of interest to potential listeners. If you wonder why you aren’t attracting new followers evaluate whether you are posting information worth engaging with and sharing. Most new fans and followers will come from the interactions you have with current fans or followers. Make sure you are posting regularly enough to keep fans engaged, but not so much that you are being a nuisance.
You will need to integrate your offline marketing with your online marketing. For example, provide links to your social media profiles in brochures, promotional postcards, posters, flyers, event banners, etc.
Online, you need to provide links to your social media platforms wherever possible, for example, in staff profiles on LinkedIn, in email signatures, promotional buttons on your radio station website, from one social media platform to another. You can also use the actual logos of the social media platforms – Facebook , Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube logos are easily recognisable for the users of these services. Use every opportunity to promote your social media presence. It will only become successful when it is truly integrated into all aspects of your daily operations.
- When your current audience members engage with your content online they will lead you to your next audience member!
- Think about what your fans see when they visit your social media profiles. Use consistent branding to be recognisable. Do you have a high resolution version of your logo to display? Is your radio station website visible?
- Something to consider when sourcing material from other social media profiles is privacy or anonymity of sources and validity of the information. Just because an individual or organisation has shared information in one type of public forum does not mean they intended it for radio broadcast. Depending on the situation, contacting the source for permission or broadcasting without naming individuals may be appropriate.
- Marketing with Social Media – Grow a Loyal Community by Increasing Your Worth: Social Media
- Brand as Friend: Are You Being Friendly?: Nett Magazine
- Brand’em Acts of Kindness: Nett Magazine