What Twitter’s For, Write Right Online, and Jocks’ Facebook Pages

Here’s how your radio station should use Twitter.  Also, you’ll find seven practical tips for writing powerfully online, and some easy questions to help you figure out when personalities should have Facebook pages.

HOW TO USE TWITTER

I saw a piece recently that suggested that the way to view Twitter is as an information network, not a social network.  That resonates with what I’ve recommended that we think of Twitter as a bulletin service.  The service we provide with it is to pump out information that our target fan wants.  For a news/talk station, it might be news, traffic and weather bulletins.  For a sports-talk station, it might be sports related news, or it might be when to listen for specific interviews or topics.  For a music station, it might be when to hear something special, when to listen for a contest, or when the morning show is going to address a certain subject.

See, here’s where Twitter is different from Facebook:

  • On Twitter, it’s easy to end up with a lot more followers than Facebook.  However, the fans that follow you on Facebook are more likely to be passionate fans of yours.  There’s more sketchy and odd followers on Twitter.
  • On Facebook, it’s more likely that your links get clicked and your photos get viewed.  In other words, it’s easier to get people to take action.  On Twitter, a lot of people may see your post, but a much smaller percentage will take action on it.
  • It’s easy to retweet tweets, so when you consistently offer valuable information in 140 characters or less, people are more likely to pass them on than they are to share content on Facebook.

So first of all, if you’re posting the same content to both Facebook and Twitter at the same time, stop.  Now.  I mean it.  Just open another browser window and change your social media settings.  Tweets look lame on Facebook, and quality Facebook posts just don’t come across well on Twitter.

Most people’s Twitter feeds are a real crazy combination of different things.  They might have tweets from friends, content about particular subjects they find interesting, and maybe some funny tweets from reliably amusing tweeters.  How do you deal with this sea of variety?  You be the best version of what people love about you, in brief bursts.

WRITE POWERFULLY ONLINE

It’s been a while since I addressed how to write for the web, including your site and also in your social media.  Here are seven practical things to keep in mind to make your content easy to read.

  • Write concisely.
  • Write simply.  Don’t speak in promotion-ese or using DJ clichés.
  • Write factually.  Lean towards the truth and away from hype.
  • Write like you’re talking to one person instead of a lot of people.  That’s how your stuff is consumed.
  • Write as little as possible.  On your website, a list of bullet points is better than paragraphs of copy.  On Facebook, one clear, focused sentence is better than three or four sentences that no one will bother to read.
  • Remember to use graphics when you can to highlight your copy.
  • Edit yourself ruthlessly.  People will scan what you write, and zoom through it much faster than you want them to.

WHICH AIR TALENT SHOULD HAVE FACEBOOK PAGES?

Should personalities have their own Facebook page?  There’s no clear yes or no answer to that question.  Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Is the personality or show one of the big reasons people listen to that station?  The bigger they are, the more it makes sense for them to have their own Facebook page.
  • Is the personality or show willing to provide content throughout the day?  If they’re willing to make their page “the show that never ends,” it might make sense.
  • Is your station one where there are some real differences in style or content from daypart to daypart?  Personality Facebook pages make more sense for a show that has something unique or special going for it. especially for talk show personalities.

It’s easier for a jock or personality to be perceived as a Facebook friend than it is for a brand, so air talent content can get a little looser and more personal than you would want to do with the Facebook page for a full radio station.  On the other hand, there are times when I have seen jocks muddy the station’s waters, by not contributing to the station’s page.

By the way, if you’re an air talent and you’re keeping your own professional Facebook page, don’t get caught up in the issue that’s caused conflict at some stations.  The company that owns your station may own the rights to your page, so if you get laid off, you will have to turn over control of it to your former employer.  There have been some personalities who have put a lot of work into building their Facebook page.  When they’ve gotten laid off, they haven’t been able to keep up with their fans; instead, their former employer can approach those people about listening to whoever’s replacing that laid-off jock.  This might be something you want to look into so you avoid trouble in the event of a job loss.

DIGITAL NEWS PICKED FOR YOU

Let me filter through the crap for you.  Every day, I post a few digital news developments that might actually affect how you do your media job!  Click here to follow Chris Miller Digital on Facebook.

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