Using Friends To Make More Friends

One of the most talked-about ideas in social media marketing now is that a powerful way to get more people to like you is to get your followers to recommend you to their friends.  Unfortunately, you can’t just ask them to do so; they won’t.  They need to feel so energized by something you send them that they feel moved to share.

Just getting people to forward things is not a new idea.  The pieces of the puzzle that seem to really be important are that what you post be:

  • tied to your brand, and
  • different or bigger enough from everything else that your fans feel motivated to share them.

Many brands have tried to jump on viral videos or cute photos and post them, urging people to share them.  That ain’t enough.  Whether people do or not, those brands get zero mileage from it; no one remembers from whom their friends forwarded them something.  Only George Takei seems to be building his “brand” that way!

So, to use your followers to get more friends, you’re committing to contesting or an event or something that is both big, and exclusive to your Facebook fans.  Otherwise, there’s no value in learning about it through Facebook.

Before you take this on, I’d recommend that you get really serious about what your Facebook page is there to do.  You’re going to want some return on your investment.  You also have to think about your goals and set up some tactics.

You know what your goals are.  You want ratings, you want revenue, you want web hits.  You want more people listening; you want those people to listen more often.  You want your fans to visit your website; you want them to visit regularly, and click on more pages.  You probably also want your sellers to be able to talk with clients about results, instead of CPMs and spots and dots.

The low expense of social media can cause us to dismiss its marketing ability that many non-radio brands are tapping into.  You wouldn’t spend money on a TV or outdoor schedule with no goals in mind; you shouldn’t do so with social media anymore, either.  Think about having a pool of heavy users you can go to over and over again to delightfully meet their high expectations of you, and help move you toward your goals.  If they want an inside track on your brand … but don’t find the stream of content you’re posting now useful … you have to change what you’re doing, and get more focused about it.

That means thinking about what you post … how it relates to your brand … how often you do so … and how you say it.  For most radio stations, that means going back to Social Media Square One, and redefining pretty much everything you’re doing.  It can be done, however, and you can hold your social media responsibile for adding to your growth.

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