Herding Listeners

Lots of “broadcasters” (how long will we go on using that limited term?) have a transmitter, a website, an online stream, maybe a couple of HD channels, a Facebook page, perhaps some other social media, and maybe even a database email program and an outbound texting program.  Even our on-site events are their own platform.

That’s a lot of stuff!  What the heck are we supposed to do with all these channels?


I differentiate between platforms that you own and have inventory on, and those you don’t.  That means your broadcast, your website, your database emails and any outbound texts you do are the platforms you have the most control over.  On-site events count, too.  Focus on moving people to these platforms, or from one to the other.

Social media, like Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest, can be great for giving your biggest fans an extra special passageway into your brand.  That’s what they’re good for.

HD radio is a bust, and unless you have plans to stream those extra stations you have (in other words, giving people a chance to hear them), turn them off.  They’re a distraction from reality.


Your casual, uncommitted fans are likely to perhaps turn on your broadcast from time to time.  The people who log on to your website or listen to your stream?  Big, big fans.  How about those folks who sign up for emails or texts from you?  Big fans, too.

From their behavior alone, you can see that your biggest fans … the ones that are most valuable to you … should also be the easiest to herd from one platform to another.

People generally need reminding.  Just having great content on one platform or another is not enough to keep people sampling everything we’ve provided for them.  Part of 21st century radio brand management is having a round-robin plan to move our fans to join us on-air, online and on-site.  Another part is committing to that plan.


So, when it comes to what to do with your Facebook page, you can focus on the specific benefits of listening to your brand.  You might want to think more tactically than strategically.  It’s not so much about posting your slogan, as it is about giving people specific reasons to go to your broadcast and your website at specific times or for specific reasons that would matter to them.

Keep that in mind, too, when you work to get sign-ups for your database emails and any texting you do.  Answer the question, “Why do I want another message in my in-box?  What good is it for me?”

The same thinking applies when you want to get people from your broadcast to your website or to sign up for your emails.  Or vice versa.  Or any combination thereof!

What good will it do me as a fan to do so?

Please don’t just tell me to follow you on Facebook.  Booooooring.  Give me a clear, cut-through-the-clutter benefit.  The standard DJ cliche’, “Get more details at our website,” does nothing to move anyone anyplace.  “Find extra chances to win” is better.  “Listen to the full interview with B.O.B.” works, too.  “‘Like’ our Facebook page to get backstage access to the radio station.”  “Sign up for our emails before Tuesday, and get an extra chance to win Jason Aldean tickets.”

You don’t have any inventory to sell on Facebook, so it’s crazy to urge your fans to follow you there just for more streams of content.  The content you post should be extra-transparent information to get your biggest fans using your platforms more than they already are … which they will enjoy doing.


  1. Dwaine Stroud

    So Chris, do you have a suggested way to start an email database? I’m sure I shouldn’t just make a GROUP in contacts right? So, what do I use (MAC platform)?

      • Chris Miller

        This is a great topic .. thanks for bringing it up … I’m gonna write a whole ‘nother post about it, probably to get published tomorrow morning (Thurs 5/10/12).

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