A New Tool; Who Should Post; and A Sports Social Winner

Here’s your weekly Chris Miller Digital newsletter, including a helpful hint about a new tool to optimize when your social media gets posted; some guidance about who should be posting for you; and a look at how CBS’s all-sports station in New York is winning with social media.

A NEW HELPFUL TOOL

I’ve been using HootSuite’s AutoSchedule feature for the last couple of weeks, and I like it.

HootSuite is an online program through which you can manage your social media activities.  It lets you post content to one or multiple Facebook and Twitter accounts.  HootSuite explains that their new AutoSchedule feature “automates and optimizes” when your content gets posted.  You’re not stuck using it every time, either; you can pick and choose whether you schedule a social media post to show up at a particular time of your choosing, or whether you want to AutoSchedule it.

I’m geeky enough that I like to get under the hood and understand how things work.  I haven’t found that information yet.  I’m a little uncomfortable not knowing it, but I’m happy with a noticeable-while-not-dramatic increase in engagement that I’m seeing as a result of using it.  I believe what’s going on is that HootSuite can figure out when the followers of each channel I post to tend to be online, and they focus on that window of time.

On Facebook, especially, there’s a big, silent issue of who sees our posts.  To begin with, when you post on your station’s Facebook page, maybe a quarter or fewer of your page’s followers actually get to see any given post!  So, if you post at a time when they’re not there … well, you can’t get engagement or build your brand if people don’t see your content in the first place.  I believe that Facebook only shows your posts to a fraction of your members because they want you to buy advertising.  I’ve never seen that confirmed, however.

Twitter doesn’t hold back some of your posts like Facebook does.  However, if you follow quite a few accounts, it moves much faster than Facebook.  Thus, it’s easy for your most recent post to move quickly down the feed so a lot of your fans never get to see it.

Being seen is good.  Until that happens, you’re spinning your wheels.  You wouldn’t do a huge on-air giveaway in the overnight show; no one’s there.  My experience tells me that HootSuite’s AutoSchedule feature helps assure you that you get seen by your fans when they tend to be online.

WHO SHOULD BE TWEETING AND FACEBOOKING FOR YOU?

Please don’t tell me you gave that duty to an intern, because she’s young and therefore understands social media.

My friend, if what you do at work causes you to affect either listeners or clients, you are in the Branding Department.  It doesn’t matter if you are talking to thousands at a time or one person at a time, you have the power to affect people’s feelings and memories about your station.  If you would not put a total newbie on the air because they don’t know enough about how to talk to people, why would you let them “broadcast” on your station’s Facebook page?

I don’t mean to get preachy, but with every tweet or Facebook post, you have the opportunity to get even more loyalty, listening or web hits from your audience.  To make your social media instantly more brand-building, think about:

  • Who on the staff really understands the target audience? (It’s more than just “Who likes to Tweet?”)
  • Whose job is it to watch the feed, reply ASAP to listeners, and check what’s working?
  • What types of content will you post that fit with your fans’ expectations?

Social media is advanced enough now that you can use a tool like HootSuite’s AutoSchedule (above) to spread your content out throughout the day, so that the best person or two can focus on it … after management first sets the mission and the direction.

SOCIALLY, A GOOD SPORT

CBS’s sports talk WFAN/New York, the original all-sports station, is a good study in social media focus and consistency.  They bring  powerful, brand-related content to their Facebook and Twitter feeds in a way that should build stronger bonds with their biggest fans.

You’ll see on their Facebook page that their content is all about sports.  Virtually every post has some piece of information, linking to valuable content on the local CBS site, so they get credit for all the web hits.  They usually also ask a pretty specific question about the content.  Being specific is good.  A question like, “What do you think of the Jets’ offensive line?” is more likely to get good engagement and conversation that a more general, “What do you think of the Jets’ chances this year?”

Meanwhile, their Twitter feed is just as focused.  For radio, Twitter is great as a bulletin service.  If it has to do with New York sports, or if it’s important in the sports world in general, there’s a tweet about it from WFAN.  As far as I can tell, they don’t clutter it up with non-sports content, which probably only helps build the loyalty of their hard-core followers.

I think we’re looking at the social media of the future here.  There’s a smart awareness of how people use both Facebook and Twitter, and they’re posting strong, appropriate content for each.  They’re always talking to their fans about what their fans love about them.  Nice job.

EFFICIENT WAY TO KEEP UP ON DIGITAL

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.  You can also keep up with what I write for Radio Ink here.

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