“How many people should I get to ‘like’ my Facebook page?” That’s a question I get on a regular basis.
The polite answer is, “You should always be working to give your heavy listeners reasons to ‘like’ your Facebook page.” The more pointed answer is, “Quit looking at that number! It’s telling you nothing!”
To keep your Facebook analytics as simple as possible, let me tell you about the one number you should be paying attention to. It’s basically a measure of all the activity on or around your page. So, when people do any one of a number of things … liking, sharing, or commenting on a post; tagging one of your photos; mentioned your page to their friends; and so on … it adds to your total of People Talking About your brand. Here’s how to find it.
Make sure you see this strip at the top of your station’s page. If you don’t, you’re not an administrator. Whoever does have admin rights can fix that easily for you. You’ll need to take care of that so you can move on.
If the button all the way on the right says “Show” instead of “Hide,” click it so it says “Show” and your Admin Panel opens up.
Note the box in the middle of the page marked “Insights.” This graph is a headline summary of your stats you’re about to look at. Click that link that says “See All.”
Here’s what you’ll see next —
This is a summary view of your Facebook stats. Some other time, you might want to poke through Likes and Reach (start with Reach first, it’s more meaningful). Click “Talking About This,” and we’ll take a look at that.
Once you’re on your “Talking About This” page, the first information you’ll see is who is talking about you. You’ll see it breaks it down, graphically, by age and gender cells. Below that graph is information about where your page fans are. I find that these numbers are incomplete; Facebook can access this info for many people, but not all. Then, scroll down the page for the next, more important information ….
As you see, these are Facebook’s graphs about how people are talking about your page. Yes, there’s a graph on the right about viral reach, but that’s driven by the graph on the left, the “Talking About This” graph. You can use the drop-down menu to see how different sorts of content you posted performed, but I’d recommend focusing on the “All Stories” number for now.
There’s a dot on that line graph for each day in the time period being measured. It’s not a summary for that day, however. Each dot is a 7-day running total of your “People Talking About” numbers. In other words, the dot for October 12th is a summary of October 6th through October 12th. The next day, the 13th, dropped the oldest day and added the newest day, so that dot covers October 7th through October 12th. If you hover your mouse over any of those dots on your page, you’ll see the 7-day total for that dot.
A way for radio folks to think about this is that Facebook Likes are like cume; People Talking About is like AQH persons. People Talking About is valuable because it’s a good reading of not just how many fans you have, but how much they’re engaging with you.
One final warning … don’t limit yourself to Facebook analytics. See how it fits into your brand (and all your platforms) as a whole. What’s still most important is if you are moving people to your various platforms where you can measure them and take advantage of them. That might be tune-ins for a special feature; an increase in your streaming stats; more website visitors, going to pages you link to from Facebook; and on and on. However, nothing happens until your fans see your posts in their news feed. The chances of that happening are much greater if you bring up your People Talking About stats.
Content marketing is something that many radio stations struggle with in their social media. It’s such a valuable tool, however, so let me pass on a couple of tips. Basically, content marketing is the idea that the right content presented in the right way creates more interactions and builds brand loyalty.
THE CONTENT PART
Here’s one big problem with what brands do on Facebook and Twitter. They post content that may be wonderful, emotional, interesting, and so on, but has nothing to do with the brand. And no, random DJ observations on Facebook have nothing to do with why people are listening to your station.
If I don’t see the link between that cute kitten graphic you just posted and what your station is all about, I am darned sure the average listener doesn’t know why it’s there, either. Yes, you will have a small number of people who might respond to anything. They are like the people who show up at every remote appearance you do. They’re way different from the normal people listening to you.
You’ve probably heard me say that people who follow you in social media tend to be your biggest fans. Not every-remote-type fans, but regular folks with real lives who just flat-out enjoy what you do. They probably enjoy seeing you show up on their Facebook page, and they may smile when you post a cartoon about how tough Mondays are, but it doesn’t get them to enjoy YOU more. That’s just a crummy call to action (and more about that in The Marketing Part).
They followed you or “Liked” you because they want more of what you already give them. If you just make at least half your social media posts about your radio brand, you will be miles ahead of your broadcast competitors. I’d like to see you do more, but start with half. That means you’re telling them more online about what you said on the air. You’re giving them special insider information about things you do. You’re cluing them in to deals they can take advantage of. NOW you’re creating some value for your digital efforts, and you’re starting to get this wacky content marketing done right.
THE MARKETING PART
You may have also heard me preach that your social media can be your frequent flier list. Because these are people who already love you and want more, but don’t have all day to listen and listen and listen, you don’t need to promote to them.
You’re not promoting to them, you’re pulling them behind the curtain and giving them special information. The marketing part of content marketing is not about getting them excited about something. It’s more about having content and a message that together form a great call to action. That call to action is to get them back to your broadcast; back to your stream; back to your website; or back to sign up for your emails and texts. Again … without promoting.
The content is the promotion. That means your content needs to be about you or something you do to get your big fans to use you even more.
They’re up for it. They just need to know how. If you treat them as specially as they would like to be treated, they will reward you with bigger brand loyalty across all your platforms.
So today, I’m gonna help you with your fans who view your emails on mobile devices. At some poAs int, I imagine more people will be reading email on a phone or tablet than on a desktop computer or laptop, and that’s going to bring with it a new list of best practices. So why not start now?
As the “Wizard of Ads,” Roy Williams has said, “Clarity is the new creativity.”
Your phone is the last place that you want to see a lengthy, rambling email. So when you write your email, my advice is that you keep it short, and script out bullet points instead of text. Also, be clear and obvious about why you’re sending the email. Your headlines and introductory sentences for each topic are very important to getting a particular action from your fans.. Your subject line can work for you, too, but remember … on a phone, they won’t see a long subject line. They’re probably see the first couple of words. Hope those are good enough to get them to open it!
Along with writing the briefest copy about each topic, you can link to your website or other sites from your email. Remember the differences in using a computer from using a phone. On a phone, most people use a thick finger to maneuver around their tiny screen. That means you want to make your links clear, make them stand out, and don’t force your fans to daintily touch their screen in just the right place.
I can’t stress this enough. The less you write, the better the chances your email will get acted on. Period. Work to get your emails as short and focused as possible.
Don’t just send your email out and hope for the best. Check it first. Send a draft to other people you work with, so you can get feedback about how it looks on a range of devices. What looks great on a large desktop monitor may look jumbled and confusing on a phone. For the benefit of your station, your co-workers, your fans and your clients, fix stuff before the dang thing goes out.
For a few months, I’ve been experimenting with a newsletter-type format, with three pieces that go out in one email (and also get posted here on this site). The response has not been what I had hoped, and I’m all about making it easy for you to get this info. So, I’ll now be writing single-topic pieces that will go out on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Look in the upper right corner if you’d like to subscribe to this info by email.
You can still join the Chris Miller Digital page on Facebook for daily updates of digital news I think will help you do a better job. In addition, I’ve just created the Chris on RadioInfo page here at this site, which I’ll keep updated with the articles I write for RadioInfo.com and occasionally Talkers.com as well.
Well, I’ve managed to crank out yet another Chris Miller Digital weekly newsletter, and here ya go. This week: an expensive social media mistake to avoid; why doing is better than seeing online; and two digital ideas with the holidays coming up.
Even if you aren’t spending an extra dime on your radio station’s Facebook and Twitter efforts, they can distract you and cause you to be unproductive. The time you and others at your stations spend on social media may lead to lost man-(and-woman)-hours.
Tell the promotion people that social media isn’t just about raising awareness. Tell the air talent that it’s not just about more and more content. Tell the sales people that this is not the place to cut and paste and post commercial copy.
It’s about getting your fans to do what they will enjoy doing, which means using your brand more. For your benefit, you want to move them to one of the several platforms that you get measured on, such as your broadcast, your website, your stream, your email list, and so on.
Now, as part of moving people from social media to your other stuff, you want to play the game so you win. That means, for example, on Facebook that likes, shares and comments help raise the chances that you get seen on that site! However, your overall goal is not to get more likes, shares and comments. That’s just a means to an end. Your goal is to get more listening occasions, more site visits, more streaming use, and more email or text signups.
By the way, one of the most powerful ways to increase the amount of your social media followers is to commit to promoting it on your air. The digital world changes very quickly, and it’s already passe’ to simply say, “Follow us on Facebook” or “Find us on Twitter.” What’s the benefit in doing so? What’s in it for them? Social media is already no longer the hot, new thing. It’s part of the fabric of people’s lives, and those lives are busy these days.
SEEING VS. DOING AT YOUR WEBSITE
Like a lot of businesses, radio station websites go through three basic stages in their evolution. They are:
- What do we want to put on our site?
- What do our listeners want to see on our site?
- What do our listeners want to DO on our site?
I’m sure that you understand why the jump from #1 to #2 is so important. Hey, we’re all media people here, right? We understand that no radio or TV station or print publication can exist if it’s not about something. Even TV network affiliates, which may run a wide variety of programming, usually focus most of their energies on one thing, like their local news shows.
The same holds true with your website. When you begin to consider what belongs there and what doesn’t belong there, from your listener’s point of view, you’ve made a big step.
The next step, from #2 to #3, has been made by a lot fewer radio stations. When you think of your site only in terms of content … or what people will see there … it’s easy to think about your site as a hungry mouth that constantly needs to be fed. You can lose track of the look and feel and organization of your site, but dang it, you’re getting more content up there for people to see!
Facebook has a ton of content, but that’s because you can use it to find friends and communicate with them. YouTube has lots of content too, but it’s because that site is used for posting, viewing and sharing videos. Google has almost no content of its own; I just counted 41 words on their home page this morning. Yet, it’s one of the most used sites in the world, and it’s all about search. That’s pretty useful.
So, what are YOU good for? Your fans can use you to find a song that you played, listen to you online, find something fun to do in town, learn more about something your morning show or a talk show said. Maybe you have one of those points programs for frequent listeners. Perhaps you have a page where people can learn about new music. If you’re a talk station, people use you to keep up on the latest news.
Aside from whatever content you have posted, activities like the above … the things people can DO at your site … are often our big traffic drivers. Seems to me you could work smarter instead of harder if you started focusing some more on usability … what people can do at your website.
HOLIDAYS: SOME OBJECTS ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR
From today (10/2/12), there are only 51 days ’til Thanksgiving.
- More and more people are looking at your site or emails using a phone. They’re doing so at times where they’re time-limited (often passing a minute or two or three between other activities).
- Almost everyone is busier at the holidays that at other times of year.
Just me thinking out loud … what you post online during the holidays probably ought to be as short and concise as possible with those points in mind. Remember, bullet points are easier to read than paragraphs.
A HOME FOR HOT BABES
The RadioInfo.com folks used another piece of mine this week. A Good New Home for Hot Babes is specifically about those male-skewing stations that have big hot babe galleries. It’s pertinent for anyone who’s getting lots of website visits for content that has nothing really to do with your radio station. I propose a solution that should be better than what you’re doing now!
TOP SECRET DIGITAL HELP
There’s a secret, secret site where I post ideas and tips I find online that I think will help you grow your brand. Well, OK, I lied; it’s not so secret, but that kind of stuff is there, freshly updated all the time, at the Chris Miller Digital page on Facebook.
In this edition of the CMD weekly newsletter, potential upcoming changes in online royalties, a radio website that has nothing to do with radio, all the different kinds of radio speakers you have, and more.
RADIO FAIRNESS ACT
It’s far from being law yet, but two congressmen and a senator introduced a bill called the Radio Fairness Act. This bill would bring royalty payments for online music into line with what broadcasters pay now. What broadcasters pay for over-the-air music, that is. There are plenty of radio broadcasters who are dealing with the cruel injustice of being successful with online radio. The more people listen, the more you have to pay.
I predict this will lead to some pretty major changes in our industry. Once … knock on wood … this bill becomes law, digital revenue should become even more important to radio station. After all, this frees up the need to budget large amounts to pay for online royalties. With the online audience growing like a weed, and fewer costs to play in the digital world, this should help our streams really be the growth property that they can be.
Meanwhile, all those pure-web music choices like Pandora and Spotify and Apple’s coming digital radio … this decision alone could help drive them from having marginal business plans to being profitable. There’s a potential speed bump there for radio. I would not be surprised if Pandora wanted to get a hold of local broadcast signals to put some of their curated content on. It might not even be music; there’s probably a way that they could program a locally focused news or news/talk station based on their fans’ votes about what’s important to them. I don’t have any evidence of that; it’s just been a gut feeling of mine. They could create stations that are both terrestrial and digital and do so without the baggage and outdated practices that many established radio stations have.
Meanwhile, what would really be great about this for radio is if a renewed focus on maximizing digital revenue led to a widespread attitude that our streams are as worthy of good programming as our broadcasts.
Go to the head of the class, Cox Media Group Connecticut! Creating the new CTBoom.com shows a knowledge and flexibility about the digital world that many radio folks don’t have yet. CTBoom.com is about pop culture, topical happenings and local things to do. I get the impression that this new site is one that the Cox stations in Connecticut can all refer to and send listeners to.
It’s a lot easier to start a website than a radio station. Getting a frequency to transmit on and then getting the site and equipment to do so is a really big deal. Starting a website is more like producing a radio spot than starting a radio station. I suspect that CTBoom.com is a solid idea, if they get their listening fans to go to this site to use it and enjoy the content … and see the ads that Cox sells.
Rather than put tons of varied content and apps at your station’s website … much of which may not be related to your prime focus on the radio … you can create satellite sites that make sense to send your listeners to. Some ideas:
- A special site for your Facebook fans and email recipients that tells people in detail all the stuff you have coming up that you haven’t talked about on the air yet. They’d need a password to enter the site that they could get from Facebook, Twitter, or your database emails or texts.
- For a category that your sales manager wants to focus on … create a special website on that topic. You can steer your listeners there, which will make it attractive to sell advertising to all the merchants in that category in your market.
- I’ve criticized those “hot babe” galleries at both rock and talk station websites. But if you want to get those web hits, why not create a separate site for them? You could fill a need of having attractive women in a safe-for-work environment. Betcha you could use it to steer lots of guys back to your website or station, and sell advertising to every business in town that targets men.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF RADIO SPEAKERS
Here’s a way to think about all the digital stuff you’re doing. That would include your website, your stream(s), your social media, your texts, and your database emails.
Think of them all as different types of radio speakers.
When you listen to your radio station on the air, I’ll bet you’re always judging if what’s on fits what listeners are expecting, and if it’s being done well. You may not even be conscious of those thoughts all the time, but you’re constantly evaluating your own brand.
Well, the same thing applies to all the other things you do:
- When you think about how to cover commercial breaks on your stream …
- When you write another email to your listeners …
- When you create posts for Facebook or Twitter …
- When you add content or new features to your website …
- When you send out texts to those who sign up for them …
You execute them differently from a radio broadcast, but you can apply the same mental test to them that you do when you’re listening to your broadcast. That’ll help you jump start your ability to move your fans from platform to platform to platform.
THREE STEPS TO DIGITAL REVENUE POWER
WHY WOULD YOU FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK?
The digital media world moves very fast, and I keep you up on the news I find that might make you even smarter at your job than you already are. So Like me now!
This week, the CMD newsletter addresses some always-hot topics … streaming and revenue … and also why being helpful helps YOU.
- What to start thinking about your stream to make it better …
- Sellers, did you know you can do all this stuff with streaming spots? …
- Why “utility marketing” has nothing to do with your natural gas provider …
- And a link to my first full article on RadioInfo.com.
Remember, too, you can keep up with lots of digital news to make media folks smarter at the Chris Miller Digital page on Facebook.
YOUR BROADCAST VS. YOUR STREAM
What if there’s not really any “versus” there?
We see them as two different things. What if your fans think of them as just different locations of the same store where they can buy the same thing? If that’s the case … why is one of your stores glossy and easy to shop at, while the other one is such a dump?
Yeah, your dumpy store doesn’t have nearly as many people shopping there as your big, shiny one does. But the dumpy one is in a hot neighborhood where more and more people are moving all the time. Plus, your competitors in that neighborhood are hard to get a good read on. They’re different, and they’re always changing.
Yet that dumpy store is your growth property. You might be thinking about waiting a while to do anything with it, which allows people in that neighborhood to figure out where else they would rather shop, and establish habit patterns and expectations around your competitors. You might not want to take that approach.
Here’s one dirty little secret behind why we let one store get so junked up: often, the person who could start fixing it, doesn’t know how. You might know how to get content on a sister station in your cluster but not know how to get content on your own stream. Here’s where everyone who has a good-sounding stream got started: they asked questions.
Sometimes, it takes asking several people before you find out who knows what. That’s one thing about digital: it’s new enough and changes fast enough that no one can know everything. The knowledgeable people know who to ask. How do you fix clunky transitions on your stream? Start asking around. Who loads spots and can load some station promos for you, too? Ask around. What special features can sellers offer their clients on the stream? Ask.
No matter your radio station job … jock, seller, promoter, programmer, manager, whatever … when you know, you can take your job to the digital side, too. That’s often easier than wondering how to do what you need to do. If you’re PD of the broadcast, you can also be PD of the stream. You know how to do that … and it’s all one brand. It might even turn out to be fun and challenging.
Here’s more on streaming: Clean Up Your Stream!
EXTRA TOOLS FOR SELLERS
- You can target by geographic area (think, “what zip codes are best for my client?”)
- You can target by age
- You can target by device (computer, tablet, mobile device)
- You have direct response capabilities (it’s more than just audio; put a link to click in the streaming box for a special offer or more information)
- You get real-life numbers in real time (it’s not time-delayed estimates; it’s real people, listening and clicking, and it’s your data to own and use immediately)
- You can coordinate ads across all platforms (on your stream alone, you can run a gateway visual ad with audio streaming commercials)
Here’s additional info about streaming revenue: More About Making Money From Your Stream
WHEN CONTENT IS MARKETING
There’s a word in the digital world for it now … utility marketing. And I ain’t talking about running ads for the power company!
This is not marketing that’s designed only to sell. This is marketing that boosts your brand by offering usable content on the web. Compelling content is fine and dandy; usable content is the holy grail. This is the stuff that helps your fans use you that much more, building relationships and trust. Hereare some things to keep in mind:
- Your content: What makes your radio station both unique and mass appeal? That’s the stuff that your fans will go online to find. It might be deeper, more focused information about what you talked about on the radio. It might be helpful lifestyle content. It might be highlighting what people come to your website for, like the stream and your event guide, and making them unbelievably easy to find.
- Your design: People like websites that make visual sense. It shouldn’t look like the coupons that came in the mail got scattered all over the floor. That means you:
- set some limits on what colors and fonts you’ll use;
- organize your site with enough white space to make it easy to find stuff; and
- have a mobile site that is fun and easy to use on a smartphone (folks like bang bang mobile can help).
- Your mobile apps: With so much web activity moving to mobile devices, here’s the first question: what info do you offer that is so valuable that you want mobile fans to find instantly? Hint: start by thinking about what web pages get the most consistent hits. Here’s the other question: are there things you can build into an app that will increase the perceived value of it? Thinking about your target, you might realize there are extra things you could build into an app. These might not have anything to do with your station, but that your target would enjoy, especially if it’s uncharted app territory. Think about what your target likes to do … or has to do … with its time, and that might create some ideas for you.
Here’s more about compelling vs. usable content: What’s Compelling Content?
SOCIAL MEDIA? IT’S YOUR FREQUENT FLIER PROGRAM
Because I have a unique perspective and experience, and I still love radio, I’m available to work with stations on using their digital tools in meaningful ways … to get more listening occasions, more web hits, more revenue … and to turn our biggest fans into customers for life.
Call me or shoot me an email to learn more about how I can help you turn your station into a successful, responsive, engaging 21st century radio brand! Or, start poking around the website to pick up some free handy tips.
UPDATE 10/22/12: I’m working on a substantial non-radio project and will be taking some time off from updating this site. However, use the search box below in the right-hand column to search for what you’re concerned about.