The Last Contest on Facebook

In Facebook, Revenue Generation on November 28, 2011 by radioray1025 Tagged: ,

If you remember the famous Last Contest by Jack McCoy on KCBQ San Diego, you are older than me (I only heard the airchecks–really)  But there is a way you can play something similar, generate revenue, add fans to your Facebook page, get viral exposure, AND have a shot to add a bit of listening to the station for ratings pop.

First, lets grab a few concepts you already know or have probably seen at some point.  Of course there’s Jack’s famous (and probably still owned by him) Last Contest with perhaps the greatest on air imagery and promos ever.  The killer promotion of the 80’s was the Incredible Prize catalog or similar contests (Checks in the Mail, etc).  While direct mail worked then (and still works today) radio can not or will not spend the cash for it.

photo from

Here’s how to make your own.  Thanks to IKEA, we already have a model that works.  With this particular promotion, be certain you use a third party Facebook app to execute to stay within Facebook TOS guidelines.

  1. Post a “prize photo” or “photo gallery” (preferably with client prizes a listener might want to win)
  2. Have listeners “tag” the photos of the prize they want to win
  3. Call either prizes or listener names on the air to get winners.
  4. You might even trickle the prizes into the gallery to draw more activity

IKEA had a bit of a different take on the promotion, but it’s the same basic idea.

The third party app keeps you on the good side of Facebook TOS.  I’d suggest a good quality site (and yes the app WILL cost you a little bit of money between $30-$100) like SocialAppsHQ as an operator.

You get juice and cash from good client prizes, add fans to your Facebook page, and get in the news feed of your listeners (through photo tagging) which attracts THEIR Facebook fans to your page and your station.  The execution of a radio contest is something you already know better than anyone else.

It’s simple.  It makes use of the viral nature of Facebook.  And it could influence a few diary mentions as a side benefit.


Radio’s Relevance Gap With Facebook Users

In Facebook on November 2, 2011 by radioray1025 Tagged: , ,

Yea but is it relevant?


Knowing what is going on in your local market is supposed to be the difference between radio and other media.  We think we know our markets best.  We think we are relevant.  We post regularly on Facebook, or Tweet like madmen.  Surely we are in the front of our markets.

Arbitron did a study recently on social media.  The gist of their conclusions was radio does a poor job. It’s understandable.  We think as BROADcasters.  Many of us have spent careers looking for the biggest possible audiences.  This social media thing is the opposite of that.  I don’t think we really get how far off target our Facebook efforts are to the real world.

Two disclaimers here.  One, the study is not a formal Arbitron study and thus has statistical issues.  Based on my observation the study is dead on target.  Two, many of the points made by the study’s author have been reiterated on this blog for the past two years.  It’s not new news and we’ve not changed our tactics.

How many people play contests on your radio stations?  Survey after survey, back when that research was commonplace, showed 3-5% of contest players was a big number for a station.  So why do stations spend as much time on Facebook as they do hyping contests?

The FB study above shows the average station gets 7% of its cume to it’s Facebook page.  Country is higher at 19%.  That number appears very generous to me, especially when you look at the cumes from PPM markets for country where FB:cume ratio of a leading country station is 2%

Here’s an experiment you can do in your market.  This exercise is NOT for the faint of heart.  You will be exposed for what you are on Facebook in this test.

Go to the ads section of Facebook as if you are going to buy an ad.  Don’t worry, you aren’t going to accidentally spend money you don’t have.  I would however cinch up your belt a bit as this experiment will be a surprise.

In the destination tab under “Design Your Ad” choose your page.  You must be an admin of your page to do this.  Skip to targeting and pick your location.  The default 50 mile radius ought to work for you.

Using the “precise interests” area, add tags similar to these:
#Country music#Country#Kenny Chesney#George Strait#Jason Aldean#Brad Paisley#Tim McGraw#Blake Shelton#Zac Brown Band#Alan Jackson#Miranda Lambert#Lady Antebellum#Luke Bryan#Eric Church#Carrie Underwood#Toby Keith#Trace Adkins#Rascal Flatts#Sugarland#Dierks Bentley#Justin Moore (singer)#Keith Urban#Brantley Gilbert#Billy Currington#Josh Turner

On the right side of the page, you’ll see the “estimated reach” of that group. Make a note of that number. Remember, these are people who have self-identified as fans of our music and artists. Now for the scary part.

Go to the Connections on Facebook area, and choose “Only people who are NOT fans of your page”

The difference in the two numbers is the “relevance gap” in the job you are doing on Facebook with country fans in your market.


Why Is Your Station on Facebook, Anyway?

In Facebook on October 27, 2011 by radioray1025 Tagged: ,

why is your station on Facebook anyway?Why are you on Facebook?

I was thinking about this while reading and researching the latest and greatest “tools” for building Facebook fan pages. I get why marketers of products are interested in Facebook. They have stuff to sell. They want people to buy their e-books, their videos, even their shoes (Zappos).

It has been said many times if you want to know why something happens, follow the money. Eventually it will get you the answer. I get why businesses want to be there–to be “publishers”. They are looking to move products and make money. Or they are presenting a behind the scenes look at their products.

Many of these producers are using their pages to highlight stories written about them in other publications.

But what does a radio station do with Facebook? And why are you spending the time there? You aren’t selling anything on line. The exception being the “daily deal” products which almost universally have crummy response rates. You don’t own the database involved with Facebook. It belongs to Mark Zuckerberg.

So why are you there and what do you want to accomplish from the “bigger mission” (add listeners; add revenue).

Take a couple of deep breaths and answer the question to clear the fog of war.


Facebook Doesn’t Play Nice

In Facebook on September 6, 2011 by radioray1025 Tagged: , ,

A lot of radio stations work hard to increase their engagement in social media.  Frequent postings, contesting, trips, etc are all over the place in an attempt to drive up your engagement level and get into the Facebook news feed.  There is something many stations are doing that is undermining their efforts.

Turning to third party apps like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck is dangerous to your effort.

In fact, it can lower your engagement score by as much as 70%.  Here’s proof from Edge Rank Checker who analyzed more than one million posts to come up with this data.

This is another example of Facebook becoming increasingly proprietary in the way their data is used.  You’ve seen Facebook hammer away at Google+ among other competing services, blocking access and promotion.  For example, you can’t use a Google + promotion in a Facebook ad.  More and more Facebook is operating in the radio station-record company paradigm.  Block the other guys and give me the goodies.  The chart shows just how much of the goodies can be yours when you post using an authorized FB tool.

If you aren’t making the newsfeed in Facebook, it doesn’t matter what you are saying.  Think of it this way.  You are talking into a microphone who’s transmitter is off.  The newsfeed is the holy grail when it comes to Facebook.

Use third party apps like Hootsuite Tweetdeck sparingly.  Nothing beats human interaction.  At least not yet.


Social Media Is “good”

In Facebook on August 29, 2011 by radioray1025 Tagged: , ,

So how many members in your audience are on Facebook? From the looks at some of the data I’ve seen in managing a number of sites, it looks like a lot.

Then, explain the latest Pew Internet Survey released Friday which shows only abut 50% of U.S. adults are onto ANY SM site like Facebook or LinkedIn. That compares with the 90+% that use radio each week.

An even larger takeaway from the study is the satisfaction level with the social media sites. Adults said it was “good.”

Not exactly an enthusiastic response.

The number one activity on the web and the way your listeners want to connect with you is plain old fashioned e-mail. 61% of adults use e-mail everyday. That compares to 43% who use social media daily.

The Pew study claims the growth in social media is driven by SENIORS, not by the kids. Social networking among the 65+ group is up 150% in the past two years. There’s little growth in the under 30 group according to Pew.

Rate of growth is an indicator that can give you really bad direction at times. Going from a $1 profit to $2 profit is a 100% growth, while going from $100,000 to $120,000 profit is only 20%. Which would you rather have?

There’s little doubt social media is growing quickly. It looks like the law of diminishing returns is starting to catch up with the buzz. Once you have awareness and trial, increasing the usage becomes the focus. Tweets or posts about another pair of tickets or what’s up probably aren’t going to make your listeners rave. They’ll probably say their experience with you was….”good.”


Make It Personal To Hit The NewsFeed

In Facebook on July 13, 2011 by radioray1025 Tagged:

Which of these posts in the most interactive?

Or this one

If you picked the first one, congratulations.  According to studies from Buddy Press when it comes to posting, particularly by brands like radio stations, the personal touch is a whole lot more meaningful in getting your posts picked up in your fans news feeds.  We’ve talked about before getting in the news feed is the primary way you get seen on Facebook.  Your own page doesn’t drive nearly the views news feed gets.

A second factor in getting in news feeds are photos.  Those are more likely to be get in feeds, and more likely to be shared.

We’ve been working on a page of photos you can use with fairly unlimited use as far as licenses are concerned.  Many artist photos shared by fans on Flickr or on the artists own official Facebook pages are fair game.

You’re more than welcome to grab these photos and links to use on your own sites.  Of course, if you have a blanket license like a Getty Images agreement or, you’ll be using those anyway.  Sometimes, just posting a photo or two can aid you in getting better results from Facebook.


Google’s 23 Questions Applied To Programming

In Google on July 3, 2011 by radioray1025 Tagged:

If you don’t monitor the web world and what’s going on in social media, you don’t hear or see the angst every time Google decides to change something in the search algorithm.   Think of it the same way radio programmers respond to a PPM or diary methodology change.  Remember that stress.  Now recognize with Google, they are planning more than 500 separate changes in 2011.

We’re ready to shoot the ARB gods now.  Perhaps praising them for not screwing around with the rules every 10 minutes would be better.

Google is really focused on the consumer.  Same place we should be both in our on air and on line products.  Here’s a list of the infamous Google 23 questions.  These, and the follow ups to them, are what’s behind Google’s constantly evolving platform.  Looking at the questions, they would be great fodder to consider when you think about your audience too.  Change the word “article or page” to “personality, show or station” and you have a textbook way to look at your programming.

  • Would you trust the information presented in this article (by this station)?
  • Is (station’s content) this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Does the site (station) have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  • Are the topics driven by genuine interests of (listeners to the station) readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  • Does the article (Do the topics) provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  • Does the page (Does the station) provide substantial value when compared to other (stations) pages in search results?
  • How much quality control is done on content?
  • Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  • Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  • Was the (content) article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
  • Would you recognize this (station) site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
  • Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • Is this the sort of (station)page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Does this (station) article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  • Are the articles (content breaks) short, unsubstantial, or otherwise (trivial)  lacking in helpful specifics?
  • Are the pages (Is the show) produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
  • Would users complain when they see pages from this site?

It’s not a perfect match to radio’s needs, but this shows the depth Google goes to satisfy customers.  I highlighted the questions that seem to apply to me. Perhaps if we spent more time focused on the listener than the measurement method, our results would be better too.