I was remembering a sales training session I attended a few years ago. The trainer was over the top excited (as those guys usually are). “Imagine,” he said, “if you could get 1% of your cume to a car dealer at the same time? We’d put them out of business.” He practically shouted his conclusion. That’s pretty much true no matter where its applied. A station with a cume of 27,000 would put 270 buyers on a car lot at one time at 1%. Car dealers buy time from you to get that 1%. Heck, they’d settle for one TENTH of one percent. They are buying access to your audience. They are buying your influence.
Influence is the game in ratings and in Social Media too. It would be cool to identify every person in your audience who carried a diary or PPM. I know, its against the Arbitron rules, but what if you could REALLY KNOW. And then, take action to help engage those listeners (give you more listening) with your station. Would that be worth a couple of points, or even a bonus (provided of course you didn’t get caught or turned in by the guy across town who’s ass you just throughly kicked)?
Social Media can help you do that. There are a few simple tools you can use to identify the 1% of your SM fans. Here’s how.
Now activate your users. Here are a couple of ways.
1. Reserve Your Best Content for Influencers Only.
Influencers love to be an insider for their friends and followers. They share contests, information, or deals with their social networks before other people have heard about them. Create exclusive content you share only with your key influencers, and let them know they were one of a select few to receive this special offer.
2. Differentiate the Influencers from the Super Influencers
Your top fans are so valuable they are worth the extra effort of some special attention. But, not all influencers are alike. When you plot the influence of individuals, you’ll see a curve that looks a lot like the long tail distribution of search terms. Influence follows a “power law,” where a relatively small number of individuals influence the lion’s share of referrals. Those at the peak of this curve are the super influencers, and those in the tail are regular influencers. Super influencers have large, loyal followings and audiences who trust their insights. The latter are people who pass along info to friends and family from time to time via email and Facebook.
Understanding these differences is key to crafting your influencer activation strategy. You need to interact with super influencers on a one-to-one basis, but you could target the rest of your influencers a bit more broadly.
Knowing who your key users are is not enough. You need to give them something to share. Do a contest for this 1% of your followers. Give them exclusive access or insider stuff. Another commercial free hour post is NOT going to cut it.
We’ve spent years thinking about how to gather the biggest audience, the most cume, and game them into staying with our stations a few more minutes or a few more occasions each day. Social Media is cut from the same cloth. It will influence your ratings and your sales. The strategy is completely different than best testing songs, or lowest common denominator programming. Its about one person and who they tell. Are you willing to make the effort to make that difference?