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 PointToPointMarketing.com
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.
- Post a “prize photo” or “photo gallery” (preferably with client prizes a listener might want to win)
- Have listeners “tag” the photos of the prize they want to win
- Call either prizes or listener names on the air to get winners.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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 iStockphoto.com, you’ll be using those anyway. Sometimes, just posting a photo or two can aid you in getting better results from Facebook.