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.