Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Alternative Returns to NYC and Chicago.

A year ago Randy Michael's Merlin Media looked like it had a very interesting plan for FM News and some great tools to work with.  Randy's built some impressive News and Talk properties and so many consultants and researchers have been nearly assuring the success of FM spoken word formats for the last 10 years. You'd have to think this would work.   Also factor in the POTUS election with tons of story lines and campaign news to cover as well as local issues, congressional elections, health care, the economy and so many more big stories -- you clearly had plenty of content, even if there are 4-5 competitors in the field here.

You also had the new campaign spending rules that allowed unlimited spending from the Super PACs and given that there are estimates of over 300 million raised and the prediction that campaign spending will surpass a billion dollars this year.   Only one problem here - Illinois and  New York are solid Democratic states.   The GOP has nothing to gain spending a dime in either state - same for the Democrats as Obama has a huge lead in both states.   The other market is Philly and there they keep News on FM - at least this could be a swing state.   In the end News, Talk and Spoken word seems to still have a place mostly on AM in the radio format landscape.  Perhaps it will change, but it seems like the cards were stacked for it to happen and even with Randy's abilities and resources we are back to music formats for Chicago and New York.

The big opportunity here is to build an Alternative station for New York.  This is a huge opportunity, but one that somehow seems to never live up to it's potential.  NYC only has one station that could be considered in the rock arena - WAXQ - Q 104.3.   It's a very unique Classic Rock station that is very tied to the NYC scene of the 70s.   Artists that many CR outlets have left to the soft ACs years ago still live here - Simon and Garfunkel, Billy Joel, Elton John are all a big part of the mix on Q104.3.   You also have the early punk/new wave era of the early 80s with the Talking Heads, Ramones and others from an era when the club scene in NYC had more rock opportunities.  Mostly Q 104.3 is really a station aimed at the 45+ listener and leaves much of the 18-40 year old demo without any form of a rock outlet, unless they pull in signals from New Jersey or maybe upstate NYC.

While the hole is big for the music - it's been there for a long time and a number of stations have taken swings at this pitch over the last 15 years with no one getting much more than a single.   While some of the failure may have been not finding a music mix that really fit all the uniqueness of NYC there are also other challenges when you build any radio station that can't be ignored in markets like NYC and Chicago.

1. Social Media - Twitter and FB are huge keys to getting the word out here.  These are huge markets and you need over 100K in likes to move the needle.  Where is the big launch contest for either to gather Likes in NYC.  You could have signed on with tons of I Pads to hand out or other easy to gather prizes and linked up with a one of the FB Apps to give them away.   How about doing some creative Twitter tweets to get trended here.

2. Sell the Music - The imaging and the whole personality of New Rock 101.9 should be about bringing New Rock to NYC.  But with no one to intro it or sell it or no events to catch it live in the clubs and on the street - it's just a bunch of songs.   Most of the fans have that on their phones, and I pods - go beyond the jukebox from day one.   Or at least do a bunch of imaging that sells the new music.   They are tagging the songs but they could and should do more.  If you are not excited how do you expect the audience to get excited?

3. Get some Personalities - You don't need Howard to come back - that would probably ruin the music side of the station - but you need to bring in some known entities or a group that you can build into authentic air personalities pretty soon.   This is the home of big stars and big names in the big city.

The Chicago launch by using the old TV 6 frequency 87.7.  Why didn't they move it all to the 101.1 frequency where Q 101 has always been?  Why launch an experimental Adults Hits approach on 101?  Are there issues with the Q101 name still being with Emmis or is there something with the Q101 website holding on to the name is some way?  It's going to be an up-road climb for Q87.7 with the frequency confusion and they also need to build in the basics here.  Chicago does have more competition than NYC.  Q101 was fairly successful 10 years ago, but little by little they seem to fail to consistently build a strong bond with the market.  They also wandered musically.  Lots of challenges here - are all of them necessary?

Right now Alternative is a hot format musically.  New ground breaking acts are emerging, there are crossover songs in CHR and there is unique pop quality to the music that sounds new and fresh.  Especially in comparison to all the Idol/Pop and Diva Queen songs that have had the spotlight for over 3 years now.

The opportunity is ripe for the format in both markets, but it will take more than just playing the songs.  The usual 10,000 in a row is not the way to launch in NYC or Chicago if you want to impact a crowded music landscape.  Even if you have a pretty wide hole to shoot at - you still need to make a full impact.   Good luck to Jim Richards and Randy on their launches - both have all the brains and skills to pull it off - but it will be challenging.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Overview Part 2 - What Facebook Posts are Getting Reactions

Last week in our 5 month summary thoughts on the 25 Radio Stations in our Facebook 'Focus Group' we looked at their growth in fans, reactions to Time Line,  and overall patterns in the growth of activity since the first of the year in the interactions with the fans/audience.   Really there is a lot of progress to report at a number of the stations in our group.

So what posts are really standing out?   Here are some observations: 

  • Station Liners are pretty much a waste of time.  Plugging that you will do another Hi Low game in 20 minutes might show up on a few newsfeeds, but don't expect much activity.  Station 'plugs' only work if you have a HUGE event.  For example KISS in LA did get some healthy activity in announcing their Wango Tango summer concert and no doubt will see good results as they promote it more in their posts.    Most station posts are not that big and don't seem to do much other than reduce your 'talking about' metrics.  You can also find that the fans get tired of the 'hype' in their newsfeed.   When that happens and they ignore it you will come up less in the future, they could also decide to unlike you, or they could shift your status to 'hide posts' and you are off the grid.  
  • Polls and Questions.  Unless they are HUGE topics this is another topic you would think would generate more interest and just doesn't.  Asking which Oreo cookie they like and the other often trivial polls and questions we see just doesn't get them to click the mouse. 
  • Pics and Links.  Linking to a big or interesting story, posting a really interesting, shocking, clever, cute or sexy pic draws the biggest reaction.  
  • Music News - This can be effective, but it has to either be something buzz worthy or it has to be an artist that is so huge right now that everyone's gonna at least 'bat an eye.'  Still for most music stations posting Music News does fit the audience and the fans - it should be an 'expected post' from your personalities.   The key is to make it personal - not just a link to a song or a video. 
The real 'test' for most posts lies in 3 BUTTONS.  Press one of them and you will start to get a reaction and engage the fans. 

  1. The Emotion Button - This can be the BIG button.  Just look at the posts from WGCI on Woman who gave birth weeks after dying or the tribute to Lisa Lopes on the anniversary of her death - both were around 3,000 likes and tons of comments.  Another example was a Confederate Flag prom dress that was banned at Project 961 in Atlanta  Life and Death stuff really hits home if you handle it right.   
  2. The Sexy Button - This works more on Male stations than Female formats, but it clearly works in both.  Of course the key is to make it tasteful enough to fit your audience.  
  3. The Cute, Fun, Clever, Shocking Button - Perhaps the easiest button to press on a daily basis.  There are many trends on Facebook in this area.   Some that popped up on our monitors: 
    1. Animals - Any post with a cute dog, cat or other furry friend and usually a clever poster phrase on it is ALWAYS worth a bunch of shares and likes.  You can see a few below: 
    2. Hump Day - Again for male stations, but posting a somewhat sexy girl of the day pic on Wednesday/Hump day usually draws the core rock audience out. 
    3. Funny Signs/articles etc.  This is often Leno's Headlines bit in some form and nearly always gets a decent reaction.  
    4. Star Pics- Pics of celebs with unique quotes or phrases is also a big share item.  See Keith Richards below
    5. This Is What I Do - The 6 panel pics with images of various jobs and what various people think of the job is another example of a popular trend.  It's mostly run it's course now but in Feb-April it was a fresh style of post that hit a lot of newsfeeds.  Staying on top of what is trending here is crucial - just make sure you are 'picking hits' here and not just adding everything. 

In the end I see 3 questions/observations about your posts that will help you make a lot more effective posts with the fans. 
  1. Be Authentic - Any posts that look like Hype, begging, or out of sync with the general trends within the audience will turn into junk quickly.   Knowing what your audience is into is crucial here.  
  2. Can They Join IN?  - Is this a post that will:
    1. Get them to hit Like - because it's entertaining or facinating? 
    2. Is it an opportunity for conversation and engagement? 
    3. Is it something they might share with their friends?  
  3. Be Active - If you are only going to post a couple of times a week or just have the Morning Show put out a summary of their best bits at 10a you won't crack the newsfeed for a lot of your most active fans.  Not only do you have to have enough engaging posts to crack the news feed you also have to get their attention as it's scrolling past.  
Social Media is a great marketing tool for Radio on so many levels.  We already generate tons of engaging content on-air for our audience.  While many brands struggle with Social Media because they just don't have the content or the time to really engage with the audience.  Radio brands have audience engagement built right into our foundation - it is what we are.  The keys are entertaining or engaging posts and enough of them to cut through the clutter and all the personal fun going on in Facebook or Twitter. 

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Overview - Facebook Radio Report Card - Last 5 Months

After reviewing the activity of our Radio Facebook Focus Group of stations over the last 5 months there are some interesting trends, realities and observations that we should all look at.  Building brands and your station with Social Media is very much a work in progress.  We are all very new at it and have a lot to learn.

  • Growth in Fans/Likes - The average station in our focus group grew 10% in fans from Mid-February to the first week in May.  If everyone can keep moving at that pace for the rest of the year the average growth would be around 25%.  
  • Older leaning stations are growing slower - While this may be expected as there are more younger users of Facebook and Social Media in General -- but the difference IS striking.  Look at Z100 and Lite 106.7 in NYC.  Both are strong ratings performers with large cumes - Z100 is around 220,000 fans while Lite is under 12,000.   Perhaps the older leaning stations have not found as many ways to engage  their audience or a way to integrate Social Media into their programming.  
  • More People are Talking about radio posts  - On average we are seeing growth in the 'People Talking About' Facebook Metric on all the stations in the focus group.  While we would need to track this on a daily basis to get a complete picture just dropping in and taking a random sample of the metric we see an average of  20-25% growth.  This is proof that we are learning to engage the audience a lot more in Social Media.  But, wouldn't you reason that with that much growth in 'talking about' that we would see more of their friends joining our likes?  If the average FB member has 250 friends and KQRS has 11,000 of their fans 'talking about' KQ's posts today that's a total/gross reach of 2.7 million.  With nearly 1/3rd of their total FB fans talking about them means their posts are really cutting through.  But, why doesn't their Fan base grow faster?  
  • More are commenting, liking and sharing the posts - While some stations have more success here we are seeing many posts from the bigger market stations in our focus group top 1K in likes and comments on some posts.  Sharing is also up, but not as much as the interaction from likes and comments.  Think about this with our 'old system' of interacting with the audience on the phone.  If we got 20 or 30 calls on anything we'd think it was 'trending.'   Here we see hundreds to thousands of responses.  
  • Time Line HAS changed the Game - When we first started tracking the stations in December 2011 Timeline was just starting to hit the personal pages and didn't really hit the Brand/Station pages till April.  The most important change we saw on our news feed and in looking at the brand pages is that posts don't last long on your brand page.  With the bigger picture, the members comments box, recent activity you end up with only 5-6 posts.  For many stations that is around a day of posts and for some even less.  While Timeline may be good for some users it's not good for Radio as we can pull together quite a bit of content -- after all our job is to engage and entertain an audience.  
  • Time Line's 'history' feature is not very effective for our brands.  In fact do we really care what any brand may have posted last month or a year ago?  Or when they joined Facebook?  We are forced to have this on our brand pages - for what? 
Next week we'll take a look at the most effective posts and what IS getting audience reaction.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Facebook Radio Report Card - 4-26-12

This is turning into an interesting week for content and postings on Facebook from our 'focus group' of 25 active stations in a variety of music formats.   In 4 months of tracking we have seen weeks when stations grew their likes and built more comments and likes on posts.  We've also see some weeks where sharing was up.  This week we really don't have any 'huge' topics that seemed to be generating lots of reaction.  No huge new music releases this week - last week we had a lot more comments and posts on music.  No big gossip or news this week and really no big events on TV or in Movies that were big topics.  Many posted on Obama slow jamming the news and the news that teens where trying to get a buzz on hand cleaners - but without much reaction.

The 2 biggest reaction posts show how Facebook works best at uniting a community and how radio can build the bonds between it's audience on Social Media.  Two huge posts came out of WGCI in Chicago and the topics showcase them bonding with their audience in a very human and touching way:

Top Likes From Posts:

  1. 3,047 Likes  WGCI Chicago - Brain Dead Mom Gives Birth to Twins - Done over 2 posts 
  2. 2,828 Likes   WGCI Chicago - 10 Year Anniversary of Death of Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes - 2 posts
  3. 595 Likes - Project 961 Atlanta - Hump Day Female Model pic
  4. 422 Likes - Q95 in Indy - Pic of Face in a Shadow - do you see it below. 
  5. 376 Likes WGCI Chicago - Beyonce Is People's Most Beautiful Woman 
  6. 337 Likes KQRS Minneapolis - Solider 'Britney' returns after duty and ready to rock on KQ
  7. 331 Likes WEBN Cincy - Free Gas Card contest
  8. 262 Likes Science finds most beautiful girl in stats. 
  9. 257 Likes KQRS Minneapolis - Pic of Fat Cat weighing over 40 lbs. 
  10. 227 - Likes - Alice Cooper and Steve Carell pics - see below 
  11. 212 Likes Z100 NYC - DJ Card - all songs with Pitbull see below.
Top Comments from Posts: 
  1. 656 Comments  Project 961 Atlanta - Girl banned from Prom with Confederate Flag dress - see below
  2. 534 - Comments on Science and the most beautiful girl
  3. 165 - Team gets the job done - see below
The top shares went to the Fat Cat with 120 shares - not a lot of sharing going on this week. 

You can see the audience activity is growing week by week with more likes and stronger comments when you have the right material in the posts that really grabs the audience in some way.  

Also note in WGCI posting pattern here that they very often take a topic or post and do it a couple of times over a 24 hour period.  Consider how fast the News Feeds often update and how soon you can see a post fall to the bottom of the feed and not get noticed by the people who just check a couple of times a day.  Also note that on your Time Line page (which is all you have now) you can see a post just fall off after a day or two and then you skip to last month or posts from long ago.  Posting a couple of times when you have something that is hot is important.  With the new world of Facebook moving faster you need to adapt if you want to stay on their News Feed and be on your Time Line page.   

Friday, April 20, 2012

Facebook Radio Report Card 4-19-12

Greetings and welcome to this weeks Report Card on the 'Focus Group' of 25 very active Radio Stations in a variety of music formats tracking their posts on Facebook over the last 3 days (4-17 to 4-19-12).  The overall posting trends revolved around a few events this week including:

  • Dick Clark's passing drew a number of posts from AC, Classic Hits, and some Rock stations.  
  • Clear Channel outlets had a number of posts promoting specific artist channels on I Heart radio that seemed to be coming from a central post scheduling system.  In CHR-Rhythmic stations they were pushing a Drake stream.  In Country Brantley Gilbert's channel.  In Rock a channel around Soundgarden with their new release this past week and for AC a Jason Mraz feed.  It increased the number of "Music" posts by a big margin. 
  • The recent 'study' that claim we could save 7 billion by legalizing marijuana was also posted by a number of rock stations with considerable comment levels.   
Here is a breakdown of the post categories over the 3 days with 268 posts tracked: 

Station Liners - 13%
Pics, News, Links, - 38%
Music news/links - 32%
Contests - 8%
Polls-Questions - 7%

Posts with the most Likes: 
  • Meth and Elmo - pic below - 647
  • Keith Richards poster - 532
  • Sean's Mom passes from WDVE pic tribute post - 530
  • Home Depot aisle sign - pic below - 330
  • Pitt Penguins not out of it yet poster - 391
  • Pic of Sign - Zombies can't swim buy a boat - 262
  • Tribute to KINK announcer Les Spanoff on anniversary of passing - 262
  • Pic of Woman sitting on big tree stump - big wood - 260
  • Cat drifting in pool in a box - poster - 237
  • Text Message need a dictionary - 232
  • Baby poster - see below - 221
  • MTV played videos - see below - 190 
Most Comments
  • Sean's Mom passes at WDVE - 569
  • Is this pic a 'butt' or is it 'cleavage' - 132
  • Zombies can't swim - 95
Top Shares
  • Keith Richards poster - 272
  • Pitt Penguins poster - 151
  • Meth & Elmo - 150
  • Zombies can't swim - 94
  • Cheap I Pad - see below - 91
We did have more shares this week and comments were slightly off on many posts.   

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Facebook Radio Report Card 4-11-12

The impact of Facebook's Time Line on the news feed from our 'focus group' of 24 stations in various music formats continues to show fewer posts making it past the new feed as we continue to see older posts taking up more space.  To overcome this we look at the individual walls more and find more 'Station Liners' and 'Contests' showing up there but not making it to the news feeds.  The lack of comments and interaction with them is probably the reason.   Overall activity in Likes, Comments and Shares continues to grow with many posts topping 100 likes.    Let's take a look at the categories of the posts from 220 posts over the 3 day period from Easter to 4/11:

Categories of Posts: 
Station Liners - 27%
News - Pics - Links - 47%
Music News - 11%
Polls - 2%
Contests - 3%

Top Posts for Likes:
642 likes - Derek Rose to be a Father -
510 likes - Poster - 'Stay Strong'  shown below
250 likes - Poster - 'Auto Correct quit correct my swearing'
207 likes - Keith Urban in Grand Ole Opry
194 likes - Twitter tweets about Titanic anniversary - most didn't know there was a real ship?
191 likes - Cops arrest naked guy with bunny ears on Easter - pic
186 likes - Article on why black barbers take longer to cut hair.

Top Posts for Comments: 
246 comments - Pic of Large Woman in very tight shorts
194 comments - Debate on woman's rights after sending boy friend nude pics.
187 comments - Pic of Guy wearing very high wasted jeans
155 comments - On the Twitter Titanic tweets

Top Shared Posts: 
110 shares - on poster of little kid - staying strong for weekend (shown below)
104 shares - On poster about Swearing (shown below)

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Facebook Radio Report Card 4-4-12

A number of changes in our Focus Group of Facebook Radio Station Postings this week as the new Facebook Timeline has 'become law' in the land of Social Media.   You can see older posts turning up in the news feeds that have built up reactions and views over a longer time.  There are also a lot more posts that are not making it to our 'news feed' and for this week's report we dug into each of the stations' wall/timeline to see more of their posts for the report.   That also means that lots of posts that used to be in the listener's news feeds are fading away.  Time Line will change the posts that get viewed on your wall and that will also change the posts that make it to your fan's news feeds.

This week our 40 hour window covered 178 posts from a sample of 24 active stations in a variety of music formats.  Here is a breakdown of the categories of the posts:

  • Station Liners - 16%
  • News-Videos-Pics - 52%
  • Music News - 16%
  • Contests 8%
  • Polls/Questions - 8%
Top Posts for Likes: 
  • Travon Martin - Picture collage from WGCI -- 2,330 Likes
  • Picture of Overweight girl and drawing of Jabba the Hut - 890 Likes at Project 961
  • Hump day - sexy butt pic - 522 Likes at  Project 961
  • Reggie Miller in Hall of Fame at WFBQ - 490 Likes
  • Wango Tango Announcement on KISS LA - 366 Likes
  • Bad Girl Club 8 in bar fight video from WGCI - 350 Likes

Tops in Comments: 
  • Overweight girl and Jabba the Hut - 244
  • Caption a pic of a guy looking at another guy's butt from KQRS - 141
  • Pic of kid from Problem Child looking spooky - 125
  • Jock not trimming toenail - pic - 110 
In Sharing only 2 posts really stood out.  The Travon Martin picture board had 128 shares and the Overweight Girl's drawing took on 151 shares. 

The Clear Channel stations were starting to tease and build up the I Heart Radio show which I suspect will spread to more and more of their Facebook postings as the week progresses.  KISS in LA had a number of posts on the announcement of their annual Wango Tango show coming over the Summer.  The Travon Martin controversy continues to draw lots of attention with the Rhythmic and Urban stations.   

Project 961 had a lot of highly ranked posts.  Now that they have over 100K in their Facebook likes you can see more and more fans are engaging with their posts.   While Project 9-6-1 has around 104,000 likes they have over 12,000 talking about them on Facebook.   Compare that to Z100 with over 230,000 likes and around 10,000 talking about them.   

Of all the formats represented here you can see the most action on the Rock and Urban stations.   CHR's are close behind then we see a big drop for Country and lastly AC stations which seem to have the lowest like counts and not a lot of interaction.   It seems odd that AC stations with high female numbers are not growing their fan likes as much and engaging them as actively as the other formats here.   

The pic of the week didn't get into the top ranks of Likes, Comments or Shares, but it's is unique and spreading.  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Facebook Radio Report Card 3-28-2012

Posts seemed to be a little light this week on Facebook from our panel of 25 stations in all formats.  Perhaps there wasn't the volume of new music releases, the opening for Hunger Games, the debate/coverage of the teen murder in Florida, and some of the other topics we had last week.  This week seems a bit light so far.  Still we do have some big reaction posts - the audience seems to be engaging with the stations in our focus group more every week.

Here is a breakdown of the topic categories covered in the 188 posts we saw over a 36 hour span this week.

  • Station Liners - 14%
  • Pics - Links - Videos - News - 50%
  • Music links/videos - 14%
  • Contests - 12%
  • Polls and Questions - 10%
Top Posts for LIKES: 
  • Adam Levine poses nude for Breast Cancer research in Cosmo - 1,442 likes
  • Lady in bikini mowing he grass - 868 likes
  • Kid's excuse note (below) - 614 likes
  • Worship Sign (below) 601 likes
  • Gonna Win Mega Millions and quit - 358 likes
  • Showing too much booty - 298 likes
  • Beer at end of rainbow in truck (below) - 289 likes
  • Mamogram for Men cartoon (below)- 274 likes
Top Posts for Comments:
  • Adam Levine nude - 291
  • Bikini mowing grass - 286
  • Octomom poses topless - 176
  • Miss Canada a Male? - 149
Top Posts for Shares: 
  • Adam Levine poses nude - 225
  • Worship sign - 176
  • Smart tracking dog looks at underwear and pulls away (pic) - 130 
You can still see some Urban and Rhythmic stations with posts and comments around the teen killing in Florida.   The continued warm Spring is also in lots of posts and pics.  Over the next week we'll see the Easter break hit and the Spring rating period gets rolling so we'll see how our focus group of stations react on Facebook.   

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Facebook Radio Report Card 3-21-12

A fairly active week on Facebook for Radio.  The release of Hunger Games was a big topic on CHR and some AC stations, Tim Tebow and Payton Manning got good coverage, Urban and Rhythmic stations did pose topics around the teen murder case in Florida. Project 961 in Atlanta hit 100,000 likes with it's contest and the station tour by boy band - One Direction - got a lot of action.

Let's take a look at the overall post numbers in our 'focus group' of stations in all music formats.

Total Posts for the Tuesday 3/20 and Wednesday 3/20 18 hour window - 215.  Here is the category breakdown:

  • Station Liners - 50 - 27%  - Plugs for station events or programming
  • Contests - 16 or 7% - Either actual on FB contests or liners for contests.
  • Polls or Questions - 34 or 16% - FB polls or topics with questions/comments
  • Links Funny Pics/Videos/News - 71 or 22% - Posts with links and pics/videos
  • Music News/Videos - 36 or 17% - Posts covering music or artist news/videos/songs
The posts with the Most likes in our sample included: 
  • 902 Likes for the 961 Atlanta posts around their run to 100,000 Facebook Likes.  This is the total number for 2 posts on the event during the monitor window. 
  • 755 Likes for 2 posts following Hines Ward's retirement announcement in Pittsburgh
  • 449 Likes for the Z100 posts on the station visit from One Direction - A total of 3 posts on the topic. 
  • 419 Likes for a post on WGCI Linking to the new E40 Video
  • 399 Likes for a picture post on unique shirt message - posted below. 
  • 329 Likes for a kid's drawing off Zombies in the after life. 
  • 290 Likes for a discussion post from WGCI on the Florida teen killing.
Big Comment producing posts: 
  • 235 Comments on the Project 961 100K FB promotion.
  • 193 Comments on a question post on teachers spanking kids
  • 79 Comments on story of a woman who kidnapped a man for 5K ransom.
  • 72 Comments on the E40 Video posting at WGCI
Top Shared Posts or Content
  • 320 Shares for the 961 100K promotion posts
  • 93 Shares for the unique shirt message below
  • 87 Shares of the video from the band Otherwise's song We Are Soldiers 
  • 66 Shares of the kids Zombie drawing.   

                                                                    You can see the LIKES moving up in many of the stations in the focus group here.  Project 961's contest to hit 100,000 LIKES has really pumped up their numbers and now they are giving away 10,000 to some one in that group of fans.  

You can also see some stations building quite an interactive following if you look at the "People Talking About This" figure on the 'home page' of the stations.   Perhaps us programmers can grasp this best as LIKES are the Cume here and People Talking is the TSL.   The leading station in inefficiency is KDWB with 107,000 Likes it draws a 15,948 People Talking number.   Compare that with Z100 in NYC with nearly 220,000 Likes and 2,972 people talking.   You can also see a pretty good ratio here at another Twin Cities outlet - KQRS with 29,267 Likes but 18% of them - 5,225 are talking about it.   The key to both stations is a healthy number of quality posts that get the audience talking/reacting most days. 

Next week we will be expanding the panel a little more with a couple of new stations in the mix.  

Thanks for stopping by.   

Friday, March 09, 2012

Facebook Radio Report Card 3/8/12

You can really see the growth in the audience reaction with more Likes, Comments and Shares on the posts from our Focus Group of 21 stations.  Looking over their posts during a 48 hour period this past week on 3/6 to 3/8 there were 179 posts that made our news feed.  That is a fairly average showing in the 2 months we've been keeping track.

Here is a breakdown of the post categories:

  • Station Liners - 29 or 16%
  • Contests - 15 or 8%
  • Polls and Questions - 25 - 14%
  • Pics, videos and links to stories - 75 or 42%
  • Music News - 35 or 20%
The top 5 posts for most Likes: 
  • Look how cheap gas was pic (below) - 961 likes
  • Dad's takes over kids FB page and posts - 872 likes
  • Wall Mart messes up cake - 668 likes
  • Road signs explaining expressway lanes - 617 likes
  • Girls painted bodies as Coors Cans - 548 Likes
Top 5 Posts for Comments:
  • Immigrant Wins Lottery Court upholds prize - 590 Comments
  • Lil Kim has no eyebrows - 510 Comments
  • Graph of Birth Control pills needed for Sex (Rush joke) - 416 Comments
  • Post a Caption for this dog pic - 290 Comments
  • Jessica Simpson Pregnancy Pic - 189 Comments
Top Shared posts:
  • Save Ward Hines (Steeler in Pittsburgh) 578 Shares
  • Wall-Mart cake mistake - 381 Shares
  • Cheap Gas (below) - 377 Shares
  • Cliff from Cheers explains how beer kills brain cells pic - 304 Shares
  • Road Signs explaining expressway lanes - 250 Shares

You can also see growth in overall fans with Likes at KISS in LA nearly at 200,000.  The audience is using Social Media more and more every week to interact with radio brands.  We've seen the top 'Like' posts hitting nearly double the numbers of 6 weeks ago.  The number of comments on the top posts are also more than double what they in early February.  Shares took a big jump this week and are now 4 times what they were for the top posts 6 weeks ago.   

There are also changes in Facebook that we need to keep track of with the Time Line for Brands now being introduced.   More on what that means to Radio Brand pages in a couple of days.   

Friday, February 24, 2012

Facebook Radio Report Card 2-23-12

We've had the 'Focus Group' in place for over 6 weeks now and looking over all the reports and notes you can clearly see an increases in the reactions to the posts.   While we have added a few big stations and their big fan bases are adding to the numbers we can also see some stations that we have been tracking from mid-January showing a lot more reaction to some of their more creative posts.

For the 30 Hour period from 2/22/12 and 2/23/12 at noon we had 188 posts.  That is down from the big numbers last week.  Valentines Day, Whitney's passing, and the Grammy awards generated a number of posts.

Let's look at the report card on the topics covered:

  • Station Liners - 46 posts - 24%
  • News Links - Funny Pics - 68 posts - 36%
  • Music News - 34 posts - 18%
  • Contests - 11 posts - 6%
  • Polls - Questions - 29 posts - 15%
The Posts generating the most Likes: 

  • President looking towards 1st Lady's Legs - 912 Likes and 260 Comments 71 shares
  • Free Beer Sign - see below - 799 Likes  and 98 shares
  • Funny Traffic sign - you'll never get to work - 684 Likes 
  • Name Kardashian Baby's fashion line - 392 Likes
  • Boy Toy's (KISS personality) daughter sings - 253 Likes 
Posts with the most Comments: 
  • Pic of a lots of beads on face in New Orleans - 132 comments
  • Pic of Headphones on very large breasts - 129
  • Pic of dog with unique pattern in fur - 119 Comments
  • Weird Finger bending pic - 108 Comments
  • Free Beer sign - see below - 98 comments
We had 2 pics that had a lot of shares 
  • Dogs - don't make eye contact - 158 shares
  • Dog with unique fur pattern - 138 shares

Dog pics really seem to generate considerable comments and likes as well as shares.  

Looking over all the data you can see stations really growing in Likes and overall fans.  The audience is joining up to a lot of the bigger market stations here with some big jumps in numbers.  Z100 in New York is over 215,000 likes and  KISS in LA is now above 180,000.   In Atlanta Project 961 is over 92,000 with a contest to hit 100,000.   But there are also markets where stations seem to be stuck at around 30,000 fans even with some very creative posts.   We are leaning it takes, creative posts, good on-air coverage, keeping active, and using Facebook wisely.   

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Facebook Radio Report Card 2/16/12

An interesting week for Radio in Social Media.  Lots of huge events including Whitney's death, the Grammys, and Valentines Day looked to be really big topics, but looking over the posts in our 'focus group' of stations over the 30 hours that covered Wednesday 2/15 and up to Mid-Day Thursday 2/16 many of those topics had faded or were not really covered as much as you might think.

For this week we added 2 big stations WGCI in Chicago and Power in LA.  Both are Urban or very Rhythmic stations and have huge followings - WGCI is over 138,000 likes and Power is around 120,000.  I didn't have them in at first because I thought their huge advantage in Likes would just give us their topics and posts at the top in reaction.   But, really these stations are not as active as many of the other stations in smaller cities.  In the 30 hour span WGCI only had 5 posts on their wall - Power had 6.  While they did have some big reactions on a few it many other stations in smaller cities with smaller followings were way ahead of them.  Looking from the outside the GCI and Power audiences are very plugged in to Social Media - are the stations?

The 21 stations in the Focus Group generated 320 posts in the 30 hour span - that's nearly 15 posts per station!! - the activity is growing week to week.   Here is a summary of the categories:

  • Station Liners - 106 or 33%   - Contest or programming billboards or plugs. 
  • Polls or Questions - 62 or 19%  - Audience questions on topics
  • Links to News - Gossip - Facts - Pics - Videos - 108 or 34%
  • Music News - 33 or 10%
  • Contests - 10 or 3%

Looking at the top topics for Likes, Comments and Shares:


  • Pic of Puppy (below) -  289 likes 
  • Contest for tix to Ron White Comedy show - 273 likes
  • Glee - and the Whitney Show on Monday - 265 likes
  • Congrats to Red Wings - start thinking Stanley Cup? in Det. - 257 likes
  • Bondage Busted on V Day - 248 likes - Couple arrested in Bondage Outfit on V Day.

Top Comments
  • Weekly Family Check in morning show bit not in top 50 market - 150 comments
  • Shit people say while driving in Chicago - 130 comments
  • Brought Burlap Shoes do you like?  -- 127 comments
  • No Cross dressing in school allowed - 126 comments
  • Pictures of Painted Eyebrows - 123 comments
The top shared post of the week was a cartoon of a  T-Rex trying to clap hands. 

Some of the topics that popped up that were outside of the big events of the week that generated some interest: 

  • Big footin - Pics of people stomping like big foot in unique places like Waffle House etc.  Funny series on Project 961 in Atlanta.
  • The "What I Do" posters for various jobs did show up on some posts, but this looked like the post of the week on many personal pages.   We have one below.
  • Pics of the SI swimsuit models on many rock posts.
  • Valentines day had lost of questions in posts, but not a lot of response as noted above.   
Stepping back and looking at all the posts in the 'focus group' it's surprising the high number of station liners in the mix.  Most of these get no reaction yet they make up around a 1/3rd of the pie here.  Polls, funny posts and contests really make the the most valuable Social Media categories for reaction.  If you want to get your site buzzing these are the best places to play.   

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Facebook Radio Report Card 2/7/12

Took a break last week to expand the panel from 15 to 20 stations.  We have to watch how many stations we try to track on our page.  Going after 2 many has the posts stacking up so fast there is no way to evaluate them all.  Remember it's not designed to be a full survey of Facebook Postings but a 'focus group' of what is going on with a group of stations that are pretty active, have a decent like/fan base and also represent a variety of formats.

This week we see considerable after Super Bowl activity.   You may note that I broke out Sports as a separate  field but really there wasn't much on the game.  Much of the activity was more focused on the commercials, the Madonna show and other topics that may have touched on the Superbowl but were not really covering the game itself.  Many of those posts ended up in New/Info, Music, and Polls.

With the 5 new stations in the mix we only cover 30 hours - and we have 191 posts that made the news feed in that period.  Here is the breakdown by Topic:

News/Info --  44 Posts - 23%  Links to Stories - pics and news
Music Info -- 21 Posts - 11%   Music/Concert information and links
Sports--------15 Posts -  8%   Sports discussion and news
Liners --------58 Posts - 30%  Promos for shows, station events, etc.
Personality ---15 Posts  -  8%  Personality quips
Polls/?s-------33 Posts - 17%   Audience questions
Contests -----  5 Posts -    3%  Facebook contests or on-air contest liners

Top 5 Posts with the most Comments
1.  Who would you like to see play this summer - 242 Comments
2.   Listener Family Night check in with a prize - 217 Comments
3.  Madonna halftime reviews - 146 Comments
4. Quit Job if you win Lottery?  121 Comments
5. Foo Fighters at next years Superbowl - 92 Comments
5. Review of Kelly C. singing National Anthem - 92 Comments

Top 5 Liked Posts
1. Foo Fighters at Superbowl in 2013 - 597 likes
2. A Minnesota Afternoon picture -  447 Likes and 239 shares
3. Kelly C's National Anthem - 445 Likes
4. Alligator at the front door pic - 262 Likes and 108 shares
5. Clint Eastwood Superbowl ad in Detroit - 236 Likes

And here is the Minnesota pic that drew 450 likes and over 200 shares - looks like fun - hope they got back to land.

We are seeing stations starting to get close to 100,000 likes in some markets.  KDWB is on a roll and close and Project 961 in Atlanta is running a contest to get to 100,000 and over 80,000 now.

I was rather surprised at the high number of LINER posts this week at 30%.  Most of them were just plugs for regular features or shows coming up and didn't draw much interest.  Country and AC stations were actually pretty quiet here.  While many country stations posted news on Randy Travis being arrested it didn't seem to  gather much reaction or dialogue.

Every week as I review the content it seems to be more engaging on some sites, while others don't seem to be generating a lot of reaction or posting topics that cut through the Facebook News Feed filters.

The Superbowl gave us lots of content this past weekend.  Next weekend it's the Grammy's - should be interesting.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Facebook Radio Report Card 1/29/12

Here are some observations and data from monitoring the Facebook posts of 14 selected stations.

This week the News Feed for the stations came up with:

  • 157 posts dating back 60 hours that's up from the 85 posts we had last week. 
  • Types of Posts
    • Station Liners - Plugs for contests, music features, etc - 16 or 10%
    • Questions - "Are you watching American Idol" etc -48 or 30%
    • News/Info - Links to Videos, funny Pictures or News facts - 74 or 47%
    • Personality Posts - 'On my 2nd cup of Coffee need more'  - 14 or 9%
    • Music News - Posts on upcoming releases, artist news -- 4 or 3%
  • Top 5 Posts with most Likes
    • 652 - A pic of Limp Biscuit - Pillsbury Dough can breaks - also 139 comments and 141 shares
    • 285 - Paterno dies - news in Pittsburgh 
    • 262 - Penguins win #500 in Pittsburgh
    • 258 - Go Pats in Boston
    • 229 - German gets 110,000 tax refund in error.
  • Top 5 Posts with most Comments
    • 196 - Stars you've seen or movies filmed in our city
    • 163 - Pick superbowl in Pittsburgh
    • 139 - Pic of Limp Biscuit
    • 125 - Taco Bell for Breakfast
    • 94- What did you do this weekend
Sports really picks up a lot more content this past week with the Superbowl teams all set.  There wasn't much on the Oscar nominations and no posts on political issues.  Remember we have Rock, AC, Country and CHR stations in this mix.  Rock stations had the most active and highest number of posts this week.   By the way the pic of the Limp Biscuit just in case you wanted to know:   

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Facebook Radio Report Card 1/18/12

So what does Radio's overall Facebook Presence look like?

How are we using the social network?

What are we posting and what is working?

All of these are questions I'm sure everyone is asking as they decide how much effort and time Facebook is worth.  To get a picture I built a Facebook Page that only I can access and it is tracking 14 stations in Rock, CHR, Country, and AC formats to get a picture of what is posted each week and what the audience reaction in  Likes and Comments is.

Let's take a look at Wednesday 1/18/12 with an analysis taken around 10a Eastern.   The tracking on my Newsfeed here goes back to Sunday posts - so around 60 hours.   Here are some tracking facts:

  • There were 85 posts in the News Feed - that's an average of 6 posts per station in the roughly 2 day period - so maybe 3-4 posts a day on the average.  
  • Here is a rundown of the type of posts in the News Feed:
    • Station Liners - Plugs for contests, music features, etc - 27 or 32%
    • Questions - "Are you watching American Idol" etc - 12 or 14%
    • News/Info - Links to Videos, funny Pictures or News facts - 30 or 35%
    • Personality Posts - 'On my 2nd cup of Coffee need more'  - 8 or 9%
    • Music News - Posts on upcoming releases, artist news -- 8 or 9%
  • Top 5 reaction posts: 
    • Station Contest - Trip to Hawaii in LA - 152 Likes
    • News - Justin Bieber goes Brunette 155 Likes and 80 comments
    • News - Kholhe K's ex gets cheers at Lakers Game in LA - 436 Like
    • News - Pop bands logos in Heavy/Death Metal Fonts - 184 Like, 61 Comment, 38 Shares
    • Question - State wants to ban PJs in Public - 70 Likes and 185 Comments
I tried to pick stations that did a fair amount of postings and had big Like numbers.   The big markets like LA, NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Boston, and Philly are there but there are some smaller markets like Madison and Grand Rapids.   I plan on adding to the panel now that we have a trial run out there and track more of the content.  Of course I can't track all the metrics that are available to the Admin users at the stations, but we can at least see the Likes, Comments and Shares to get a basic picture.  If you have any suggestions on stations to add or other types of posts to track let me know via email- or with comments below.  Thanks.

Overall when you just look at a News Feed of Radio Brands it's a strange mix of posts.  The biggest reactions here are mostly for News and Questions.  The Station Liners really didn't do much in likes or comments unless they were contests that forced the audience to Facebook to win.  The most reactions came from the active evening personalities and their posts with Questions and News/web bits.  Is there a real strategy here to focus on the types of posts that get reaction or are we just throwing posts out there?

The other fact here was the lack of interaction from the Personalities in their posts.  Once they put it up there they rarely came back in to keep the conversation going or react to the audience.  

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Social Networks - Too Much Activity?

The reality of interacting with your audience on Social Networks like Twitter and Facebook is that you can go un-noticed pretty quickly.

Right now Facebook claims over 800 million active users with around 50% of them logging on in any given day.  The average Facebook user has 130 friends and in an average day more than 250 million photos are uploaded everyday.  

In the Twitter world there are over a billion tweets posted every week.  Twitter users welcomed in 2012 with over 16,000 tweets per second on New Years Eve last weekend!!

While some grumbled at the changes from the Facebook F8 conference last fall to the News Feed - face it something had to be done.  We are all drowning in the posts from our friends and also from the many celebrities, movies, TV shows, Radio stations, products, stores, and political pages and Twitter accounts we follow.   

When I look at my news feed with around 500 friends and maybe 30 brands/personality pages I'm linked to I end up with around 20 posts an hour during the day. My full news feed page maybe covers 2-3 hours.  In Twitter it can move even faster.  Of course every week I add new friends and followers so in a year these numbers will climb a lot. 

Also keep in mind that Facebook IS filtering what hits my news feed.  They are looking at my past interaction (reading, linking, sharing, or commenting) with each of my friends and brand likes and deciding who is important.  They are also looking at what is posted by each of my friends/brands and deciding if it might be interesting to me on a long list of priorities.  Just as Google looks at my search history and sorts out what might be the best sites for me Facebook is also doing that for what appears on my News Feed.   

So now you are getting set to do some posts on your station's Facebook page or hit the Twitter button.  Is your message going to breakthrough?  Or are you just wasting your time?  

To get better at interacting with the audience on Social Media you need some feedback.   Yes some metrics or statistics or ratings that tell you what the audience is doing with your interaction.  And you need to develop a strategy behind the data to make sure what you post or tweet has a chance.  The other challenge is that the listener's News Feed is filling up every minute with more stuff and even with good content you can fall off the feed before they even see it.  

Some have taken to posting all the time to stay on the news feed, but remember that you don't want to become the 'evil' spam-master of Facebook.  Yes, the News Feed filter also looks for 'spam' and filters it out.  We also have the ultimate goal of getting the audience to interact with the ultimate source here - the broadcast signal.  Perhaps down the road we'll be important enough in the Social Media Web to make all our dollars from the digital side, but for now (and probably forever) we need to get them to tune in or stream in.  

The key is getting good feedback.  Know how many people saw your post, how many hit any links, looked at the pic, rolled the video, commented, shared and also who they are.   You can get most of this info if you have a Facebook analytic program, although many programs can be hard to read or navigate. Even bigger than just having the data you need to keep track of what worked and what didn't.  Once you have this data - now you have a chance to build a strategy to become more effective.   But, we have to hurry - next New Year there will probably be 50,000 tweets a second and we'll have 500 Facebook friends to keep up with and 5 times the posts we have today.