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?