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. 

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