On social media platforms, quality is definitely more important than quantity. One of the biggest mistakes that brands sometimes make is to throw up a lot of content onto Facebook or Twitter in a way that is neither engaging nor connecting.
Do not post content unless you believe that it is relevant and that your audience will care. Unless you are providing optimised content that serves a real need, it will not generate more listening or viewing.
2. Being there is not enough
"Everyone is on Facebook, so we should be too," is not a social media strategy. Since a compelling and successful presence on social media will require resources, it sometimes helps to think of what you hope to achieve as a ROI (Return On Investment).
And it has to be an on-going investment in order to bear fruit. As in the real world, relationships take time to develop and strengthen.
Listeners and viewers are happy and often expect to see their favourite channel, station or programme on Facebook and Twitter, but you must acknowledge that they are there.
Social media is about conversation, not shouting a message. Listen to what your fans are saying and never stop listening.
One of the cardinal sins is to ask questions and then disappear. A comment must be answered, no less than a ringing telephone.
It is not enough to give away lots of tickets and prizes. Unless you acknowledge your audience socially, you make them feel that you don't care.
Above all, people want to feel that they are part of your channel or brand and that they belong. When you ask them to like you on Facebook or to follow you on Twitter, they think that you are trying to start a conversation and that you care.
It is wrong to ask them to do these things unless you are prepared to respond to their comments and ideas.
All of this requires specialized training to help journalists and producers to understand the benefits of social media, and to know how to participate effectively.
3. You're not the only one with an audience
Nowadays everyone has a voice and the power to influence her or his peers. Everyone who is active on Facebook and Twitter has their own audiences.
They are all connected to other people who trust them and respect their opinions. They recommend programmes to each other all the time.
Social media allow you to interact with a group of listeners or viewers who are emotionally connected to your brand and are motivated to share the content that you provide. If you listen to your fans or followers, they can generate the higher mind share that you will need to achieve higher ratings.
Your audience will share content with their individual audiences, who will in turn recommend it to their friends and followers.
It is part of human nature that none of us want to feel as though we are excluded from a conversation. Live TV has demonstrated the power of social media when used the "second screen" to enhance the TV experience and to foster TV-based communities.
4. Behave as you would in the real world
Everyday rules of etiquette and good behaviour also apply in the world of social media. Furthermore, if something is not interesting in real life there is no reason to think people will care when they see it on your Facebook page.
What you had for breakfast will be of little interest or importance to your show's followers unless you are a celebrity presenter. In real life, we would not shout to everyone in a room that someone has paid us a compliment, so why re-tweet vapid praise?
It is annoying and clogs up feeds with irrelevant content. If nothing else works, stop and ask yourself, would I be interested if somebody said that to me in real life?
5. It's a lot of work - is it worth the effort?
Public service media invest a great deal of resources into creating compelling news programmes, light entertainment , music and fiction. Maximizing visibility is not only a matter of common sense, many see it as an essential part of their remit.
Social media help to raise the profile of station or programme brands and to increase rating for linear radio and TV. This happens by making it easier to discover content in several different ways .
Firstly, there is the process of recommendation within a peer group. Secondly, hashtags are proving another very effective way of reaching people who are not part of your community.
Thirdly, Google and other search engines rank results from Twitter very high up in search results.
In the end, though, it is a question of future survival. We are heading towards a very fragmented future will become increasingly comfortable with choosing which content they want to consume when and where.
Gone are the days when broadcasters could shout from the top of the hill to a grateful audience. The Internet is educating listeners and viewers to use their voices and to expect broadcasters to listen and to respond.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has launched a campaign for all new radios and mobile devices to be fitted with a ‘Euro-Chip’, which will give Digital Radio vital impetus and a surer future in Europe.
Euro-Chip integrates the main radio standards, such as digital (DAB/DAB+/DMB) and analogue (FM), into one universal radio receiver, overcoming incompatibilities and bringing important benefits to broadcasters, manufacturers and consumers.
Owners of any device containing a live Euro-Chip – including smartphones and tablets – can enjoy cost-free broadcast reception, even as they cross international borders or pass between digital and analogue signals.
Crucially, Euro-Chipped smartphones will draw younger people to radio; EBU research consistently confirms that it is the device, and not the delivery system, that matters most to them.
The technology will also enhance radio’s role as the optimum communications medium in the event of networks failure, during for instance, natural disasters; at these pressured times, broadcast networks usually continue to work.
The EBU wants action on several levels:
• Although many devices have been fitted with a radio chip, dormant chips must be activated. • Radio chip tools should be open and accessible for creative minds to develop new applications. • Any future radios and smart devices must contain active Euro-Chips when they reach the shelves.
To this end, the EBU will talk to key stakeholders, such as carmakers, legislators and electronics manufacturers, to spread universal awareness of the huge opportunity that Euro-Chip represents.
EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot said: “Radio is extremely popular in Europe, but it has not enjoyed the same momentum as television, notably in the consumer electronics sphere. We want to send a clear signal that the EBU is determined to make radio a key part of Europe’s digital future.”
The EBU Executive Board has agreed a declaration in support of Euro-Chip, which lists the reasons why Euro-Chip is essential:
• Efficient network use: Euro-Chip eases pressure on mobile broadband networks while making full use of spectrum allocations for digital and analogue radio.
• Cost-free listening: In mobile phones, Euro-Chip enables audiences to receive broadcast services everywhere at no incremental cost. Consumers will not need to pay for broadband reception of free-to-air radio services.
• An Internal Market-friendly device: future-proof and interoperable, Euro-Chip enables radio reception in dozens of countries.
• Huge potential for innovative radio services: access to radio chips and hybrid radio services will engender new business models, creative opportunities and audience interaction.
• Enhanced public safety: Radio is the most resilient communications medium in natural disasters and national emergencies, a feature that Euro-Chip will enhance by increasing radio’s reach. Euro-Chip will also boost road safety in Europe by simplifying the delivery of real-time, language-independent traffic information about local and cross-border conditions.
BEN STEWARD, Communications Officer, T +41 (0)22 717 2213 M +41 (0)79 244 6535 E email@example.com
ABOUT THE EUROPEAN BROADCASTING UNION (EBU)
The EBU is the world's foremost alliance of public service media organizations, with Members in 56 countries in Europe and beyond.
The EBU's mission is to defend the interests of public service media and to promote their indispensible contribution to modern society. It is the point of reference for industry knowledge and expertise.
The EBU operates EUROVISION, the media industry's premier distributor and producer of top quality live sport and news, as well as entertainment, culture and music content. The EUROVISION satellite and fibre network is the largest and most reliable in the world directly plugged in to public service media everywhere.
It’s funny when you think about social media and radio. Radio has always been a social media. Highly skilled radio personalities of the past were good at working crowds with real engagement, remembering names (validating listeners) and encouraging listeners to participate in local charities and join their radio station in doing good things in the local community and for causes like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
So all this talk about social media being new is….not so new to radio. However, because so many people are focused on digital development with consumers (listeners), social media in the digital world can seem intimidating. It shouldn’t be. Consider these ideas:
The internet is changing society and human behaviour in fundamental ways. Even the English language is not immune from the effects of online culture.
In media, the internet has transformed not only the way that we distribute content, but also the way that audiences engage and interact with content.
The culture of agile software development is now influencing the way that broadcasters create new programmes. For the first time, programme makers are experimenting with their very own beta development strategy, which means launching new products that are feature complete, but are not yet fully debugged or "road tested".
The average age of a car in the U.S. is now 11 years old – and that means that in the next year or so, many Americans will be in the market for a new vehicle. And many of these consumers will purchase one that is equipped with a system like Ford’s SYNC and Toyota’s Entune. This is significant because as we learned in Techsurvey8, a majority of our 57,300 respondents say the lion’s share of the broadcast radio listening takes place behind the wheel.
DAB and DAB+ are the future for European digital radio, according to key figures in the industry who addressed the Radiodays Europe conference in Berlin. Sessions focused on the move towards turning off analogue services and the possibilities for hybrid radios combining digital broadcasting and the internet.
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