1. Less is more
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.