Around the Cooler: Joining The Conversation with Social Media

Whether you’re like many of our clients and have layered in a full-year marketing program or not, this year will most likely mean fewer resources than ever.

 

However, there’s a silver lining that can provide low-or-no-cost marketing boosts to help navigate through the downturn. In the next couple of issues of The End Result, we’ll detail some of these strategies.

The strategies fall into two major categories: 1) getting more marketing value and ratings results from your existing investments in people, tools, or resources, and 2) embracing and employing the power of social media. In this issue, we’ll cover the latter category first because it’s very likely you’re not yet employing these strategies.

The importance and value of social media is growing exponentially. Social media involves joining, contributing to and learning from the conversations, opinions, and interactions that a community of consumers have about your station. Social media is a platform that, in a sense, allows you to become part of the conversation around the metaphorical water cooler as people interact about things that have touched their lives. Social

There are many opportunities to employ social media in your marketing planning. We’ll focus first on three social media components you can implement immediately: Social Networking sites: Facebook and MySpace, and “the New Phone Company” –Twitter. 

[Note: Over the past year and a half, dmr has tested and refined various social media and alternative media components that we can help navigate with you. For more information email tripp.eldredge@dmrinteractive.com]

The king and queen of the hill in social networking sites are MySpace and Facebook. Both are free to set up pages for your station. Each has its own focus and strength.

MySpace
MySpace differs from Facebook in several ways. First, to understand the big picture difference, 
TechnewsWorld by Catherine Nouise. MySpace is Bart, Facebook is Lisa. MySpace is edgy, cool, anarchist, like Bart. Facebook is more reserved, soft-spoken, conformist soft-spoken and educated like Lisa. The largest growing segment in Facebook is the 35-54 year olds. The core user of MySpace is typically younger, lower income, more ethnic profile.

MySpace Profiles are free to set up and many stations have already set up MySpace pages. But the value and strength of MySpace comes from employing some best practices. For a comprehensive list of best practices, click here.

Facebook
Facebook is now the largest and fastest growing social networking site. It’s doubled MySpace’s users as of Q4, 2008. Even so, Facebook is more structured and creatively limited than MySpace. 

Facebook users can become a “fan” of your station and/or air personality; when that happens, your name and logo will appear on their profile page and your name will appear in their profile feed. In turn, more users will be able to discover your presence through their friends’ profiles and Facebook searches, and you can grow “virally” without you even having to do much work. 

To learn more about using Facebook and beginning a Facebook presence, click here. To connect to dmr’s Facebook page, click here.

Twitter
The most exciting AND fastest growing social media tool is Twitter. Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.

Growing 752% last year, Twitter had a total of 4.43 million unique visitors in December of 2008 and is adding thousands of users each day. Twitter is literally like listening to consumers around a water-cooler discussing everything…including many times, your station. You might be surpised to know that conversations are very likely taking place about YOUR STATION RIGHT NOW on Twitter. 

Here’s a live Twitter user’s mobile-phone-posted “tweet” promoting a KGO Radio San Francisco news story: 

“Bail has been set at $3 Million for the former BART police officer charged with killing an unarmed passenger. KGO Radio Breaking News. 3:15 PM Jan 30th”

With a presence on Twitter, your station can enter and become part of the water-cooler conversation. What’s more, it provides a rich and fertile ground for understanding what consumers are saying about your brand and the surrounding environment. To get a sense for the conversations going on right now, click here and search for your station or a brand you care about.

To follow dmr on Twitter, just click here.
Consistently strong ratings result from targeted mulit-layered and ongoing marketing communications. To that end, social media is not sufficient, However, in off-times or in periods of limited resources, social media can provide some coverage to the thought-leaders and connectors in your community.

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