A long-used analogy for getting radio ratings success has been to consider listeners as voters, with diary attribution signifying the ultimate vote. PPM measurement has only changed the concept in that actual listening becomes the de facto vote. A new Pew Research study suggests that getting a candidate elected to office is the most effective way that groups leverage the internet, providing thought-starters for radio programmers seeking “election” for their stations.
The Pew study examined the success of volunteer groups and organizations and their accomplishments based on internet use that included blogs, social websites, texting, and e-mail. Also revealed was the much higher extent to which active internet users participate in such groups- 80% versus only 56% of non-internet users- adding that “internet users are more active participants in their groups than other adults, and are more likely to feel pride and a sense of accomplishment” from their participation in their group.
It turns out that social media users are the most powerful advocates for their candidates, being “most likely to evangelize for the group with others.” Sixty-five percent of social media users say they “read updates and messages … about the groups in which they are active and 30% say they have posted news about their groups” on their various social media networks. The numbers are similar for Twitter users and those who say they send and receive text messages.
So what are the issues, interests, and values of your listeners that are important enough to engage them in such a way as to get out the “vote” for your station? Maybe you are a champion for the local music scene, food pantries, or environmental issues. Perhaps one of your on-air personalities represents a “change we can believe in” perspective.
If your database, Facebook, Twitter, and text club systems are engaged with your listeners on topics and issues that you know are important and valued by them, you can engage them as a candidate might. Galvanizing your listeners to participate and perhaps more importantly, to make contact with others within their group, can ultimately lead to a big celebration on your station’s Election Day.
Remember that in radio’s case Election Day is every day, so you need an ongoing social media strategy that is designed to win every day. Let us know if we can share that framework with you, Mr. or Ms. Campaign Manager.
*Fletcher Keyes is a long-time morning show personality, radio programmer and new contributor to dmr’s The End Result.