We Proudly Own No Cookie Cutter
Grand Rapids - (616) 633-3770 Indianapolis - (317) 769-0583

The Power of Listener Engagement through Social Media

Tomorrow Media

tim_biopicBy Tim Moore


Recently ADG spent time with Tripp Eldredge CEO of ADG’s official marketing partner DMR, and Arbitron’s Digital Media Manager Jacquelyn Bullerman prominently featured at the Annapolis Programmer Fly-In. In the following notes we’ll capture the highly actionable takeaways in hopes of helping you achieve better results with your social media strategies which in turn engage listeners and drive ratings.

Tripp opened the dialog by showing us a picture of a little boy’s wheel chair, transformed into an ice cream truck by his loving father. Then we compared to radio stations having posted the picture on their Facebook page. One had 600% more reaction.


You have two choices in your approach to social media.

1. Your page can be focused on the station.

2. Your page can be focused on your listeners.

The most successful radio brands we know opt for the latter with a mission to make their listeners more awesome! Coke has 55 million followers, Pepsi nowhere near that many. Why?

Golden Rules:

Respond to listeners with sincerity.

Use your “you” voice.

You must know the metrics; what they tell you, and which have value.

You must try to get a sense for your community expectations for your station. For example Budweiser knows their brand expectations for events involve a night out, sports, and/or entertainment.

Starbucks Is A Contradiction But…

90% of Starbucks content is about them, which seems on the surface to contradict what we’ve just shared, except through that 90% of the company’s content, most all of it is about “what they can do for you” such as their mobile drive-through and so on.

You Can’t Respond To Everyone:

Don’t allow your FB page to be manipulated.

Complaints: you have 3 choices. You can (1) delete, (2) respond or (3) ignore. This process becomes a matter of good screening and instinct. Much rides on the tone of the post when it comes to complaints. Responding is better if the post seems collaborative and emotionally negotiable.

Bilingual: “don’t respond” says Jacquelyn Bullerman.

Grammar: sentence structure, spelling, tone and the “you” voice are all keenly important. The bromide that says “you can’t un-ring a bell” is never more applicable than in social media and the dreaded send-button.

Terms, Metrics and the Human Factor:

Knowing every nuance of Facebook and/or social media overall isn’t required. Knowing what matters most and the numerical relationships of various mechanics behind the important stuff is essential. Terms like “views,” “comments” and “shares” are important.

How can you grow your posts, views and shares? Relationships are the currency.

Arguably the world’s foremost expert on social media, Harvard professor Dr. Mikolaj Piskorski states it simply: “People are there to meet other people. It is very personal.” So, your stations must see their role not as a P.A. system but as a facilitator.

Three positive outcomes flow from the “facilitator” concept:

1. You form deeper, more loyal relationships.

2. You gain increased marketing leverage because they are more loyal and responsive.

3. Listener responses become part of your content creation.

Extensions and Viral Expansion:

One of the most actionable tactics is to provide downloaded games. In fact the number one downloaded App is in fact games. Games spur relationships. This is another form of “escapism” which is also a dynamic we coach air talent to foster in their show delivery.

Naming also works well: some of our client stations have experienced their listeners actually creating names for their group identity: Magic Friends and FFF’s (Facebook Friends Forever).

Three Classes of Participants:

Joiners (by far the largest group but also the most impermanent who come and go).



By recognizing the pent-up opportunity in social media whether Facebook or Twitter (they’re two different instruments), leads us to two outcomes:

1. Strengthened awareness = greater mindshare.

2. PPM or Diary, greater mindshare drives ratings and ratings drive profits.

Everything Is Connected:

Almost everyone in radio labors under an illusion that goes something like this: “Our heavy listeners spend a lot of time with our radio brand.” Unfortunately that is a myth.

· The average listening occasion is ten minutes (and that, says BBM Canada, doesn’t necessarily happen in a contiguous block of time).

· Heavy listeners or “Heavy-Deeps” as Arbitron refers to them average 31 “first-tunes” each week (meaning they punch their first choice). If you can own 26 of them you’re ahead of the field.

· 6 percent of your P-1’s time is spent listening to the radio. 20% of your cume generates 70-75% of your weekly time-spent-listening. Everything you accomplish with your social media strategy contributes to staying in the memory, lingering on the mind, when they’re not listening.