The time I spent at the Conclave Learning Conference this past week was filled with many highlights. The most obvious was the fact that radio needs to get social. By “get” I mean broadcast has to understand the social media space and it needs to become active in it. And I contend “being” social is nothing new to radio.
First and foremost, it became quite apparent to me during a few sessions that the talk of social media applications and marketing tools (Twitter, blogging, streaming, podcasting) was foreign to many in attendance. Congratulations to those that made the trip to Minneapolis and the Learning Conference. It is no longer foreign to you. To my radio brethren that haven’t made the commitment to learn I say, “I know you’re busy, but you need to find time to understand and be part of social media.” Not being hip to this will kick you in the butt.
Second, I want to encourage radio as a whole to remember that you are part of what could be the original social medium. Remember when we reached out to the community? Remember when we asked for callers to give us input and requests? Remember when we asked listeners to join us at “remotes”…back when we made them events. Yes, we were doing “social” long before Facebook. Then we got safe. Then we started to be so inwardly focused the social aspect of radio became something we just did and not something we were involved in.
Here’s a quick side note and a way to get social instantly. Don’t ask for a request unless you intend to play it within minutes of receiving it. Be honest 95% of radio stations don’t really play requests. If you are part of that majority, don’t lead your listeners to think you will play one. Figure out some other way to get the phone to ring. Your audience will appreciate your honesty.
Finally, what I want to emphasize more than anything to everyone in all forms of social media is this; don’t over emphasize the “media” in the term social media. Media is just the conduit to get the act of being social to your audience. Being social requires involvement. It’s about building a relationship. If you don’t get that you must really be involved with your audience or customer or you don’t want to take the time to do it, the medium by which you reach them is of no consequence.
I dig the crap out of everything from Twitter to Friendfeed to Facebook to Ning but they are really only as good as the message and my level of involvement.
More from the Conclave Learning Conference tomorrow…