Hoping to improve your radio station or just looking to get honest opinions from your audience? Finding a way to receive feedback is an important piece of understanding how your radio station is performing. It's also a way to test listener loyalty, and receive great ideas to enhance your station that you may not have already thought of!
Sure - you could just ask close friends and family who listen to your station how they feel about the programming. But their answers might be biased or not as detailed as other listeners who are removed from your personal life. The best kind of feedback is from people who are strangers to you, but who listen to your station often.
So...how do you get feedback from those kinds of listeners? It's actually not as hard as you may think. It just takes some courage, planning, and an openness to receive honest opinions. Here's how to do it!
Making Your Listeners Aware
Before setting up a method for collecting feedback, figure out how you will make your listeners aware your station is open to receiving audience opinions, thoughts, and suggestions. After all - if you don't make your listeners aware you're looking for feedback, you're going to get a lot less feedback than you would if you do make them aware. People have a hard time taking a leap and doing things unless they feel invited to do so!
There are plenty of ways you can spread the word. Since you have a radio station, the easiest and most resourceful way is to announce at the end of each program or in-between segments that listeners can contact or provide feedback to the station. If your station has a website, social media pages, or newsletters, you can also stuff some information about feedback into those.
Additionally, your marketing efforts should clearly highlight the different methods for listeners to contact the station. This includes your station website, social media pages, emails, newsletters, print material, a PO Box or mailing address if you have one, a station phone number, and more. If listeners know they can contact you, they will!
There are so many different ways you can record feedback from your audience. Below are just some of the few options most commonly used by stations...
Whether it's an address designed specifically for feedback or just your general station address, every radio station needs an email listeners can contact to send feedback or inquiries. It is important to ensure that this email inbox is regularly checked, and that replies are sent when necessary.
Voting, Polls, and Surveys
Are you looking to get feedback on a particular aspect of your radio station - like music choices, host performances, or the programming schedule? You should use voting, polls, or surveys with your listeners. These methods allow you to ask specific questions to your listeners and have the certainty you will receive the answers you're looking for.
Nowadays, you can easily conduct voting and polls through social media. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even YouTube allow users to create voting systems and polls for audiences. You don't even have to put too much thought into user responses - you could even use emojis for answers! (For example: happy face, sad face, thumbs up, thumbs down, etc.)
Surveys are a way to ask more questions and get more detailed responses. Survey Monkey or Google Forms are great tools that many rely on, since they're easy to use and collect responses in an organized way. You can embed surveys onto your station website, or link them on social media bios and in newsletters.
Besides being a method to create polls, other aspects of social media allow for easy feedback collection. This is because social media has things like direct messaging, comments, mentions, and hashtags which allows users to express their opinions and communicate quickly. The more people who follow you on social media, the more feedback you will receive.
In particular, monitoring mentions of your station across social media is a great way to gain valuable feedback. What are they saying about your station online? Is it positive? Are they making suggestions? The real-time feedback from social media is invaluable when it comes to tailoring your programming to the likes of your listeners.
Similar to surveys, a special feedback form on your station's website is another common way to getting feedback. Personalize your website form to include any details you would want your listeners to include in their feedback! Also make sure that the form is easy to find on your website, and put the form's link on social media and in your emails, newsletter, etc. if you want to spread the word.
Phone Calls & Texts
This is a bit old-school and not everyone's cup of tea, but if you're looking to get real-time feedback from a person who you can chat easily with, consider making your station's phone number available to your audience. If you're already a station that utilizes phone calls for listener games and song requests, then this feedback option may work well for you.
This option is good for listeners because it allows them to easily send opinions, complaints, etc. directly to you. Who knows - your station might experience technical difficulties one day that you may not notice and a listener could use your station's phone number to notify you! You could also have listeners text you, if that's what you prefer.
If you are using a phone number for feedback, just make sure to let your audience know about what times of day you are available to respond. It can get bothersome answering people on the phone if they're calling you about your station after hours!
Now that you have all your opinions, suggestions, compliments, and complaints, it's time to do something with them.
If you've received a large volume of feedback and wish to keep track of it all, we recommend using spreadsheets or journals to help you store data. In your records, make sure to include who gave the feedback, when you received it, if the feedback was positive or negative, what the person said, and any personal notes regarding the feedback.
If you want to take things a step further, you could also use charts or graphs to document trends, patterns, or other valuable insights within your feedback. Sometimes seeing things visually can help you make an informed decision about what needs to improve or stay the same on your station.
And remember - you don't always have to take every single piece of feedback to heart. Some listeners may like something about your station that other listeners dislike. Don't drive yourself crazy following every single listeners' suggestions if it's too much for you or if you're unwilling to change something. After all, it's your station, and you have the freedom to do what you want with it!
That's it for our tips today. We hope this guide helps you collect good feedback, and happy broadcasting!
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