Listener engagement is essential for a successful radio station. You may have a fanbase, but are you interacting with them?
By figuring out who your typical listener is, you can tailor the points below to better engage with them and keep them coming back for more!
Your audience wants to hear an enthusiastic, interesting, and relatable DJ. If you truly enjoy what you do, it won’t be hard to make your smile shine through the “airwaves.” An often enjoyable part of the job is interacting with your audience. Whether they call in, email, or tweet at your station, do your best to take their requests or reply to them in a timely manner.
Even if your station doesn’t include talk segments, you can still keep things interesting and engage with listeners through social media. It’s just another way to have a voice, take requests, and gather feedback!
Keep It Relevant
Whether it’s music, sports, or news, you want to stay relevant. Watch for music trends and new releases. If a band that's typically in rotation releases a new album, add some songs from that album into future rotations. Even if your station is a “blast from the past” and there isn’t new music to add into the rotation, you can spin some Prince in honor of his birthday or discuss artist-related news.
Mix It Up
There are many ways you can mix it up on your station to pique the interest of your listeners. Before making any big changes though, be sure to gauge how interested your audience generally is in hearing something different than the status quo on your station. While mixing it up can be a great strategy for some stations to reengage listeners and interest new ones, some stations may find it detrimental if their audience is not interested in any diversity in programming.
That said, if mixing it up sounds like something your station might benefit from, you can consider:
- Utilizing a different programming source (ie. AutoDJ, LiveDJ, Scheduled Events)
- Adding in more mood- and activity-based programming
- Accepting independent music submissions
- Creating a new themed playlist
- Adding in some talk content
- Covering award shows and other special events
- Celebrating holidays with special programming
If you have any relationships with artists or experts, you may even want to consider having guests, interviews, or takeovers on your station. You can invite an artist to play a song live on-air, promote their new album or tour, or do a takeover in which the artist curates a special playlist, announces the songs, discusses the topics they want to discuss, and maybe even takes over your station's Twitter account for the time they’re on-air. If you know an expert you'd like to bring on, you can interview them or have a conversation on-air. Ultimately, it’s free publicity for them, and your audience gets to hear something new that’s of interest to them. Just make sure the guests are relevant to your audience so you don't accidentally lose any listeners in the process!
Listen to Feedback
Ask your audience, whether on-air, through social media, or via email, what they want to hear from your station. You can start a poll to get a general sense or ask for open-ended responses to get more details. Do they have a song request? Maybe there’s a local charity event going on in your target area that they think you should cover. Be open to suggestions and feedback. When people feel heard, they feel valued. On top of that, if you have some listeners that are extremely loyal, don't be afraid to show your appreciation to them, whether that means chatting with them, sending them a small gift, or even building a friendship. Word of mouth can get you really far, especially in a niche or tight-knit community.
Engaging with your audience doesn't need to be direct communication alone, you can also get creative with contests and giveaways. This is, of course, not necessary, but it can be a fun addition to your regularly scheduled programming. In the age of social media, contest ideas are limitless! You could ask listeners to post about your station on social media and tag you, and you could select a random winner. You could ask a music-related trivia question and the first person to answer correctly wins. You could post clues to a hidden location and the first person to solve it and arrive before time runs out wins. Then, if you've got a local audience, you might consider arranging a prize from a local business. If you've got station merch, you can give that away. Or, if you're working on a budget, get creative with the prize! It's likely that your audience could be motivated by something that's low-cost or even no-cost, you just need to get to know them to understand what that might be.
Make It Easy
Since each listener has different listening preferences, it's important to consider accessibility. If listeners can’t easily get to your station, they might never return. Plain and simple, your station should be accessible from anywhere. As a Live365 broadcaster, your station already appears in Live365’s station directory, ensuring listeners can find it on both desktop and mobile. However, you can add your station to other online radio directories as well to make your station even more accessible.
In addition to making sure your listeners are able to tune in to your station with ease, make sure they’re able to reach you with little effort. Include links to your station website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages, as well as an email and/or request-line phone number if possible, on your station profile page.
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Article Image: A microphone within a studio setting. (Fifaliana-joy via Pixabay.)