Social media is one of the easiest ways to get your station in front of potential listeners. It doesn’t hurt that it’s free to use, too! All it takes is a little time and effort.
Facebook and Twitter are two of the largest platforms in the social media scene. Facebook saw 1.94 billion monthly active users in March and Twitter reports 313 million monthly users. By engaging with those users you can grow your audience exponentially.
To start growing your audience via social media, you’ll need to set up a free account. For Facebook, log in to your regular personal account and create a page for your station. (Click the upside down triangle in the top right corner and select “create a page.”) From the list of options, select the entertainment option, and choose “radio station” as the category. Customize your station’s Facebook page to match your station's brand. Keep things simple, though. Choose an easy-to-read, easy-to-remember, easy-to-spell username for your page. Ideally it should match your station’s actual name. Be sure to include a link so visitors to your Facebook page can go directly to your station’s website.
You can customize your Facebook posts by incorporating images, videos, and links. Images are eye catching – even if they contain some text. It breaks up a user’s newsfeed and they’re more likely to take time to look than if you’d posted only text.
Another great free social media resource is Twitter. All you need to create an account is a name and an email address or phone number. Just like Facebook, you’ll want to keep your username (or in Twitter-speak, your “handle”) simple and to the point. Be sure to list your station’s URL in your Twitter bio!
Twitter can be tricky until you get the hang of things. A post is called a Tweet, reposting someone’s content is called a Retweet (or RT), and a username is a handle. If someone Retweets your Tweet, that’s great! They thought it was interesting enough to share with their own followers (which in turn could give you new followers – a bigger audience to direct to your station). On top of that new lingo, you only have 140 characters to Tweet something. (Whereas with Facebook, you basically have unlimited space.)
Find a few Twitter accounts that you’re interested in and “follow” them. (Check out Live365’s Twitter account.) By following an account, you’ll see their Tweets when you log in. Hey – maybe they’ll follow you back too! If you find content that they’re Tweeting is relevant to your current and potential audience, Retweet it. Your account doesn’t have to be strictly your station’s content. It doesn’t even have to be “strictly business.” In fact, it’s nice to realize there’s an actual human behind the account. Don’t hesitate to post or Tweet a funny joke or picture every once in a while!
Having a presence on Facebook and Twitter and updating each account with posts is a great start. But in order to proactively reach users, consider using hashtags.
What is a hashtag, though? You’ve likely seen posts that have a pound sign and then a word or several words following it, such as #Live365, #RadioRevolution (note that there is no space in a hashtag), or #RockRewindWithRhonda. The hashtag/pound sign turns the immediate text after it into a searchable link. Hashtags enable you to take part in or start a conversation about a particular topic. Users can come together to discuss a shared interest. Anyone can use any hashtag. (They’re not something you own, like your username or handle.)
Whatever your station focuses on, there’s a hashtag for it. If not, start your own by just typing the pound/hashtag and text immediately following it with no space. Say a station is called Rock Rewind With Rhonda, and they play a lot of The Rolling Stones. A Facebook post or Tweet they might create would be:
“Tune in to #RockRewindWithRhonda for all your favorite #RollingStones hits! #Rock #RockRadio”
Anyone with an interest in The Rolling Stones, Rock, or Rock Radio can get to that Facebook post or Tweet just by typing those hashtags in to Facebook or Twitter’s search bar. If another account used those hashtags, a user can click on it and get to your post/Tweet that way too.
If you’re unsure of what hashtags to use, start off easy. What is your station about? What are you specifically trying to promote? A good word of advice is take a look at some other stations’ social media accounts. What kinds of hashtags are they using? If they’re applicable to you, test them out for yourself. If you’re not “Rock Rewind With Rhonda,” it doesn’t make sense to use that hashtag. But, if you also play The Rolling Stones and consider yourself Rock Radio, by all means use those hashtags! (And if you’re using Live365, use #Live365 and #RadioRevolution to engage with us!)
At the end of the day, your goal is to promote your station on social media. Stay true to your station’s values. Interact with other users and have fun! A positive and fun social media attitude will go a long way. It may take some time to build up your social media presence, but don’t give up.
As always, feel free to engage directly with Live365. Maybe we’ll repost some of your content on our pages!
(Even though this blog post is about utilizing free social media resources, it’s worth mentioning the “boost your post” option in Facebook. If you have some extra change to promote your station, you can target your post without using hashtags to users. Do you play a lot of Kenny Chesney? You can target your post to users who like him. Do you have content that is specific to the Denver, CO area? You can target your post to users who live there. The possibilities are endless!)
Article image: FirmBee via Pixabay.