Let’s go back in time (at least a few years ago) when the Radio was ruling the airwaves and if you were a business you were trying to get on the best shows to promote your business. If some of you are still thinking and acting this way, I apologize for fast forwarding you into the future of today…but we can always learn from history.
Radios have “channels” that you “tune into” and if you like what you hear you go back there frequently and then tell your friends and colleagues about it since you just had a great find. This could be a variety of interests – music, talk radio, public radio, news, etc. In fact, if you were like most people, you had different channels for each of these because sometimes you either wanted some variety or you want to “skip and ad” and keep the music going. This is how most of us were trained to get this information when we weren’t in front of the TV or reading a newspaper (which unfortunately have experienced the same or even more dramatic declines than radio).
The description I just shared with you actually hasn’t changed with Social Media…but the “channels” and our behavior have changed. Today, we want it when WE want it, not when the programming manager at the station decides we should have it – we have become an “on demand” world for news, music, commentary, etc. Instead of tuning into your favorite program, you “tune” into your favorite social channel when you want to get the news, listen to music, get opinions/perspectives, and connect with your friends. It is on WHAT you want, WHEN you want it. This behavior shift has occurred and is what the audience wants.
The beauty of this is that the “content” is still valuable, just the way we access it has changed. The news is still important, but now I don’t have to wait until 5pm after someone has “sterilized” it to get it – I can get it real time as it is happening. Switch hats. Now you are the one wanting to “advertise” or “reach the audience” that used to be on radio. Now what do you do? The answer…find out what “channels” your audience is dialed into and share your content on this channel – not in a “pimping” promotional manner, but in a “helpful” manner and they will be ready to listen on the channel they like. Understanding what “channels” your audience is “listening” to has always been the magic – nothing has changed, except the channels.
Develop a “Channel Strategy” to identify where your audience is hanging out and what “content” they would find “helpful” and “broadcast” it to them – they will be receptive and appreciative. Oh yes, and don’t forget, with sharing over these channels, they can share it to THOUSANDS of their connections, friends, followers, or whoever else they are engaged with over these same and other social channels – the power of WOM (word-of-mouth) is massive. And since most people know others like themselves, your audience will be the ones that do the work for you in sharing – no advertising dollars, no time – just sharing helpful content on the channels they “listen” to regularly. We can learn a lot from history – radio is still alive and well, it just doesn’t come in the same box…