Gavin Puszczalowskyi is the Co-founder & Director of the Pips. He is also a freelance radio presenter. You can follow Gavin on Twitter at @gavp77
Radio stations and social media
Let's start with this statement. Radio is the most powerful & personal medium there is. It's true.
The ability to talk directly to and include your listeners should never be underestimated or abused. You are in their homes, cars, work places so the ability to relate to them, communicate with them and make them feel part of the show is absolutely vital.
Radio presenters should do their best to include listeners all the time. Your content should always have your listener in mind and you should work hard at engaging them & hooking them in. This is how you build a listenership and a following. Many stations and presenters work hard at doing this on the air but what about social media?
To me the rules that apply for engaging listeners and making them part of the show through the speakers should be applied to social media and to put it bluntly, in most cases this is not happening.
Content is created by the presenter for on air and is then posted on social media where it will hopefully generate a response. And this is where radio stations can do so much more and be so much better and the way to do it is really simple.
As easy as that.
Reply to your listener.
They have taken the time to reply to you and in a way they have helped you with your content if what they have posted you can use on the air, so in a sign of appreciation take the time out to thank them. It's a small token but one that can make a big difference.
Too many radio stations show offer no response and come across as cold, especially on Facebook and while the listener may not think twice about it and in all probability will reply again in the future, this is a great opportunity for a station to reach out and engage with your audience and too many let that opportunity go to waste.
Strengthen the bond, make the listener like you more. This is your chance to be personable and build a rapport.
That is what radio is all about. Building a rapport with your listener. And if you reply to them on Facebook and let them know you will use what they said on the air then guess what they will do?
Tune in and listen if they are not doing so already.
It is true that many people can reply to a radio stations social media post and not be in the broadcast area or not be listening to your station and many people in radio ask the question "how can you turn people who like your social media pages into actual listeners?"
Well again, the answer is simple.
Reply to them when they reply to you.
For me, "not enough time" should not be used as an excuse. Yes, in certain situations you maybe too busy to reply and interacting on social media maybe low on your list of priorities but re-visit the post after your show and reply then. It all depends how hard you wish to work and how much time you wish to dedicate to the actual people who can make your break your show and career. The listeners.
What about if you you get masses of replies and cannot possibly respond to them all? Then reply to some. Reply to the ones you found funny or used on air and demonstrate to others that you do reply and you do take the time to engage. Reply to your own post by commentating and thanking your listeners for their replies. Anything but nothing.
You can never work hard enough at being relatable & personable to your audience if you're a radio presenter. It's a cliche but the more you put in, the more you will get out.
One person has said to me in the past that maybe abuse received on social media either aimed at the presenter or the station stops the station from reaching out and replying and this could be case in some situations but, and it does depends on the level of abuse but normally replying to them and engaging with them can nullify their annoyance and give you a chance to win them round. Silence will definitely not.
So yes, radio is the most powerful & personal medium there is. But social media is not too far behind if you take the time to make it so.
Be polite, be appreciative, be personable.
Use The Pips as a place to showcase & show off your potential and ability and increase the chances of getting noticed.