Are you a radio station that promotes Facebook in your own promos? Stop it.
If you are promoting Facebook over and above your own website, what on earth are you thinking?
This week, I've heard the same thing. Repeated promos of a breakfast show throughout daytimes, with the call-to-action being "visit facebook.com/(name of presenter)" to take part in something or other.
This baffles me. Utterly.
The station in question has a brilliant website. The breakfast show section on the website is fully-featured, with a ton of interesting content including a ton of videos of the show. Yet, apparently it's not worth promoting on-air.
Instead, the station apparently wants me to go and visit their Facebook page, an oddly brandless experience that contains a number of "we're doing this tomorrow! Yay!" posts, a recurrent daily kind-of-quiz, and some of the videos and photographs that you could see on the website anyway.
This doesn't make commercial sense - the website carries the show's sponsor, which the station earns money from; but the Facebook page doesn't. The website carries advertising for other people, too, which the station earns money from; but the Facebook page, without any benefit to the station, appears to carry any old advert - some Scandinavian tableware and an American Express Gold Card for me, since you ask. (Quite well targeted, as it happens).
Why is this station giving away thousands of pounds by promoting Facebook instead of its own website?
I'm completely baffled.
Now: during the US radio conference I tweeted a similar view, and was roasted by those on Twitter: because people felt that I was saying that radio stations shouldn't be on Facebook. I am not. Of course radio stations should be on Facebook. Of course, radio shows should be on Facebook, if they're large enough to warrant it. That makes a load of sense. After all, a lot of people are on Facebook. Facebook themselves claim that they've 122% of the UK's 15-24's (no, really). But whatever the figure is, of course it makes sense to be on Facebook.
And, of course it makes sense to promote a show's Facebook page from a station's own website. This station does - both "become a fan of our Facebook page" and a "subscribe" button as well. Unless you're really lucky, you don't visit a radio station website four or five times a day, as you do with Facebook.
What I fail to understand - because I'm stupid and doubtless the folks running this radio station are much cleverer than me - is why they feel it advantageous to advertise the Facebook URL rather than the radio station's own site - promoting Facebook on-air and lowering their website's own earning potential in the process. It's, as Al Murray would say, "bonkers madness".
The only URL you should promote on your radio station is your own URL. "Find us on Facebook", yes. Read out a Twitter address, yes. But to run a promo that only promotes a Facebook URL?
What am I missing?
James Cridland is the Managing Director of Media UK, and a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business.
E-mail James Cridland | Visit James Cridland's website
There’s a lot in what you say – but there’s also the balance of ‘how many people will actually go to or even remember our website, compared to how many people virtually live on Facebook and will therefore be more inclined to go there?’ issue. It will inevitably have an effect on sponsorship and its value, but if you want to engage digitally then surely you have to go where the market actually is. Whether that’s financially beneficial, and therefore whether you should be aiming to do it in the first place, is another thing entirely.
If you want to engage digitally point people at your website…It’s not difficult! You then give people the option to follow you on facebook, twitter and where ever else you are online from there.
Guy- ‘how many people will actually go to or even remember our website,” – If it’s the only thing you promote on air, then people will remember. If you bombard them with a million different places to find you, it’s at that moment that your listener will probably get lost.
how many people will actually go to or even remember our website
If listeners can’t remember your radio station name, you’ve got bigger problems than you think! ;-)
if you want to engage digitally then surely you have to go where the market actually is.
As I say, stations should be on Facebook. But they shouldn’t stop promoting their website as a consequence. That’s bonkers madness.
websites are dead, social is the way forward! ;)
Actually I agree with both James and Guy. Do lots on Facebook, but don’t send listeners there from promos. If you run activity (a competition) on FB, listeners and potential fans will see their friends activity and be tempted. The same isn’t usually true of a station website.
But a station webpage can be built to incorporate the Facebook activity/comp. (I’ve never used it but something like Postano can do this neatly, I think?)
On air promos send listeners to the station page, which incorporates the FB activity > listeners play along on FB, and the social juice flows.
I agree with you, Paul. Which leaves me confused as to whether I am right or wrong.
Absolute posted some interesting stats about Facebook on their blog once: I think they said 60% of their audience weren’t on it, or something. If I’m near a computer soon, I’ll find the link.
Of course – an issue with Facebook & workplace listening used to be the number of workplaces that block Facebook. I recall Absolute saying that’s the issue with using Facebook exclusively for signing in to a radio station website.
It’s lower than that. only 45-55% of our core demographic even have Facebook accounts according to Absolute’s Duncan Amey, writing on my own blog. So, given that, why would you promote Facebook as a call-to-action?
But … wait …. Facebook membership is huge, James. More people have accounts than are in the census. As we’ve both observed before!
Radio has to be bolder and less subservient to other networks, be they social or media.
The problem most radio stations have is a lack of budget for the all-singing, all-dancing all-data-collecting web site that would not only engage the listener but help the advertiser connect with the right customer.
Pointing people directly to Facebook is almost the same as telling people what is on TV that night. Why dilute your offering?