Facebook is launching a morning show. Meanwhile, a recent blog post by consultant Fred Jacobs posits that with the inevitable advent of self-drive cars, the human in the driver’s seat is free to join his fellow passengers in watching video.
Arguably, these nuggets from the near future bode bad for our medium. But there are at least two rays of hope for those who understand what business they’re in:
1. Strengthen Your Business
Compelling morning radio entertainment has a good track record against the myriad boob tube alternatives, from “Good Morning America” to “Morning Joe.” I hate to say it, being a big fan of local talent, but the best syndicated morning show you can find, hosted by nationally-known personalities—with plenty of room for local information—is your best insurance against encroachment.
Now look at—or I should say, listen to—the rest of your day. It’s hackneyed to say, but great content beats lesser content regardless of medium. (“New media” isn’t that new any more, which means the fascination has worn off, which means the quality of the content matters, regardless of medium.)
2. Change Your Business
As we and countless others have said countless times, those who have a narrow view of their business risk missing golden opportunities just outside their field of vision.
Why can’t you do video? What’s stopping you from building your own Facebook following?
One of our web clients, Russ Kaspar of Kaspar Media in Frankfort, IN, has turned his online presence into a multimedia sensory feast, with text, archived audio, video, and a collection of photographs that chronicle local life and lore.
Russ does videos of sports events, ground-breaking ceremonies, community celebrations—anything and everything local and buzz-worthy. As a result, on many occasions he’s topped the search rankings on CityLink (www.citylinktv.com), the video platform he uses.
Station personnel feed text, audio and images to their website, www.clintoncountydailynews.com. A local photographer, Erick Dircks, has made thousands of his photographs of local people, places and events available to the station’s website. As a result, the site boasts a traffic count dramatically higher than average for a market that size.
And Russ is making money with it.
Facebook? Most stations are embracing it, but you have to understand that the game is rigged against the user no matter what. No matter what you do, your posts do not reach 100% of your followers. (Under some circumstances, your reach can be 10% or less.) That said, you can ensure maximum distribution of your posts by. . .
1. Manually entering your Facebook posts; do not have your web posts automatically go to Facebook (they hate that and they will throttle your distribution).
2. Posting to Facebook often, which shouldn’t be a problem.
One more tip for effective Facebook use: don’t post complete stories to Facebook. Post teasers with a link to the full story on your website. Better yet, use Facebook to talk about what goes on behind the scenes—the human side of information gathering: “Busy morning! Lots happening. We’re pulling out all the stops to make sure we get it right.”
Don’t become obsessed with your Facebook “Likes.” The only thing that counts—the only thing you control, the only thing you can monetize—is traffic to your website. Everything you do, on the air and in social media, should be to funnel folks to your site.
As we and countless others have said countless times, the future belongs to those who take the broadest possible view of what “radio” is—and can be.