You Can't Over Engage By Andy Meadows

When I’m throwing out content and engagement ideas to programming people the feedback I often get is ‘We love all of this, but we don’t have time to do half of them and if we did all of that, it would be overkill.’ Which explains why most radio stations end up doing a little bit of on-air engagement here and there and the occasional social or online engagement (Mainly around contesting). But, in reality, we can’t over-engage with our listeners, there is in fact no level of engagement that is too much, provided we balance it across the many platforms we now have. Especially with how the algorithms work now on most of the social platforms where not every fan or follower sees every single post. 

Yes, not all on-air breaks should be turned into phone topics, but many can and should, while others are turned into web or social polls. Similarly, every content break doesn’t warrant a blog post, but most of them could be turned into blog posts with pics/videos/links and sometimes a handful of them can be lumped together into listicles. The same goes for video content, technically every piece of audio stations produce could easily be turned into video content and eventually that’s where we’ll all get, but for now we should at least be turning our best features/benchmarks and biggest programming promos into videos because videos yield many more click-throughs and shares online. 

Any time I’m auditing a market the first thing I look at it how well the stations engage with listeners on-air, on-site, on social and their website. More often than not the market leaders receive the best engagement scores, but occasionally you see some heritage stations that have grown comfortable and left a door open to their competition. One major advantage the big groups have is they provide a lot of corporate, network-wide, content so each of their stations have topical, interesting content posted daily to their social sites and station websites. We provide some of the same things to our consulting clients, although I would argue we’re doing even more on the video content side. But the negative impact of the corporate content is, while it should just be supplemental, it often ends up being the bulk of the content posted and leaves a void of local content. That local content almost always out engages network content, getting significantly more likes, shares and comments, because that local talent has already established a connection with their listener. That’s why overtime we always try to integrate the local personalities into the content we create, using their VO or video whenever possible. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in allowing breathing room when it comes to social. It may be outdated, but I still try to spread posts out by an hour on each individual platform. But, more importantly, most stations tend to just pick a platform they like and focus on it and often it doesn’t necessarily match up with the platform their demo is most active on. If we’re properly using every platform available to us, its virtually impossible to over do it. 

What do you think, comment below or email me with your thoughts at andy@radiostationconsultant.com.

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