Being a radio personality is much different than it was just 10 years ago. In the past, the hardest part of your day was the hour or two of show prep. But today you need to do much more before, during and AFTER to have a successful show.
If I was starting out in the radio business today, here are some tips I would be following to make my show the very best it could be. These tips apply no matter what market size you’re in.
1. Use Digital Tools for Show Prep
Nobody has the time to visit a dozen websites in hopes to find something interesting to share in your show. I can think of about two dozen websites I would like to get information from and several dozen artist social media channels I would want to follow. Use an RSS Reader that pulls content from a combination of both local and national websites. You can also research and find a good social media aggregator as well so that you would see every post your artists made rather than a picked few. (Newsflow for Windows, Feedly.com) Using digital tools you’re able to create your own customized show prep service that is likely much better than the one you’re paying for.
When I was doing a daily on-air show, blogging was in its infancy. We were forced to blog. Nobody saw the reasoning or importance, so it was hated by all. That’s changed for me significantly because I’ve seen how blogging can increase ratings for your show. It shows that you’re a “personality” that is actively engaged in your audience and community and not a voice-tracked robot.
I know you didn’t get into the radio business to write. Neither did I. But, radio is becoming a media business and so today (and tomorrow’s) broadcaster has to be the master of all media.
So, make your blog about things that interest YOU. Give your opinion on local and national topics (without crossing lines). Become the go-to person for something like local restaurants, pet adoption, movies, or local music.
Blogs receiving lots of online engagement will bring the station more online revenue so be sure to ask if incentives are offered for over-performing blog pages and page sponsorships.
Management will likely work with you on this because high-performing pages can bring in lots of digital revenue.
3. Post to Social Media Channels Daily
Social media posting has become a part of the on-air personality job description and deservedly so. Social media is marketing, and you should want to market your show. I was told by a colleague early in my career to say my name in every break because nobody else at the radio station would promote me as well.
Post on the station’s social media channels as well as your own for your followers. Admittedly, this can take some time, so look into a service like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule posts in advance or on different channels at different times. Be sure to mix up the content that you are posting. Copy/pasting today’s celebrity birthday list is NOT good content.
Be sure to post content to your show page and then share that to social media. Never post something directly to social without a link back to your website/show page.
4. Reply to Social Media Posts
One of the biggest things that set social media moguls apart from the rest is engagement. Don’t just think of social media as a place to broadcast your station or show messages. The key is engaging your followers. That means saying “thanks for the follow or retweet”, agreeing or disagreeing with topics, etc.
A good way to think of social media is like you’re running a radio talk show online. Imagine a talk show without any caller feedback. Replying to comments gives you the opportunity to ask a follower on-air to your show to discuss their view.
Many personalities do not use this effectively and miss out on the opportunity to add more followers. Active social media channels are follower magnets. Hopefully, you can get them to engage with your website content in those posts as well.
5. Video Content
If you want to be an elite radio personality that really takes their show to the next level, become a regular video blogger. Basically, you are taking content from your show, blog or some other topic and talking about it in front of a camera. You’ll do this on Youtube or Facebook LIVE or/and other video sharing platforms (Twitch, Instagram, etc).
DON’T PLAN FOR FULLY PRODUCED PERFECTION! Perfectly edited video is no longer required and if you notice closely, even movie studios are doing more hand-held work now because its what people are becoming more used to.
Here are a few video content ideas:
- Behind the scenes at the radio station (off-mic moments)
- Live Remote Breaks
- Local Restaurant Reviews
- Pet of the Week Adoption at Local Animal Shelter
- Visit a Business of the Week
- Local Band/Artists
- Backstage meet and greets
- Local Destination Review (Park, Stadium, Walking/Biking Trail)
The morning show at WRIF in Detroit has been doing quick videos of calls and bits. It only took two videos before they landed a sponsor for them. Now they’ve been hard at it since 2017!
Test out content to see what works best for your audience and do more of that!
If you upload a new video to Youtube, don’t share the Youtube link. Instead, send the link to the video embedded on your station website blog. Never send listeners somewhere else. Keep them on your station and on your station website page. (Especially if you are getting compensated for high performing show page.)
We’ve given you five ways to take your radio show to the next level online. Use these in conjunction with each other. Research your topic with RSS feeds, write a blog about it and include a video, send notices to social media with links back to the blog. Then, ask for feedback and respond to them. The more times you can do this in your show the better.
Even though these tips might sound like more work and you’re already wearing multiple hats, think about where you want to go in your career. These tips can make you more of a local celebrity and that can excel in your career and make you more money. Major market players have been doing this… or maybe they have people to do this for them.
Make your shift into a living breathing show. Late-night TV programs are a great example of this. With their expanded website and social media exposure, they are keeping followers engaged outside of the times they are on.
I hope these tips help you.
Have an awesome week online making your radio website better. See you next time!