Are Facebook, Twitter & Groupin the Axis of Evil?
Rick Kaempfer has been nice enough to interview me on his Chicago Radio Spotlight. This is one of the questions that ended up on the cutting room floor, along with my response. I thought I’d share it here…
Question #8: You have an interesting take on the impact that social media is having on radio. It’s definitely not the conventional wisdom in the industry. Tell us why you believe that Facebook, Twitter, and GroupOn are the axis of evil for radio.
The Radio Industry has been scampering around like Chicken Little for the last 5 years or so, bemoaning the Ipod, Internet Radio and Satellite Radio. We blocked XM spots on network avails to protect ourselves. Meanwhile, Radio gave the REAL wolves the keys to the hen house.
Radio, Mainstreet, and Madison Avenue built Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Groupon virtually gratis.
I remember being a doe eyed intern at Q101 in the mid 90s and everyone was all a flutter about the NEW Q101 section being developed for America Online! Q101 didn’t have a website back then, instead they were building out their AOL section. Lots of meetings…and hull-a-baloo. This was back when AOL was mailing out CD-roms by the millions trying to protect the inevitable…the discovery of the World Wide Web! I was baffled by the notion that Q101 wasn’t working on what seemed obvious to me was the next step, a website. But what did I know.
Nearly a decade and a half later, here we are and major media companies, retailers, and food chains are spending millions in media to promote Facbebook or to tell people who aren’t even on Twitter, to “follow us on twitter”.
My philosophy on all these applications is simple:
Use them, don’t let them use you.
Recently, a station in town ran a promotion titled “Rush To Facebook”. Men 25-54 were told to go to Facebook, change their profile picture to the station logo, and then they might win Rush tickets. Now if Facebook paid the station for this promotion I say kudos. But if Facebook did not pay for this, my question is why in the world would you drive your listeners to Facebook for free?
By all means, have a promotions person log into Facebook to engage and connect with the Loop audience that’s already on Facebook. But to give Facebook that sort of Call To Action and frequency with no compensation is an insult to all the paying sponsors.
The way to use Facebook is to run ads ON FACEBOOK and drive your target demo to YOU. I’ve run campaigns on Facebook at $.14 CPM and as low as $.07 CPC. Another approach would be to work with advertisers and help them reach their target demo with the Station as a brand ambassador on Facebook. Mainstreet businesses need help with Google Ads and Facebook Ads. They need the power of radio behind those ads. But when radio stations don’t understand how to use these tools for their own marketing, they telegraph to retailers that they aren’t really marketing experts who can help their business. Send a radio sales person to call on retail and you’ll get a lot of “Nos”. Send a local retail marketing expert who will help me make more money and show me how radio makes it even better and the answer will always be YES.
Now the folks at the Station will say “but we increased our “likes” from 8,000 to 13,000”. I say GREAT! Now what? How much did that cost? If you spent over $100,000 in promotional inventory to get 5,000 new Facebook fans. That’s $20 per fan to build up Facebook’s web traffic.
If you want to capitalize on the power of Facebook you can integrate their APIs into your website. If you want to work on “likes”, work on them INSIDE Facebook, and help your clients do so. Facebook “fans” report spending $71 a year more than non-fans. Each Facebook Fan is worth an estimated $3.60 annually. This is something that benefits your clients, if you know how to help them with Facebook, and show them how to use it with radio. If you don’t they’re going to think they don’t need radio and will be waiting by the phone for Groupon to call them.
Incidentally, 30% of businesses who have worked with Groupon will not work with them again.
The other dirty little secret is, you don’t need to run promos on your radio station to get 10,000 likes on Facebook. If you want to get 10,000 fans on Facebook you need to customize the landing page visitors arrive at so they don’t just see a bunch of comments from random people when they stop by your fan page. For an example of this, go to http://www.Facebook.com/TacoBell
Taco Bell serves tacos, but on Facebook they are teasing a preview of the new Panic At The Disco music video if you click LIKE. When you click like, it appears auto-magically. Taco Bell is serving up Rock music…go figure. 6 Million “likes” can’t be wrong though.
Subway recently ran a media blitz to tell everyone they could interrupt that $5 Footlongs were back. Thankfully for radio, they spend a lot. Unfortunately for Subway, all they had to do was give everyone who bought $5 footlongs last time the option to get SMS or Email alerts when $5 footlongs were back. Subway doesn’t need to reach 1 million cume or 50,000 AQH. They just need to reach people who want $5 footlongs. As soon as they figure that out, and master it, radio is in deep trouble. So instead of building Groupon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the next flavor of the year….Radio needs to build big lists, made up of smaller lists. Then radio will own the keys to the castle.
I told Radio Ink last month we’ve worked out a system to make money on the web, powered by radio and with one 3 hour weekend show we’re grossing over $60k a month in revenue. That’s a fact. I can show stations how to do it and I’d be delighted to. If you want to learn more and sit in on a free webinar just go to http://www.MattDubiel.com and join my email list. We’re doing it in May.
If we get enough interest, I will share the scariest thing about Facebook no one is considering, and how it will kill your business and your brand if you do not protect against it right away. This is a lesson we garnered from the SaveTheLoop.com experience. Another reason we knew it was worth trying….you keep learning. Failure courts Success.