By Holland Cooke RadioConsultant BLOCK ISLAND – Remember Seinfeld-in-reverse? It was a special episode that was entirely backwards. It began with closing credits and ended with the opening theme. The plot started-at-the-end…then ended at-the-very-beginning. We saw Jerry and Kramer meet for the first time. In the final scene — the earliest chronological moment, a flashback, to a time before the Internet — Jerry’s date was telling him about the advent of Email. “Email,” Jerry asked, puzzled, “Why would I want to send someone an Email?” That was me, the first time I heard the word “Twitter,” at the Talkers magazine New Media Seminar, in 2008, when Dan Patterson of the Talk Radio News Service stated: “You post short messages about what you’re doing, follow and reply to similar messages from others in your social network. These posts and replies can be a great way to increase engagement, and help keep a conversation active long after your show is over.’” “But don’t we already have Email?” I thought. OK, so I wasn’t an early adopter. But no need for you to feel late. At Talkers/New York 2013, I’ll share how I’ve caught-up. Back to the future… Five years later – as though Dan himself had scripted it – you’ll hear Rev. Al Sharpton say this sentence, in the 6PM ET hour each weeknight on MSNBC: “‘Like’ us to join the conversation that keeps going long after this show ends.” Rev’ uses that line after he reads several comments Facebook Friends have posted on his Wall; as he shows the Profile photo of each. If you’re a Talk Host, you too might be harvesting listener comments and questions from Facebook, in the same way you use Email to supplement input from real-time callers. Doing-so is better than not-doing-so. Simply offering these multiple inbound pathways makes you sound contemporary and relatable; and the added accessibility allows listeners-disinclined-to-be-callers to participate. So you should also invite Tweets, but NOT just because it’s another inbound path. Twitter invites more voices into the conversation. Even more so than Facebook. • When someone posts something on your Facebook Wall, all of their Friends and your Followers and Friends see it, and can easily chime-in. When THEY do, all of THEIR Friends see it, and can Comment or Like or Share. Thus the analogy “going viral.” • Twitter takes “Social Media” to-the-next-level, by enabling you to attract the attention of others who follow neither you NOR the-person-to-whom-you’re-Tweeting, by using hash tags (#) to inveigle into discussions others are already having. I’ll demonstrate in my presentation at Talkers/New York in June. But don’t wait. If you’re new to Twitter, lurk and learn. It’s not just-another transmitter, it’s a conversation. Many broadcasters under-utilize Social Media, by merely using Twitter and Facebook as additional transmitters. Instead, use these media to socialize, and you can become more than a disembodied voice in the dashboard. If you’re on-air at a music station, this is a real opportunity, to engage deeper than the keep-it-quick format allows on-air. More on that too in New York. That said, Twitter IS a versatile transmitter, which goes beyond audio. Twitter supports attachments, such as: • Photos, which could attract more attention than a Tweet without; • Suppose you create a coupon, at http://wxxx.com/WednesdayLunch2fer.pdf; • Or you could link to a YouTube video. • Or audio: http://kxxx.com/ScavengerHunt-Clue5.mp3. Voila! You’ve put audio back in the listener’s pocket, where transistor radios used to be. Why-else radio loves this cool tool: • It’s FREE. • You can do it yourself. At too many stations, the webmaster or corporate web site templates are chokepoints. You yourself can control Facebook and Twitter. • Facebook and Twitter already have what radio calls “cume.” Lots more of it than stations whose antiquated promo copy asks busy listeners to “CHECK OUT OUR WEB SITE.” • And, borrowing another radio metric, Twitter has good “TSL.” Users use it a lot. Even just a couple years ago, research demonstrated that awareness-of Twitter far exceeded its single-digit percent-of-the-population membership. But use is exploding, and many users are downright addicted. • There aren’t a lot of pesky rules that prevent you from promoting self, station, or sponsors. Squeeze whatever you can into your 140-character ration. “But WAIT! There’s MORE!” In just 15 minutes at Talkers/New York, I will explain why, and how, to be “Resourceful & Remarkable,” including: • How you can make a living with only “1000 True Fans.” • Why Mike & Lisa are your most-important fans. • 75 FREE tools for creating, gathering, and publishing Internet content. • Why your work can move faster and farther WITHOUT an app. • Social Media lessons from Shaquille O’Neal. • And what if your boss DISAPPROVES of your online activities? See, hear, read more from consultant Holland Cooke at www.HollandCooke.com and follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke. Meet Holland Cooke at TALKERS New York 2013 on Thursday, June 6.