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Social Media? It’s Your Frequent Flyer Program

| September 17, 2012

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — Lots of radio folks still don’t see the value in social media, and the way that most radio stations are Facebooking and Twittering, I don’t blame them.

The people who sign up to follow your radio station’s Facebook page tend to be your biggest fans. It makes sense that only someone who really cares about what you do would add you to their news feed, right? Now that you have all those folks in one place, what are you going to do with them?

Here on the digital side of things, we’ve studied why people sign up to follow brands on social media. Here are the big reasons:

  • To get the advantage of insider information
  • To get special deals and offers
  • To learn more about things you do that they like or are interested in

So, you see that you are not their friend; you’re their favorite station, and one of their favorite brands in any category. If these folks are your “frequent fliers,” here are three goals of any frequent flier plan or other loyalty marketing efforts:

  • Motivate and accelerate customer loyalty
  • Keep customers “for life”
  • Get the lion’s share of business in your category (for radio stations, this would be listening)

If you look at what your station has posted on its Facebook page lately, I’ll bet that you’re doing nothing to meet your heaviest listeners’ expectations, or treat them in a special way. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. To start with, get everyone who touches the station’s social media accounts to agree on one thing: this is how we talk with some of our biggest fans. We’re going to give them special stuff here.

Here are some examples of Facebook posts that are helpful … timely … and station-related:

  • Give them advance notice of special stuff you do, before you talk about it on the air. This might be a contest, a good event, a new song from a core artist, a particular hot topic on a talk show.
  • Give them more information about what you talked about on the air. When you briefly mention on-air that Carrie Underwood loves to spend time with the cats at her hometown animal shelter, you can then link to a full article on Facebook (and tell ‘em you’re doing so).
  • You can give them extra chances to win good stuff. When you give away concert tickets, hold one pair back for your frequent fliers. Tell them a secret song to listen for to call in and win, and exactly when it will play.

That’s the kind of stuff that your biggest fans were hoping for when they decided to follow you.  And the good news is that it’s the stuff that can get you more listening occasions and more web hits. You don’t have to sell them on anything; they already like you and want to know more about you.

By the way, don’t develop a narrow view of what engagement’s all about. Most social media experts want you to find content that your followers will like, share, comment on or retweet. I’d suggest that there are more important places for engagement to happen, like on your air, on your website, showing up at events you do, or talking to others about you. That’s the kind of stuff that can help your numbers grow. Plus, last time I looked, nobody’s getting any bonus checks for Facebook “likes.”

Finally, as an exclusive offer to TALKERS readers, I’ll tell you the single best way to tie clients into your social media. Call me at 216-236-3955 and I’ll fill you in for free.


Chris Miller, owner of Chris Miller Digital, is a leading radio consultant specializing in research-based strategic planning and smart use of digital media. He can be phoned at 216-236-3955 or e-mailed at

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Category: Digital