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Are you a “Sneezer”?

| October 22, 2012

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — With colds and flu season approaching, umpteen PSAs have trained us to sneeze-into-our-elbows.  Because the last thing you want to do is spread a virus, right?

Only literally.  Metaphorically, you DO want to be what author/entrepreneur/marketing guru Seth Godin refers to as a “Sneezer,” someone who spreads ideas.

When others “catch” what you’ve put into the atmosphere, it becomes what he calls an “IdeaVirus.”  And peer-to-peer sharing is an endorsement more powerful than advertising.

You can read his “Unleashing the IdeaVirus” – the most downloaded ebook in history – FREE, at: .

How’s that for walking-the-walk?  And you should poke-around, which demonstrates several of the tactics I recommended in my session “Database Your Tribe…NOW,” at the recent Talkers New Media Seminars in New York and Los Angeles.  You will very likely tweak your web site as a result of seeing his.

And, based on my experience, here are four more recommendations, which will help you build your tribe:

Put Post-to-Facebook and Twitter buttons on every page of your web site.

Why offer this option?  Duh.

Why on-every-page: Many-who-end-up-on one-of-your-pages didn’t get there from your home page.  Because of Google, any of your site pages can be an entry page.

If you’re building your site on (highly-recommended, also FREE) WordPress, this useful plumbing is a built-in option you simply need to activate.  On “Dashboard,” click “Settings,” then “Sharing.”

Can you put three address windows in the “Send to a Friend” form?

Get your whole tribe sneezing at each other!

If you can, put multiple “TO” fields on the Send to a Friend form that pops-up.  Offering a single box implies send-to-ONE-friend…even with instructions that the user can separate multiple names with a comma.  Don’t even ask ‘em to figure that out.  Put three boxes there, and users will likely end-up referring your item to two other folks, beyond the friend they first thought of.

When choosing graphics for your web site, avoid pictures of studio equipment.

Common cliché: close-ups of audio consoles and microphones on station web sites and in media kits.  Why avoid this?

  • Our hardware is foreign to “real people.”  Too techy.
  • Instead, show ‘em photos of you and your topic.  Stuff that matters to them.  “Content,” eh?
  • Better yet?  Photos of them!  How can you get your tribe into the act?  Look popular, not nerdy.

Don’t call your E-blast an “E-blast.”

Smart stations email something relevant, useful, and sponsorable to an opt-in database.  At some of my client stations, it’s an 11:00 am news update, “what’s happened since breakfast, and where to do-lunch today” (a local restaurant coupon).

Whatever you’re blasting-out, don’t name it something-that-reminds-listeners-it’s one-to-many.  If you do, they’ll think it’s one-too-many, spam.  Instead, can the subject line be a news headline?

See/hear/read more from consultant Holland Cooke at; and follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke.





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Category: Opinions