27 February, 2010

FREE, Easy Ways You Should Use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook To Promote A Radio Show, Business, Cause or Organization

My friend, Bobby Nelson, needs to promote his radio show but he has no promotional budget whatsoever. Bobby’s show is liberal talk radio’s best-kept secret and he has no money to remedy that.

As a frequent guest and regular listener, I can tell you that Bobby Nelson is an exemplar of what radio talk can and should be. Other talk shows should emulate his. Bobby, a former Huntington mayor, WV legislator, Congressional staffer and current Marshall University instructor, is thoughtful, prepared, connected, informed and professional. His “Supertalk 94.1 FM and 930 AM” simulcast is a model of information-rich, thoughtful talk radio at it’s best but Bobby has no budget to make people aware of the show.

Perhaps you have a cause or a business or an organization that deserves to be better known. If you do, read my advice to Bobby and see if you can’t use some of these free, easy social media tips to promote your well-kept secret.

The good news is that Bobby can use his current listener base to reach new listeners and callers. How? First, Bobby needs to get all his current listeners to “friend” him on Facebook and “follow” him on Twitter because friends of the show will both actively and passively promote his show. People will see that their friends are following Bobby or that they are Bobby’s Facebook friends and they will follow and friend him, too. That’s passive promotion. It’s free. It happens while you sleep or anytime people are rummaging through Twitter and Facebook looking for their friends’ friends and followers.

LinkedIn shows how you’re connected to other people and alerts you to new connections and other activity in which your LinkedIn connections are engaged. When Bobby Nelson becomes LinkedIn to someone, that person’s connections will see that on their LinkedIn home page.

I love LinkedIn. In a separate post I'll say more about LinkedIn.

Then there’s active promotion. If Bobby tweets today’s topic and guest, Bobby’s friends will re-tweet that tweet to their followers and so on.

Obviously, Bobby needs to start mentioning his Twitter account - @tristatetalk – and his Facebook page – Bobby Nelson – about 4 times each hour and asking his current “install base” of listeners to “friend” him and “follow” him.

I’m shocked at how many businesses have a Facebook page but don’t use the “invitation” function to send out emails containing links to the detailed invitation info.

A few days ago I mentioned an old, prominent Charleston business that is totally wasting its Facebook page and missing a great opportunity to replace some of their expensive direct mail, newspaper and other paid ads with FREE Facebook “invitations”.

An invitation could be used, for instance, to announce a sale or a trunk show. This particular business spends a lot of money on paid advertising but they could reduce their ad spending if they would do two simple things: First, they need to aggressively tell everybody who comes in their store to join their Facebook page where they will get info about sales and trunk shows. They need a computer and an internet connection on the sales floor so sales clerks can show people what’s on the Facebook page and even let them log in to Facebook and sign up on the spot. Then they need to start using the “invitation” function to announce trunk shows and sales. They have a Facebook page but they don’t know how to use it.

A word of caution: never, ever “spam” people with Facebook invitations, tweets or any other form of social media outreach. (See my previous post, Tweet Unto Others As You Would Have Them Tweet Unto You). If you abuse the trust people have placed in you by absolutely annoying the heck out of them with 20 tweets a day and the overuse of Facebook invitations, they will un-friend and un-follow you.

How often is too often? Well, let me turn the question around on you: how often would you want to be tweeted?

One day I got 32 tweets in one hour from the same lovely person. That’s w-a-a-a-y too much – even from someone you like. I sent her an email in which I simply told her how many tweets I had received from her in the past hour.

A headhunter once tweeted me about 13 times in just a few minutes. When I emailed her to say she was tweeting too much she asked me if I am a “social media expert”. I told her, no, I don’t claim to be a social media expert but I do claim to be an expert on being human an expert on what annoys humans and that being tweeted 13 times in a few minutes’ time is annoying. She named some famous “experts” - people whose names you’d recognize - and assured me that they told her to tweet 13 times in a just a few minutes.

First of all, I don’t believe Guy Kawasaki told her to tweet me 13 times in a few minutes. Second, if Guy Kawasaki or any other “expert” tells you to annoy people and spam people, trust your gut and feel free to disregard such unempathetic, insensitive advice. If you wouldn’t like being tweeted by the same person 13 times in a few minutes or 32 times in an hour then don’t do it to other people.

Charleston is full of so-called “marketing experts” whose tweets don’t reach me anymore because they either don’t have or didn’t listen to their own little internal voice that tells them when to quit.

My friend, Bobby Nelson, should reserve the Facebook invitation function for very special announcements such as syndication of the show or expanded hours or maybe very special guests or topics.

If Kindred Communications ever starts streaming his show live over the Internet – as they should – Bobby should send out a Facebook invitation announcing that so his many friends outside the Huntington market can start listening on their computers.

But Bobby should Tweet show time, topic, guest and dial position twice each day – once in the morning, once just before airtime at around 3PM, every day his show is on the air – Monday through Friday. Bobby’s regular listeners and other friends of the show will re-tweet his tweet and he’ll get new listeners. And it’s free.

Bobby’s Facebook page should contain basic show information like how to get a podcast. Bobby should provide a link to the podcast site.

If Kindred Communications ever streams the show live via internet, Bobby’s Facebook page should contain a link.

Finally, Bobby needs to accept that Linkedin invitation I sent him. I’ll say more about how Bobby and other readers can use LinkedIn to promote their careers, their causes, their businesses and their organizations in a future post.

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