I Love a (Facebook) Parade

Posted on March 31, 2011


Last week in the post Airtalent Vs. Monkey Grinders I referenced a quote by Tommy Kramer about how radio needs to focus on hiring more talented people as hosts, a sentiment I couldn’t agree more with.

However, while I didn’t take the quote out of context, I only used part of it.

Before that he said, “Do anything with Facebook that you like. It’s fine, but in the long run, it just doesn’t matter. The Facebook world may be larger than the pool of people who call, but it’s still a minority, and there’s no proof that it makes them listen more. The overwhelming majority of listeners don’t call, don’t go to a station’s Facebook page, don’t go to many (if any) of a station’s events, and rarely, if ever, go to a station’s website.

Stations that try to be at every event, instead of picking the biggest parade and getting in front of it, always expend a lot of energy but still lose. Stations that will expend tons of energy trying to ignite Facebook response will have the same results.

This time I have to disagree. The way people consume media is changing. The “majority” that don’t participate beyond listening is shrinking rapidly. It is no longer overwhelming and soon will become the minority.

I can’t prove it for radio yet, but check out the results of a new Harris Poll about television viewing habits amongst people with online access:

  • Two in five online adults have gone online or utilized social media to comment, post, watch or read something about a television show.
  • Amongst 18-34 year olds, 60% have engaged with a show online.
  • Just over 50% of adults who engage with shows online do it on an individual forum such as posting on their own or a friend’s Facebook page, Twitter account or blog.
  • Nearly 45% engaged on a Web site or page created by the show.
  • Two in five online adults are a fan or follower of a TV network, program or show on Facebook or Twitter.

I know we are in radio not television but you can’t ignore the fact that four out of ten people with internet access are engaging in some way online with a show.

 I think it’s fairly safe to say the shows people choose to engage with are ones they like and find compelling. Probably one of their favorite shows. Thinking as a radio person you could even say it’s probably their P1 show.

Remember, even though cume is way up with PPM, it’s the 25% of your listeners that are P1 to your show or station that generate over half of your Average Quarter Hour Listening spending an average of  seven hours with the station compared to around one hour for the majority of your cume.  

Getting those P1 listeners, your hardcore fans, to engage with your show online in some form has to drive up the likelihood that they will continue to tune in regularly.  

So with all due respect; I think social media and other online outlets are the biggest parade in town. We need to get in front of them.