Lori Lewis

Social media management/digital specialist Lori Lewis on why social media is complementary to radio, especially when the audience is not listening.

“Radio remains a popular medium.”

That’s a statement from a survey conducted by Hub Entertainment Research titled “Can You Hear Me Now?” The survey, consisting of ages ranging from 16 to 74, shows that nine in 10 have an AM/FM radio and three in 10 note they stream AM/FM stations.

It’s a testimony to our industry – that “Radio listening, particularly in cars, is still an important factor in the media mix.”

But every time I see research backing up the power of our industry, I, of course, go to social media. It’s my world.

It makes me wonder why some, not all, in radio know they have solid brands they need to grow but are flippant about social media.

I say some, not all, because I am very lucky to serve some of the best radio companies, stations, talent, and shows.

They get it! Social media is such an ongoing learning process.

We work month after month, sometimes laughing, sometimes frustrated, studying, and finding engaging ways to leverage this space for greater awareness, discovery, and conversion.

But I’m talking about the majority phoning in social media (at best), with no thoughtful structure nor strategic tactics, winging it on one of the most important outlets we have as an industry battling for attention.

Social media is not competition. It’s complementary. Especially when the audience is not listening.

Social media offers us a way to showcase the relatability of our talent, exposing their entertaining, encouraging, or empowering personalities, and showing other sides we may not always talk about on the air.

Social media also offers us the ability to tap into our talents’ creativity and produce visual stories for our clients.

Look at how WNEW-FM’s “Karen Carson In The Mornings” co-host, John Mingione slid Dunkin Donuts into a hilarious moment outside of a gym.

This was highly engaging – helping Dunkin Donuts reach tens of thousands of non-followers.

And beyond serving national, regional, and local businesses, we also get to heighten our exposure when we create content about our personal lives – again, reminding followers and non-followers alike of our relatability factor.

We may tell the stories on-air, but it’s so much fun when we watch personalities visually play out the stories like this trend Karen jumped on:

Radio matters.

So does social media.

There were 150 million new social media users between April 2022 and April 2023 – a 3.2% increase year-over-year. If we break those numbers down, it equals approximately 410,000 new social users every day – and 4.7 every second.

Nearly 5 in 10 internet users lean on social media as a primary source of information on the brands they love (including their favorite radio station).

Reaching new audiences is harder than ever, and it’s not going to get easy.

People often ask what patterns I have seen in the social media space over the span of nearly two decades. And I always share this:

The less interested we appear to be in the audience, the less interested they will become in us.

It’s time for a plan to leverage social media for all aspects of the brand.

Because it’s not a lack of talent in the radio industry, it’s a lack of understanding and structure.

Lori Lewis is the founder of Lori Lewis Media, a social media management, marketing, and monetization firm. A former air talent and programmer, Lewis has held social media and digital management positions at Cumulus Media/Westwood One, Jacobs Media and Midwest Communications. Reach her at lori@lorilewismedia.com.


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