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Thursday, November 3, 2011
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Do You Know What Your FB Page Just Said?

The radio industry is one of words. In earlier days, the control room door at WZZP Cleveland where I worked (now, The Lake) had this note on it: "Stay Out - The Product is Created Here." This was pre-liner card days when time was spent on what to say, choosing and cueing songs, keeping logs, pulling commercial carts, and answering phones.

"How do I know if the time spent on this is worth it?" Each week air talent would listen to tapes and discuss with the program director how words may have been better said - or how the same things could've been said using fewer words. All shows were taped so we knew exactly what was said and could improve it.

On-air today the recording of what's said still occurs; it's a mixture of local announcers and voice-tracking. But what of the bantering that is done on a radio station's social media? Do you know what was just said? Do you have an idea of the response that was generated by your radio station's SM post? Do you keep a log of social media posts, and collate it with web site analytics to quantify the interest level for each topic discussed?

In the rush to Tweet and get your Facebook page rolling, there's been an avoidance of this basic question: How do I know if the time spent on this is worth it?

Without tracking what you post, there's no hope in understanding the efficacy of a station's social media use. Without setting success metrics, it is impossible to say that there aren't better places to spend your digital time. Without knowing whether what you just did "works," the effort required to keep a quality social media presence is questionable.

Track the words, pictures, logos you use in a Facebook post. Sort web site analytic data by "referring source," landing-page and time-stamp. Together, these acts give the basics to say "maybe we should be concentrating on another digital asset and promoting it." Conversely, it will also give you confidence when one post drives hundreds of responses.

Today the radio industry is one of words, said and written. Giving more thought to what's being said, and paying closer attention to the response received, is how we better the product - a must in this overly-connected world.

Tracking what is posted on social media is the same as recording on-air personalities for assessment in a listening session with the program director.

"Quantifying effort" is being used more in the radio industry (it's the claimed basis for Clear Channel's recent firings). It should be no different for your use of social media.

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