Radio is Australia’s top performing industry on Facebook, having been crowned the social network’s most engaging for 2013 by the inaugural Annual Facebook Performance Report.
The Online Circle study, which used its media analytics tool Social Pulse to analyse data from January 1 2013 to December 1, identified radio shows from across the Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) network as the most engaging.
Seven radio show’s Facebook pages made it into the list of Australia’s top 30 most engaging Facebook pages and all seven were SCA radio shows.
Radio’s result puts it ahead of industries with much larger Facebook fan bases such as TV shows and tourism, and miles ahead of other media including news and magazines and metro newspapers.
Lucio Ribeiro, Social Pulse’s managing director, told B&T radio came out on top because the industry recognised Australians use Facebook to share news and current events.
“On the other hand, many brands are still struggling in an old and simplistic model, with a limited approach to content and without incorporating current affairs and topical subjects to their content,” Ribeiro said. If you analyse the top 10 most popular topics in Australia by users you will find 100% are around news.”
The airline, travel and tourism industry experienced the most growth on Facebook this year, followed by TV Shows, FMCG snackfoods, electronics and fast-food brands. Those with the least growth included FMCG beverages, alcohol, banks and other financial institutions and, despite it being an election year, politics.
Ribeiro described Facebook as a serious marketing channel, and one that “offers one of the greatest opportunities for next year”.
“Based on our research Facebook is far from being a saturated place for brands and still offers a huge opportunity for many industries and segments. If you are not seeing the benefit of utilising social media and Facebook then the channel might not be a problem as much as your strategy/people deploying the execution.
“Fine tune your target, enhance your content, professionalise the execution, define the path your consumers adopt to buy your services and or product and allocate a dollar amount to Facebook collaboration to the path.”
For brands seeking to boost their engagement Ribeiro said Social Pulse has identified a clear correlation between high frequency and high engagement. He also said posts should be 80 characters or less, brands should use images where possible and marketers need to identify their brand’s optimal posting frequency using social media analytics tools.
“Imagine that you are talking to a person, not a whole group,” he said, adding that the best performers have found the balance between organic and paid content.
To download the full report and see the winners of the Social Pulse Awards 2013 click here.
It’s a tough challenge getting New Zealanders to all do the same thing at the same time, but with the 2014 general election just around the corner, radio will be called on to do just that. With the huge development and growth within radio’s technology platforms, the Electoral Commission has worked closely with the radio industry to push the boundaries and actually drive their whole communication strategy much deeper with radio brands on-air, online, on-mobile and on the street.
So where previously the destination may have been an 0800 number or the Electoral Commission’s website, now more and more of these campaigns are completely hosted within the radio brands’ platforms. This strategy comes from the insight that people are more likely to react to a peer to peer communication from a radio brand that they identify with and love over a more generic communication from a government agency. So, this is the theory, but what is the reality?
The testing ground for this level of response was youth enrolment in the 2011 General Election. The Radio Bureau got six of NZ’s most influential musicians to ‘have their say’ on why voting was important to them. This content played on-air and online across all our youth stations and was intertwined with relevant DJ activity. It encouraged listeners to enrol directly through the station website, which linked via iframe to the Commission’s secure online enrolment form. This approach was hugely successful and contributed 7% of total online enrolments with over 39% of these enrolments coming from first time voters.
From here we ran a campaign calling for submissions as part of the MMP review in 2012. This ran across key talk brands Newstalk ZB and Radio Live. The communication was integrated into the fabric of these stations, with announcers discussing the review and interviewing relevant Electoral Commission personnel to outline the process. The audiences could then make submissions on the review directly from the radio stations’ websites. The overall campaign was a huge success generating 4,700 submissions against an estimation of 800.
Next was the Maori Electoral Option. The campaign objective was to drive awareness that Maori had the option to choose whether to be on the General roll or the Maori roll, and how to take part. Radio activity ran across Iwi stations nationwide and also on Mai FM and Flava. The radio industry targeted Maori listeners through 10 handpicked Maori announcers who were used as advocates to deliver messages of influence and drive listeners to the stations’ website for more information. On-air, online and social activity was combined with a mobile strategy where all texts to the studio received a bounce back that read ‘Maori 18+? Maori or General Roll? It’s your choice’. This enabled us to influence our audience in a very personal space and achieve even stronger engagement.
The latest campaign encourages youth to enrol for the Local Body Elections. We took the messaging into a more social space by hosting a ‘What do you Care’ Facebook app on each of the youth brands Facebook Pages. These have been crafted to fit the ethos of each station with relevant social issues posed that matter to each brand’s audience. The stations have used their powerful combined Facebook community of 451,831 fans along with key DJ adlibs to drive participation with the App. The idea is that even though this audience doesn’t think they care about local body elections, these issues actually do matter to them and with the station environment hosting this discussion, it takes the messaging away from being a government directive and into a more conversational space.
Radio has a long tradition of working with government agencies to mobilise Kiwis. Recently radio has been increasingly challenged to come up with innovative ways to reinvent the way we influence and engage our audiences while delivering measurable results. With the 2014 general election on the horizon the next challenge awaits.
The Radio Network is the latest mainstream media company to create a home-base on the internet, with last week's soft launch of the new iHeartRadio platform.
The broadcaster - with brands including Newstalk ZB, Radio Hauraki and ZM - will stream existing stations and set up customised online stations on iHeartRadio.
The platform will be formally launched in mid-September but is being tested online until then.
"It's about future-proofing our business," said TRN chief executive Jane Hastings.
"It's a fundamental part of the migration of radio audiences to digital platforms."
According to TRN, "iHeartRadio provides radio fans with instant access to live broadcast and digital-only radio stations, user-created custom stations inspired by favourite artists and songs, plus mood-related stations".
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