A few years ago I was fortunate enough to work with Harmony Airways and Kelowna International Airport as they operated a seasonal non-stop service from Kelowna to Honolulu. As part of my role I developed radio promotions involving giveaways of holiday packages.
The principal of such a promotion is simple – the radio station offers a certain value of promotional media in exchange for the prizing and this promotional media raises top-of-mind awareness of the client and it’s services/products.
In evaluating which radio station to partner with on such promotions a number of factors are taken in to account:
- Brand alignment. Or in other words “The medium is the message”.
- Audience figures, demographics and socio-graphics.
- Geographic reach.
- On-air promotional value i.e. The retail value of the air time offered up for the promotion
- Off-air promotional value e.g. The retail value of newspaper advertising taken out by the radio station to promote the competition.
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to plan promotions for another airline and this time round another variable is coming in to the mix of decision factors – social media influence.
To this end I’ve conducted a study of local radio stations here in Kelowna, BC to see who’s social media activity would add the most value to a promotion.
The methodology was simple. Of the various social media platforms only Facebook and Twitter are being used by any of the stations. For Facebook the only statistic available is follower count. For Twitter, with it’s open API, a lot more analysis is possible. I chose to use Edelman’s Tweet Level tool. With this tool we can break down a Twitter account’s impact in terms of:
- Influence – what you say is interesting and many people listen to it. This is the primary ranking metric.
- Popularity – how many people follow you
- Engagement – you actively participate within your community
- Trust – people believe what you say
It should be noted that even the most influential of Twitter accounts only scores 80 for Influence, so on this statistic a “40” is really a 50%. For other statistics top accounts get 97+ so this is really a true percentage of how an account is performing against the best out there.
The following contain the results station by station:
AM 1150 (www.am1150.ca)
Facebook: no official presence. Two presenters/producers have accounts which are seemingly personal accounts.
Twitter: 1 station account (@am1150), 1 presenter account (@jackedinjessica) as below.
The low score for engagement seen above is typical of an account that is an unmanned “feed” – i.e. A tweet is automatically sent whenever a website, facebook account or some other web presence is updated, but there is really no person behind the account. It’s not the best way to use Twitter.
For this account, the significantly higher engagement figure brings the overall value of the account to almost the same level as a “feed” account with three times as many followers.
Other useful statistics are on commonality between accounts.:
Following @am1150 and @jackedinjessica = 109
Facebook: 1 account with 367 followers.
Twitter: 1 account (@b103)
Overall this represents a relatively modest social media presence. My supposition would be that the station is doing the minimum it deems necessary on social media platforms with little resource allocated to social media and little buy-in across the station. There may be one social media evangelist within the station that has little support from management.
THE JUICE (www.1039thejuice.com)
Facebook: Station account has 587 followers. Presenters/producers have individual accounts but these seem to be strictly personal. A second “campaign” account exists for “90 day transformation” with 19 followers.
Twitter: Four accounts are active: @1039thejuice, @90daytransform, @juicy_nesta, @kenallanjoonyer
The @90daytransform account is new and had only 4 followers at the time of original analysis (and only 10 a week later). A full analysis is therefore not included. This strategy of having a separate Facebook and Twitter profile for a 90 day campaign is highly questionable and not something I would generally advise.
Following @1039thejuice AND @juicy_nesta = 85
Following @1039thejuice AND @kenallanjoonyer = 98
Following @juicy_nesta AND @kenallanjoonyer = 76
K 96.3 (www.k963.fm)
Facebook: 1 account with 530 followers.
Twitter: 1 account – @k963classicrock.
So a respectable effort on Facebook but K96.3 are a surprisingly late adopter of Twitter (account set up only this month) – and have effectively no presence as yet.
Facebook: 1 account with 309 followers
Twitter: 1 account as below
As with sister station B103, overall this represents a relatively modest social media presence but this time with a very low figure for engagement.
SILK FM (www.silk.net)
Facebook: The station fan page has 476 followers. 2 presenter accounts (Andy & TJ and Breanne Cancade) seem to be used as part-personal, part-professional accounts with 460 and 194 followers respectively.
Twitter: One account – @1015silkfm
Again, this seems to be a feed, so has a very low score on engagement. Coupled with a low follower count this gives this account a rather low overall value. The station is obviously making efforts on Facebook but are let down with their Twitter presence.
SUN 99.9 (www.thesun.net)
Facebook: Sun FM and its presenters/producers have several Facebook accounts as follows:
- Station Facebook Page: 2684 Friends
- Sonia Sidhu: 1299 Friends
- Susan Knight: 2059 Friends
- Dan Freeman: 3499 Friends
- Ara Andonian: 1791 Friends
Twitter: Again the station and its presenters have several accounts: @999sunfm; @soniasidhusunfm; @susanknight @danandsusan. Statistics on these are as follows:
Following @999sunfm and @soniasidhusunfm: 190
Following @999sunfm and @susanknight : 147
Following @999sunfm and @danandsusan : 177
Following @soniasidhusunfm and @susanknight : 135
Following @soniasidhusunfm and @danandsusan : 149
Following @susanknight and @danandsusan : 224
Sun FM Kelowna’s sister stations in Penticton and Vernon also have social media presence. A further Twitter account, @thearashow, exists in Kelowna but has not been assessed (it is protected and so far, a week after requesting to follow the account, that request has not been approved).
Kelowna Assessment Summary
Sun FM lead the way. By miles. Juice and B103 are obviously making efforts across both Twitter and Facebook. Other stations are just too inconsistent to say they have any effective cross-platform social media presence. Silk do OK on Facebook but are nowhere on Twitter. The same can be said for K963. With AM1150 it’s the reverse. Other stations are making efforts but have an even longer way to go to get in the game.
The Kelowna Social Media League Table
Some individual mentions. Seeing as though it’s Olympics time:
Gold goes Susan Knight as Kelowna’s most social-media-influential member of the media with Breakfast Show partner Dan Freeman taking Silver.
Bronze is close between Nesta at Juice, Jessica at AM1150 and Sonia at Sun FM. But Sonia at SunFM edges it making it a Gold-Silver-Bronze for Sun FM.
In my next article for Culturactive, I’ll take a look at the social media presence of 102.1 The Edge.
As can be seen at http://www.edge.ca/Connect/ the station has 9 Facebook accounts, 2 Flickr accounts, an iPhone application stream (as part of the Corus Networks iPhone app), 2 Pocast channels on iTunes, 4 MySpace pages, 20 Twitter streams, a feed in to Viigo and four YouTube channels! They can be considered a “Diamond Standard” among Canadian radio stations with regard to social media presence.
*Statistics for Kelowna stations were collected 17th January, 2010 for The Edge on 24th January 2010.