Radio: The Social Media

 

(cue up Also Sprach Zarathustra)

Since the dawn of man, one form of advertising has reigned supreme.  Word of mouth.

Fast forward to 2012 and it’s still true.  Social Media – specifically Twitter and Facebook – prove it everyday.  One positive or negative tweet/post can set off a chain reaction that has the Internet abuzz. The tweet/post gets “legs,” as they say, and the main stream media picks up on it.  This gives the story instant credibility, facts be damned.  And let’s face it, it’s usually a negative tweet/post that gets the most attention. (There’s a reason why most news coverage is negative but that again is a whole other blog topic.)

The irony of all this?  Radio was the FIRST Social Media. In the early days, listening to the radio was a social event.  Groups would gather round the radio for any and all events.  FDR fireside chats.  The Hindenburg disaster.  Texaco Star Theater.

Time marched on and gave us Elvis, The Beatles, boss jocks, FM stereo, Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, Don Imus, Opie and Anthony, request shows, news talk call in shows.  Everyone had an opinion and they were not afraid to share it.  Things happened and the buzz, the word of mouth advertising was “did you hear so and so was on the such and such show.”  Radio connected with listeners in ways that no other media could.  Until now thanks to Social Media.

Radio is taking Social Media platforms and working with them to give listeners more access than ever before.  Live tweeting with the play-by-play voice of a sports team as he is calling the action.  Post your pics from last night’s concert on our Facebook page to win a guitar the band signed.  Check out our YouTube page for off mic action of when “Performer X” was in studio.  Read my blog about my visit with the President.

Social Media, in all its forms is not going away.  Sure it’ll evolve and grow as it already has.  Radio, the granddaddy of them all, if I may borrow a phrase, has embraced Social Media, coming up with new and creative ways to reach people.  And in the end that makes us all winners.

Ian Cohen is Production Director at The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the RSS link above. Visit our website TheRadioAgency.com

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