We relaunched ScottOwensShow.com on December 10, 2018 and began our Weekday Twitter Morning Show on January 7th. A Facebook group followed soon after. On February 19, the Scott Owens Email Update set out it’s first edition.
Now that we’ve had a quarter to digest the ratings, as your talent, program director and general manager, here are some observations.
Social Media is a Marathon, not a Sprint.
Twitter By the Numbers:
By any assessment, generating only 330 followers with the amount of content created is under-performance. The pros tell me that building a brand there takes time and continuous effort. In my last Twitter iteration, I had thousands of followers, but that took 8 years and 50,000+ tweets. Social media is a long game. Here are some key learnings.
Content is King – Figuring out what touches the audience is the key to getting their attention. Of our 3,310 Tweets, the two most popular were about Doris Day and the Simpsons. People who dig 60s oldies aren’t paying a lot attention to Twitter.
The audience for an entertainment focused effort is hard to consistently engage – Our tastes are divergent and ever changing what may be interesting one day isn’t necessarily interesting the next.
Interaction is Key – The days we showed the most engagement were the ones where we directly interacted with our followers. When we post thank-yous to those who joined the family, they inevitably get shared. Personal responses to the posts of others often generate follows and more interest.
The Music is secondary to the backstory – We began by posting YouTube music videos every half hour. Very few clicked through to watch them. What got attention was how we set the video up with trivia and information about the artist, how the record was made, how it performed on the chart and something unique about it.
Our email boxes are inundated. Header content is key.
Email By The Numbers:
Email open rates inevitably decline. The headers determine whether or not they get opened. Most people don’t have time to follow the links, so you have to put the “meat” in the text of the email message. Repeated promotion of the link to the web version on social media channels drives page views. Using different verbiage to describe the same thing keeps it fresh, even for those who may have seen it before.
I have a sign-up link on the website and occasionally pushed it on Twitter. But we haven’t grown much beyond the initial group I “signed up” when we started. I’m grateful that you all have stuck with me. We have yet to have someone leave the list. Aggressive promotion of the email option could generate more subscribers. As we get further from friends and family, there will be more sign-offs too.
The Bottom Line: Social Media is a tactical tool, not a strategy. A clear understanding of business objectives, mission and message comes first. Know your audience. Create a format that speaks to them. Engage where they live.
Some questions that still require experimentation:
Does the time of day make a difference? We tested re-sharing our morning show material on the @WKNR Twitter feed in the afternoons. The two accounts have different audiences so it’s not very clean data. Our sense is that fewer messages, repeated more often, drive click throughs. Reach and Frequency for those of us who like ratings book talk.
What value is there in taking advantage of Twitter and Facebook’s promotional tools? Our budgets don’t allow that bit of spend for this project. In my parallel world as a director at DownSyndromeNation.com, I can tell you that our first Facebook promotion (still underway) was a huge success. The keys were: A compelling visual, good copy and a message that hits the target audience’s sweet spot. The Down Syndrome community loves our kids, want’s to know more about how to cope with life on “the scenic route” and is eager to engage. They are a much more motivated audience.
Is it worth it? For me, this has been a fun experiment to help me think about how to position my two other major projects: DownSyndromenation.com and Terry Shepherd‘s forthcoming first novel. I’ve learned a lot from that. Some side benefits have been building my SQL database skills, transferring my flat file calendar and birthday data to a SQL file, sharpening my web design abilities and learning what features and functions make both websites and social media usable and effective. I’ve also enjoyed scanning my timelines for interesting things to share and write about. Thanks to feedback from users, the backstory section of the blog has evolved into something I hope is more worth your time.
Where do we go from here? The Rock and Roll Revisited began as a way for me to kill time during my early mornings on the treadmill. I have a day job that is all consuming and after hours work that keeps me up way too late. I’ll be focusing more on the last two things going forward. You’ll still see Scott Owens on Twitter and Facebook in the AM, but I’ll be backing off the blog and email to a once-a-week thing, unless there is something worth talking about via the website in between.
- Look for blog posts and your email on Fridays. I’ll be pondering how to construct both to make them worth reading.
Inside stuff for those who are interested: I use Cinchshare.com as my Social Media scheduler. It’s a pay for platform, but is inexpensive enough and has enough features to be worth it for my application. MailerLite is my email platform. It’s arguably as good or better than MailChimp or ConstantContact and costs less. This is a WordPress website, using the GreatWPPro theme. I run cron jobs overnight to update the history and birthday databases, dumping the days items into a text file that PHP includes in the appropriate sidebar. I create the YouTube video playlists with TuneMyMusic.com. It accepts plain text I cut and past from the Number One database and creates the playlist on my YouTube channel. I edit the meta data appropriately and double check to make sure the video versions it selects are decent. I update the history and birthday databases on Saturdays from a variety of sources. That takes about 90 minutes. The most challenging aspect is writing interesting backstories. Thankfully, I have 15 years of Keener13.com writings to plumb. That has made it easier.
Thanks for following this adventure as it continues to evolve! Hopefully, I’ve “left you in a better place than I found you”.