Three Social Media Points – Learned from NPR

Last week I went to a social media conference called Free State Social in Lawrence, Kansas. One of the people that I met there was Chandra Stauffer (@kmuw on Twitter) who works for National Public Radio out of Wichita, KS. Out of our conversation came some great points that apply to social media and also to business in general. So, I want to share with you three social media points that I learned from National Public Radio (NPR):

  1. Promote Your Good Work– Many of my classical music-oriented friends (and some who aren’t so classical music-oriented) will comment every so often on Facebook that they heard something great on NPR on their way to work in the morning.  Meaning to offer Chandra a compliment, I told her this in our conversation.  What she said was a  good reminder to all of us.  She basically commented that yes, her NPR station offers great content like that every day, but some may not attribute that content to the station that she works for.  You see there is another NPR station close by with an overlapping territory and most people aren’t distinguishing that station from the Wichita NPR station that has different programming.  How is your company distinguishing itself?  What makes you different from your closest competitor?  Promote your strengths through social media.  Announce your new product on Facebook and give a discount to your Facebook followers.  Did your company sponsor a food drive in the community?  Let people know about it through traditional advertising and Twitter.  Make sure customers and potential customers know that the good work came from your business.  Some businesses might be afraid to “toot their own horn”, but it’s OK to do that every once in awhile.  If you don’t promote yourself, your competitor might get those potential customers or customers might confuse your product with another company’s.
  2. Sponsorship Can be a Good Thing–  As you probably know, NPR gets much of it’s income from those who underwrite programming.  A business can sponsor a specific program in return for recognition around that programming.  That same name recognition can be obtained by sponsoring events and community benefits.  As Sarah Evans would say, “do something for a cause”.  Don’t only think about social media advertising for your business, think about sponsoring a cause as well.  Customer’s appreciate a business which cares about community and often will reward that business with their patronage.
  3. Facebook’s new “Like” system is going to be powerful – Another lesson learned from NPR is that, a Facebook “Like” is going to be a powerful social media tool.  Even I took notice and mentioned NPR’s interesting content here, based upon my friends opinions.  Now not only are your Facebook fans more likely to buy your products, your customers can now “like” your business and basically recommend you to their friends.  To quote an interesting excerpt from WebPro News, because of Facebook’s new “Like” system:  “It’s not just about getting links anymore. Links will always be of use, but social interactions may equal them in importance, and in some cases may be of greater use to your visibility, and ultimately getting people to your site, your content, your store, or your shopping cart.”A study by the social networking site myYearbook showed that:
  • 81 percent of respondents said they’d received advice from friends and followers relating to a product purchase through a social site
  • 74 percent of those who received such advice found it to be influential in their decision. (Click Z, January 2010)
  • 90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know
  • 70% trust opinions of unknown users. (Econsultancy, July 2009)

So, there you have it, the top 3 social media lessons that I learned from NPR.  Get out there and learn some more from things in every day life.