Ford says Radio can challenge Facebook as the new media darling.

This blog has been written by Sound’s newest addition, Frankii Hart. Tweet us know your comments at @soundcreative!

There is a common misconception that the birth of social media bore the death of radio. In this line of thinking, broadcast is defined as one or the other. However, at Sound Creative we find broadcasting to be most effective when it’s one and the other. Radio has survived the rise of online media, and it’s shouting louder than ever before. Dee Ford (group managing director for Bauer Radio) has declared it as the newest contender for Facebook’s title of media darling. Who would have thought it- the young, trendy, fast-paced Facebook competing against the traditional, steady and reliable radio? Regardless of this, it’s undeniable that social media and radio can and should work together, in order to produce maximum results.

Ford states that radio is a ‘continuing, unmatched influence’ in the UK. Whilst the gift of fortune telling evades me, I am certain that at some point in the future you will own a house and a car and in that house and car there will be at least one radio.  This will result in what Ford describes as ‘live entertainment experiences available 24/7.’ What better way to reach your target audience than this? Furthermore, her suggestion of ‘clear consumer delight’ at DAB is supported by an 80% growth since 2010, with radio reaching 87% of young audiences. It appears the younger generation is not reserved solely for social media after all.

The uphill struggle in this race is keeping the audience interested. For those screaming on social media’s side, the argument is this will be difficult considering the easily distracted social media junkie that makes up the afore mentioned ‘younger generation’. Radio, in response to this, has responded accordingly. They are investing in talent, better content and programming in order to maximise station’s success. For social media, the most effective way for brands to connect with their audience is by engineering conversation (‘comments’) around interesting content. That said; the majority of brands are guilty of a lack of investment on an emotional level with their audience. The underlying key to successful audience connection is to develop trust whilst proving sincerity as a brand rather than hideously transparent marketing messages. As a result, branded social media content can often seem to be more of a show and tell rather than a Q & A session despite the latter being what the consumer wants. Ford declares that Radio has recognised the need for ‘recommendation, a reflection of real-time life, personalities that offer up music discovery and surprises.’ This confirms what we knew all along, that ‘people want companionship. That is why people have always tuned in to radio and will continue to in their millions across the UK every day.’ Radio and online are intrinsically linked when connecting with your audience, it’s not a case of versus but in working together in order to maximise the outcome.

Reference: Media Week