All posts by Seth Resler

Editorial: How Your Radio Station Can (Properly) Hijack Twitter Hashtags

Seth Resler
Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies


Many social networks, notably Twitter, use hashtags to make it easy for people to find tweets related to a specific topic. A hashtag is simply a keyword or phrase preceded by a # to indicate what the tweet is about. Hashtags are often used by event organizers to allow attendees to follow what other attendees are saying about the event. Here are some examples:

    • The 2016 Worldwide Radio Summit used #WWRS16
    • The 2016 Podcast Movement Conference used #PM16
    • Conclave 41 used #Concave41

Sometimes, people try and hijack hashtags, tapping into the popularity of a trending topic and using it to push people to something else. For example, somebody might tweet out a link to an ad for their dietary supplement using the hashtag for the Grammys in the hopes of attracting some errant clicks. This spammy technique is frowned upon. Not only does it annoy people, but it isn’t particularly effective for the hijacker either.

However, there is a benign way that your radio station can hijack hashtags — particularly hashtags for local events. Here’s how:

1. Identify popular local hashtags.
First, you’ll need to figure out which hashtags you want to hijack. You want to find hashtags that are being used a lot in your market, but not beyond your market. Don’t try to hijack national or international hashtags; if the hashtag is too popular, you’ll get lost in all the noise. Besides, you only care if local people see your tweets because they’re the only ones who can tune into your station.

There are a few ways to identify local hashtags. If there are big venues in the area, such as a convention center, concert arena, or college campus, check their websites for a calendar of events. That calendar will often link out to webpages for each event. On the event webpage, find a link to the event organizer’s Twitter account and check their Twitter stream for any hashtags about the upcoming event. You can also look for event calendars on the local newspaper, TV stations, city magazines, or even other radio stations and then find event hashtags in the same way.

Another way to find local hashtags is to use a site like, which lets you zero in on the hashtags in a particular area. If you find a hashtag and you don’t know what it references, you can look it up on a site like

Create a spreadsheet with a running list of any hashtags that are likely to recur again in the future, such as hashtags used for annual events. This will make it easier for you to hijack hashtags in the future.

2. Create a piece of web content that will interest followers of the hashtag and tweet it.
The more relevant you can make your content to the hashtag followers, the better. For example, if there’s an arts and wine festival in your town using the hashtag #ArtsAndWine2016, here are some pieces of content that you may want to consider:

  • A preview of the event
  • An interview with the organizer or exhibitors
  • A guide to the event, including info on parking, prices, etc.

Of course, you may not be able to create an original piece of content for every event that uses a hashtag, so you may want to focus on a few of the biggest events. For smaller events with hashtags, it’s useful to have some broader but still relevant content on standby. For example, you could create a list of “5 Restaurants Every Visitor to Portland Should Try” or “5 Things You Didn’t Know About the City of Omaha.” Tweet out a link to this content with the appropriate hashtag when #ComicCon2016, the #WarpedTour, or the #NursesConvention comes to town.

The most important thing is to post a link to content that is both compelling and relevant. Otherwise, you’re just being spammy.

3. Measure the results.
Be sure to use a link shortening service that provides analytics, such as or Hootsuite’s, when you tweet out your content. This way, you’ll be able to track how many people clicked on the link to your content. You’ll also want to look at your Google Analytics to see how many people came to your content by way of Twitter. These two numbers should be in the same ballpark.

At first, it will be difficult to tell if a piece of content works or doesn’t work because of the hashtag or the content itself, but if you experiment over time, you should be able to get a feel for what produces the best results. For example, you may find that restaurant suggestions work but city trivia does not. Or you may find that the hashtags for events with more attendees work much better than events with less attendees. Adjust your hashtag hijacking strategy accordingly.

Hashtags are a very useful way to keep tabs on what’s going on in your market and attract traffic back to your radio station’s website. Get into the conversation!

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at or 1-800-968-7622.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.


Editorial: Facebook Has Changed Its Algorithm. Here’s What Your Station Should Do.

Seth Resler
Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

Recently, Facebook announced that it is changing its algorithm to prioritize content posted to a person’s newsfeed by family and friends over content from brands, media outlets and other pages. Your station has probably seen a steady decrease in engagement with its posts over the last few months, and now it seems its going to get worse.

We have seen year after year in our Techsurvey that Facebook is far and away the most important social network for stations trying to reach their listeners. So what should your station do?

Facebook’s Goals
First, it’s important to understand why Facebook is making these changes. Facebook has a vested interest in providing its users with content that they like. If the network fills people’s newsfeed with promotional content that they don’t want to see, people may start using Facebook less. This algorithm is an attempt to provide a better user experience. This is a laudable goal, and stations should also want to ensure that they are not filling the feeds of their users with unwanted content.

Facebook also wants to keep people on Facebook, rather than sending them to third party sites. When people are on Facebook, Facebook can show them ads that generate revenue. Once Facebook sends them elsewhere, they can no longer show them ads. Facebook has introduced features like Instant Articles in an attempt to keep people in their walled garden of content. On this point, stations (and other media outlets) may be at odds with Facebook: A key goal of many station’s digital strategies ought to be to get people back to their own websites.

Finally, Facebook wants to sell ads. It’s a business, and that’s how this business generates revenue. Facebook doesn’t exist so that your station can advertise itself for free. Again, your station may be at odds with Facebook on this point: you probably don’t want to pay to reach your listeners if you don’t have to. But then, you don’t allow Facebook to advertise on your station for free, so it cuts both ways here.

With Facebook’s goals in mind, let’s look at what your station can do.

1. Know the goals of your digital strategy.
Whenever I discuss digital strategy with a station, my first question is “What are your goals?” If you don’t have a firm grasp on the station’s digital goals, you won’t be able to make an informed decision about what to do. Are you trying to:

  • Encourage online streaming?
  • Increase email registrations?
  • Drive contest entries?
  • Generate sales leads?

You’ll need to know your goals and then determine how Facebook helps you achieve those goals. Your station’s digital strategy may have multiple goals and those goals may not be equally valuable. For example, a sales lead may be worth a lot more to your station than an email registration.

A word of warning here: Beware of the word “branding.” While there is value in branding, it is nebulous. People sometimes invoke “branding” when they don’t know what their goals are or how to achieve them. Don’t make that mistake.

2. Set yourself up to measure Facebook’s impact on your digital strategy.
Once you know your goals, you need to determine how Facebook helps you achieve those goals. For example, if your goal is to drive email registrations, how does Facebook help you do that?

Keep in mind, just because you can measure something, that doesn’t mean that it affects your station’s goals. You can measure Facebook likes, comments, and shares. Presumably, more of these are better. But that doesn’t mean that more likes leads to more email registrations. Some of these things that you can measure are more important than others. Make sure that you are paying attention to the important metrics and not giving undue weight to unimportant metrics.

The most important number to track is not found in your Facebook analytics, but in your Google Analytics: How many people came to your website by way of Facebook. The more people that come to your website, the more that will sign up for your email database. You want to pay close attention to the website traffic from Facebook, and try to figure out what causes that traffic to increase or decrease.

3. Create more compelling content.
Facebook wants to show people stuff that they like; Facebook doesn’t want to show people junk. This is true of every company that uses an algorithm to surface content, including Google. So the best way to protect your station from algorithm changes is not to try and game the system, but to produce high quality content. If you’re producing good stuff that people want to see, Facebook is more likely to show it to people.

For most stations, this means that it’s time to step up their game when it comes to online content, especially If you’ve been phoning in your blog and paying significantly less attention to it than your on-air product. We now live in a world where every media company is a multi-media company. You need people on your staff who can write and create compelling content that goes beyond just audio.

In addition to increasing the amount of high-quality content that your station produces, you should decrease the amount of low-quality content that you share on social media. Blatantly promotional posts that pitch advertisers’ products or encourage people to enter contests should fall by the wayside.

4. Don’t try to game the system.
Don’t buy into simple tricks that will allow you to circumvent Facebook’s algorithm. You’ll lose.

5. Experiment and review metrics regularly.
Gather the appropriate staff for a weekly web meeting in which you review the station’s digital metrics. Keep track of what’s happening with Facebook. Set up experiments to see what impacts those metrics. If you see certain types of content reacting on the social network, produce more of that content.

6. Allocate a budget for Facebook ads.
They say a good drug dealer always gives away the first batch for free, then charges customers when they come back for more. I hate to tell you this, but Facebook may have gotten your station addicted. You may need to pay if you want to continue to see the same amount of traffic from the social network. Figure out how Facebook ads can help your station achieve its digital goals and start experimenting with paid advertising now.

7. Strengthen other incoming traffic channels.
While Facebook is far and away the most important social network for stations, it’s not the only one. Develop and strengthen your strategy with other social networks, including Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Also, pay attention to sources of traffic besides social networks, especially search engines like Google and YouTube. (YouTube is the second-largest social network.) Implement and fine tune your station’s email campaigns to drive website traffic. Lastly, don’t forget to use your airwaves to drive people to the station’s website. This is a powerful tool that most stations don’t fully take advantage of to drive website traffic.

In the end, Facebook’s changes may negatively impact your station’s ability to reach your audience. You will probably need to alter your station’s strategy as a result. But, if you are tracking everything appropriately, you’ll be able to determine the best course of action.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Editorial: How to Use Webinars as Part of Your Radio Station’s Sales Strategy

Seth Resler
Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

We often talk about how to put a digital strategy in place on the programming side of your radio station; but the sales wing of your building should have a digital strategy as well. While programming should be using the web to engage with listeners, the sales team should be using the web to generate leads:

(You may also want to check out our webinar on lead generation for radio stations.)

Webinars can be a powerful tool for generating sales leads. A webinar is just a slideshow presentation streamed over the internet as a live event. By creating webinars around content that your potential advertisers are interested in, you can initiate a relationship with them.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Select a webinar hosting service.

You’ll need a software service that allows you to host webinars. WebEx and GoToWebinar are the two most recognizable names in the webinar game, though a number of smaller vendors also offer services. Here are some factors to consider when picking a service:

  • How many people can register?
  • How many people can attend?
  • Customer service
  • Price
  • Customizable registration forms
  • Integration with your website, email service provider, and other digital tools
  • Bells and whistles: Q&A tools, polling, video playback, etc.

2. Pick a topic.

You’ll generate higher attendance by creating a webinar that’s helpful to potential clients as opposed to one that just pushes people to buy ads on your station. Identify a problem that your potential clients have and create a webinar that helps them solve it. Here are some possible topics:

  • A Guide to Understanding the Nielsen Ratings
  • Finding the Right Media Mix for Your Advertising Campaign
  • The Secrets to Writing Compelling Radio Ads
  • What Marketers Should Know About Millennials
  • 5 Mistakes First-Time Radio Advertisers Make
  • 5 Examples of Awesome Radio Ads (And What Makes Them So Effective)

Consider creating webinars that are aimed at specific types of businesses (car dealerships, beer distributors, retailers, non-profits, event organizers, etc.), specific job titles (marketing directors, agency directors, franchise owners, etc.) or specific times of year (Christmas, the Superbowl, the election, back to school, summer vacation, etc.).

3. Find a partner.

Hopefully, your radio station has an email database for listeners and a separate email database for potential clients. By all means, promote your webinar to the list of potential clients. But these people are already familiar with the radio station, and you’ll want to use the webinar to reach out to new prospects.

To do that, you’ll want to enlist a partner to help you promote the webinar. This can be any organization that has an email database targeting the same types of clients that you’re targeting, but that does not directly compete with your station.

Some possibilities:

  • Local business journals
  • Local business groups, such as the Chamber of Commerce, downtown or specific area business associations or economic development organizations
  • B-to-B organizations that target specific industries

Larger radio companies may want to offer webinars at the corporate level rather than the station or cluster level. In this case, you may want to team up with organizations that are bigger than just the individual market.

When selecting a partner, you are looking for an organization that can promote the webinar to their fans, followers and members. Co-brand the webinar (eg., “The Cincinnati Small Business Association presents ‘Understanding the Nielsen Ratings: A webinar with WKRP’”). You can invite your partner to introduce the presenter on the webinar. They get credit for providing the content and all they have to do is a bit of promotion; your station does all the content creation. Afterwards, share the list of registrants with your partner. It’s a win-win scenario.

4. Create your presentation.

Create a slideshow presentation that delves into your topic. Again, the key is to make the webinar helpful, not sales-driven. When they want to buy, they’ll come back to you. Aim for webinars that are no more than 30 minutes long.  Make sure your slide deck is strong: big on interesting photos but short on wordy slides.  Don’t just read the copy on the slides.  Instead, use them as ways to discuss a topic or transition.  If you don’t have the skills to build a strong deck, get help in this area.  Don’t complicate the webinar with live Q&A; instead, I encourage attendees to email us any questions they may have after the webinar.

5.  Create a follow-up asset and campaign.

Once people register for your webinar, you now have the ability to correspond with them via email. Create a plan for doing so. It’s always a good idea to follow up with an email containing another helpful asset, such as a related white paper, blogpost or the webinar recording. You will want to create two separate follow-up emails, one tailored to people who attended (“We hope you enjoyed the webinar…”) and one to registrants who did not (“We’re sorry you missed the webinar…”)

As with the webinar itself, these follow-up emails should be helpful, not sales-driven. But don’t be afraid to give people an option to talk to one of your salespeople if they want. (“If you’d like to talk to one of our account executives, call us anytime at (555) 555-5555.”)

6.  Post the webinar recording.

Webinars can generate leads long after the live presentation is over. Make a recording of your webinar available on your station’s or company’s website. Require people to fill out a form to access it so you capture their email address and include them in the follow-up campaign.

At Jacobs Media, we use webinars in the manner I just described. You can find a list of upcoming webinars, as well as an archive of webinar recordings here.


Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Editorial: How to Use RSS Feeds to Create a Free Radio Show Prep Service

Seth Resler
Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

A show prep service can be a valuable resource for on-air personalities. It can help overworked airstaff stay on top of current events. Unfortunately, prep services require you to trade out precious inventory. And, they can’t help your jocks keep up with local events.

Fortunately, you can use online services to create your own prep service. You can customize this to not only keep you plugged into to national news sources like Entertainment Weekly and People magazine, but local outlets like your hometown newspaper, bloggers from your neighborhood, or the college down the street as well. Best of all, you can do it for free by using RSS feeds.

Behold, the power of RSS

What is an RSS Feed?

Many websites, particularly websites that regularly publish new content like newspapers and blogs, offer RSS feeds. An RSS feed lets you view that site’s content in an RSS reader. Think of the reader as a TV set, and the RSS feeds as cable channels that you can plug into the back, allowing you to subscribe to just the content you want. This lets you pull all the info into one place where it’s easy to scan and read so you don’t have to go to each individual site. This is how we’re going to build your custom prep service:

1. Sign up for an RSS Reader.

An RSS reader will let you collect the articles from your RSS feeds into one convenient place. There are several RSS readers that are available for free. I recommend using Feedly.

2. See if your favorite websites have RSS feeds and subscribe.

Go to one of your favorite websites to see if it has an RSS feed you can subscribe to. One of the easiest ways to do this is to click the “Add Content” link in the left sidebar of Feedly and type in the URL of the site that you want to subscribe to. For example, click “Add Content” and type in “” You will see feed for the newspaper appear and you can click the button to add this to your Feedly list.

However, the New York Times actually offers numerous RSS feeds. For example, you can subscribe to a feed for the entire sports section or just tennis coverage. If you don’t want to every article on a website to appear in your Feedly account, look for RSS feeds to specific sections.


There are several ways to look for RSS feeds:

  • Some browsers will automatically display the RSS symbol in the URL bar when there is a feed you can subscribe to.
  • Look for the RSS symbol on the page. It is an orange square with two white radio waves, and can often be found next to the social media buttons or in the website’s footer.
  • On the homepage, hit Ctrl-F and search the page and type “RSS” to see if it takes you to the RSS link.
  • Try adding “/rss” or “/feed” to the end of the site’s URL.
  • If the site has a search box, search for “RSS feeds” (this is how you will find the RSS feeds on the New York Times‘ website).

Where should you pull your RSS feeds from? Here are some ideas.

3. Organize your feeds to fit your radio show.

Most RSS readers, including Feedly, allow you to organize your feeds into folders. For example, you could put all of your sports feeds into one folder and all of your celebrities feeds in another. This is helpful if you are looking for content to match specific features in your show (e.g., celebrity gossip, sports news, movie previews, etc.)

You can view all of the latest articles in a single folder, or click on an individual feed to see just articles from that source.

Tutorial Video

This post first appeared at

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Editorial: Here’s What Your Radio Station Should Be Sharing on Social Media

Seth Resler
Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

Social media can be a powerful tool for radio stations if it’s used as part of a Content Marketing strategy. Think of your website as a radio station. Just as you are continually airing content on your radio station — songs, DJs, contests, etc. — to attract an audience, you need to continually add content to your station’s website: blogposts, photos, videos, podcasts, etc.

Resler_ShareOf course, you want people to know that you are broadcasting this great content on your radio station, so you might put a billboard up by the highway to promote your station. After all, a lot of people drive along that route every day. By the same token, when you post great content to your website, you want to let people know by sharing that content on social media. That’s the “highway” they’re on every day.

If your website is like a radio station, Facebook is like a billboard by the highway. Posting to social media without continually creating content on your website is like putting up a billboard to advertise a radio station that isn’t broadcasting anything. Without content, social media loses most of its value.

What Content to Post to Social Media

Of course, if all you post on social media is links to your own station’s content, your social media presence can appear self-serving. Moreover, it can limit the scope of your social media presence. Some of your listeners may be passionate foodies, but if you don’t have anyone on staff who can create content around food, you won’t be able to engage them on this topic.

Joe Pulizzi, the founder of The Content Marketing Institute, popularized what’s known as the 4-1-1 Rule for sharing content on social media. (He credits Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping, with the rule’s creation.) The 4-1-1 Rule says:

“For every six pieces of content shared via social media (think Twitter for example):

  • Four should be pieces of content from your influencer target that are also relevant to your audience. This means that two-thirds of the time you are sharing content that is not yours and calling attention to content from your influencer group.
  • One piece should be original, educational content that you have created.
  • One piece should be sales-related — like a coupon, product notice, press release, or some other piece of content that no one will likely pay attention to.”

Jacobs Media Strategies Example

What does that look like in real life? At Jacobs Media, we practice the Content Marketing strategy that we preach. Every weekday, Fred Jacobs publishes a blogpost. But we share much more than just Fred’s posts on social media. Here’s a closer look:

4 Pieces of Influencer Content: The target audience for Jacobs Media is radio broadcasters. I follow the blogs of several other content creators that are also of interest to broadcasters. These include:

  • Industry news sites
  • Major companies, such as Nielsen
  • Thought leaders in specific niches, such as broadcast law, streaming, or podcasting

I have also set up Google Alerts, both to call my attention to stories on specific subjects, such as “connected cars,” and to alert me to general topics like “radio” in mainstream publications such as Forbes, the Huffington Post, and Business Insider.

Every morning, I spend 20 minutes scanning through all of this content and share out the stuff I think would be most interesting to our followers. I try to tag the author of the content in the social media post so they see we are sharing their content. This is particularly important when sharing content created by an influencer that we do not already have a personal relationship with. For example, if I see a great article written by a technology reporter for The Guardian, I will tweet it out and include the reporter’s Twitter handle in the hopes they will want to learn more about Jacobs Media.

I don’t adhere strictly to the 4-1-1 ratio; I simply share more content created by other people than I do content created by us.

1 Piece of Original, Educational Content: I always share our latest blogpost on social media. We also use a WordPress Plugin called Revive Old Post to share older blogposts, spread out throughout the day.

1 Piece of Sales-Related Content: I think of this as “Content that Converts“: While you don’t have to jump through any hoops to read our blogposts, we also have some “freemium” content on our website, including webinar recordings, guides, and research results. To access this content, you must fill out a form to sign up for our email database. So for Jacobs Media, the 4-1-1 Social Media Rule looks like this:

  • 4 pieces of content written by other radio broadcasting influencers
  • 1 post from our blog
  • 1 piece of “freemium” content

Remember, 4-1-1 is a ratio, not a hard a fast rule. We often post more that six social media posts per day, but they tend to loosely follow this ratio.

Video Tutorial

Radio Station Example

So how would the 4-1-1 Rule apply to radio stations? In much the same way:

4 Pieces of Influencer Content: A radio station’s list of influencers will include anybody in the local market creating content aimed at the same audience. This could include local:

    • Journalists, columnists, and TV stations
    • Sports teams
    • Schools and universities
    • Bloggers
    • Bands, musicians, and venues
    • Comedians and comedy clubs
    • Festivals and events

Create a list of local influencers who are creating content and share their content when it is appropriate.

1 Piece of Original Content: These are your blogposts, videos, photos, etc. Anything that does not require people to fill out a form to access.

1 Piece of Content that Converts: It doesn’t make a lot of sense for radio stations to regularly post sales-related content (“Advertise with us!”) on their social media channels, because your followers are mostly listeners, not clients. Instead, this last type of social media post is a Call to Action; in other words, it encourages people to complete one of the goals of your digital strategy. Those goals may include (among other things):

  • Streaming the station
  • Signing up for the email database
  • Entering a contest
  • Purchasing tickets to a station event

Here are some examples:

  • “DJ Dan will interview Drake at 5:00pm. Listen: [LINK TO AUDIO STREAM]”
  • “Get the details on all the hottest shows in the area. Sign up for our Concert Calendar Email: [LINK]”
  • “Want to see Muse at the Palladium? Enter To win tickets here: [LINK]”
  • “Kid Rock is headlining our Big Picnic concert this summer! Get tickets here: [LINK]”
  • “Did you miss the Zoo Crew’s interview with Nick Cannon? Listen to it here: [LINK TO THE RECORDING, WHICH IS BEHIND A FORM]”

When your radio station shares content on social media, keep the 4-1-1 Rule in mind. It’s a helpful rule of thumb.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Editorial: 7 Tips for Radio Stations Using Facebook Live

Seth Resler
Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

Facebook has recently unrolled Facebook Live, a feature that allows you to broadcast live video to your followers with a click of a button. There are a lot of helpful tips for using this new feature from trusted sources like Social Media Examiner, Mashable, and even Facebook itself.

Here are some tips to help you incorporate Facebook Live into your radio station’s digital strategy…

1. Know the Goals of Your Digital Strategy and Understand Facebook Live’s Role

jack hammer
Not intended for sheet rock. Only heavy metal.

Facebook Live is a tool, not a strategy. Treat it accordingly: Define your digital goals, develop a strategy for achieving those goals, and then select the right tools to execute that strategy. This may or may not include Facebook Live. A jackhammer is a wonderful tool, but if my goal is to hang a picture up on my living room wall, it’s not the right one for the job. In other words, don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “Everybody else is using Facebook Live, so we have to, too.”

Here’s an example: Suppose your station has decided that a key goal of your digital strategy is to sell more tickets to your radio station’s summer concert, the Big Lawn Party. You’ve determined that the key metrics you need to monitor are:

  1. The number of tickets sold
  2. The number of visitors to your website (because that’s where people go to buy the tickets).

The key question you’ve got to ask is, “How can Facebook Live help my station sell more tickets?”

Maybe it can and maybe it can’t. In all likelihood, it’s not a matter of “if” but of “how much?” But the crucial thing is that we’re keeping our eye on the larger picture.

Having said that, it is wise to experiment with Facebook Live so that your station can gain a better understanding of the tool. You may discover a way in which it helps you achieve your goals that you didn’t foresee. So while you may not want to make Facebook Live the lynchpin of your big summer promotion, it may be useful to have your night jock dabble with it a few times.

2. Set Yourself Up to Measure

Before you begin an experiment, make sure that you’re set up to measure the results. “Gut feelings” are a great way to guess if a new song will be a hit, but it’s not a sound digital strategy. Make sure that everybody agrees on the what you’re measuring — in our case, concert tickets sold — and how you’re measuring it. You may need some tools for this second part. For example, you could create a dedicated landing page at You can promote that url exclusively in your Facebook Live videos and track anyone who buys tickets through that page. It might sound like this:

“Hey, this is DJ Bob on Facebook Live, where every day at noon I’m giving you the behind-the-scenes scoop on the bands playing this year’s Big Lawn Party. You can find an archive of all of our Facebook Live videos and buy tickets at wkrp-dot-com-slash-big-lawn-party-secrets.”

Now, if people buy tickets because they saw your station’s Facebook Live videos, you’ll know.

Call to Action

As you can see, this means that you’ll want your Facebook Live broadcasts to have a very clear call to action. Don’t broadcast without knowing what you want to encourage viewers to do.

3. Decide Which Facebook Profile or Page You’re Broadcasting From

Radio stations may have multiple pages that they could broadcast from. For example, will Lisa from the “Rick and Lisa Morning Show” on WKRP broadcast live from her personal profile, her DJ Lisa Facebook page, the “Rick and Lisa Show” page, or the WKRP page? As a general rule, use the station’s page to broadcast live so people don’t have to follow many different people to catch your broadcasts. The exception to this rule would be a syndicated show that appears on multiple stations.

4. Have a Well-Defined Focus

Don’t start broadcasting live just for the sake of broadcasting live. Have clear focus for your broadcasts. Here are some situations where radio stations may want to take advantage of Facebook Live:

  1. Backstage Interviews at Concerts
  2. Acoustic Performances
  3. Morning Show Stunts
  4. Station Events

Any time your broadcast may include a musical performance, clear any rights issues with your station’s attorneys in advance.

5. Promote Your Broadcast in Advance

Promote your broadcast as destination viewing. Use all of the promotional channels at your disposal, including:

  • Social media
  • Email blasts
  • Live on-air reads
  • Recorded production elements.

For example, “All day Saturday, we’ll be broadcasting live from backstage at the Warped Tour. Follow us on Facebook to watch live interviews with the artists.”

6. Understand the Difference Between Live Video and Archived Video

There’s a difference between how people consume and interact with live video and archived video. Think about how you consume breaking CNN coverage of a national disaster and how that differs from the way you watch the latest episode of Empire. You may put CNN on in the background for six hours while you do other things, but you set aside an hour to watch Empire with a glass of wine. This types of differences will play a role when you produce video.

Live Video

With Facebook Live, you will produce a video that can both be consumed live and as an archive. Because it’s live, you want to make your broadcasts longer than if it were just archived; this gives people time to tune in. Live video also gives you the opportunity to interact with viewers. For example, if you are interviewing a band that’s playing at Big Lawn Day, you may want to encourage people to submit questions that you can ask them on the spot.

Archived Video

But, unlike your radio show, don’t assume that once the broadcast ends, your work is done. In fact, your video may get more views after the initial broadcast. Optimize your video after the fact by adding or editing the thumbnail image, the description, the date, and the time. Add a question that encourages further comments, and add a clear call to action (“If you want to see more Facebook Live videos, go to”) You may want to embed this video on your radio station’s website and promote it on your other social media accounts.

7. Carve Out Time to Review and Discuss the Results with Your Staff

Gather the appropriate staff members and review the results of your Facebook Live broadcasts together. Set aside a specific time to do this — ideally in your weekly Web Meeting; don’t relegate this to a passing hallway conversation. People may look at the same stats and draw different conclusions, so its important to discuss them as a group.

Facebook offers metrics for Live videos, but make sure you’re coupling these from other important sources, like Google Analytics. In our example, we not only want to see how many people watched our Facebook Live broadcast, but how many people went to the landing page at, and — most importantly — how many of those people bought tickets to the concert.

You may not find clear-cut answers. Remember, this is a new technology and you’re experimenting. “This had a minor effect” or “We need to do some more experimenting to see what works best” are perfectly reasonable conclusions.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Editorial: Podcast Listenership Is Growing Because of Google

Seth Resler
Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

As we’ve noted, the results of Techsurvey12 show that podcast consumption is rising. This year, 28% of respondents reported that they had listened to a podcast or on-demand audio in the past month, up from 21% the year before. (Watch Fred Jacobs’ webinar on Key Takeaways from Techsurvey12 here.)

Blubrry, one of the major podcast hosting services, has released new data, based on its clients, showing how podcasts are being consumed. They found that approximately two-thirds of all podcast consumption is happening on Apple iOS devices. This echoes similar findings from rival podcast hosting service Libsyn.

65.9% of podcast listening comes from the Apple ecosphere

This isn’t surprising. Apple devices come with a pre-installed Podcasts app. Until Google debuted a podcast directory in Google Play Music earlier this year, Android devices did not. Even now, Apple gives podcasts their own dedicated app — this was separated out from iTunes with iOS 6 in 2012 — while Android does not. As a result, Blubrry found that Apple’s Podcasts app produces far and away the highest percentage of podcast listening on mobile apps (20%):

Apple’s Podcasts App accounts for 20.2% of all podcast
listening on mobile apps

However, podcast consumption on Android devices is increasing, which may account for a large part of the overall increase in podcast consumption. Blubrry notes:

“While global listener volume is continuing to increase across all platforms, it is very apparent to our month-to-month and year-to-year data that Android is making significant gains in the global podcast ecosphere. For the first time in many years, we are seeing a significant increase in Android consumption…”

(Blubrry has been actively seeking to increase podcast listening on Android devices by developing a way to make it just as easy to subscribe to a podcast on your Android phone as it is to subscribe on an iPhone.)

Many people, myself included, have believed that a truly significant increase in podcast listening would be driven not just by compelling programs such as Serial(though they certainly help), but by Google’s embrace of the podcasting medium. Blubrry’s research suggests that this may finally be starting to happen.

To make a long story short: Now would be an excellent time for your station to start podcasting.

Recently, I hosted a webinar titled, “How to Launch a Podcast: An Introduction for Radio Station.”  Watch webinar recording here.

If you are already producing a podcast, be sure to submit it to Google Play Music’s podcast directory.

PODCAST-MOVEMENT-43-PNG-e1443537146912-150x150I also recommend sending a member of your station’s staff to the Podcast Movement conference in Chicago this July. This is the largest gathering of podcasters in North America with over 2,000 attendees expected this year.I will moderate a panel discussion with on-air personality Tom Leykis, talent coach and author Valerie Geller, Rob Greenlee (Head of Content at Spreaker), and Doug Berman (executive producer of NPR’s Car Talk and Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!). My session is called, “Podcast Makeover: A Live Critique Session with Broadcasting Legends.”

We have arranged a special discount to the conference for Jacobs Media clients.  Please email me for details.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Editorial: 5 Ways to Dip Your Radio Station’s Toe into the World of Podcasting

Seth Resler
Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

Fred Jacobs recently hosted a webinar in which he revealed the key takeaways from our Techsurvey12, the radio broadcasting industry’s largest survey. At one point, he asked, “Is podcasting really the next big thing?” Based on the research results, he answered, “Yes, we think it is.”

In fact, 28% of respondents reported listening to a podcast in the last month, which is up from 21% last year. With Google recently introducing a new podcast directory into Google Play Music app, making podcasts more accessible on Android phones, that number is only going to grow.

If podcasting has been on your station’s back burner, and you’re still not ready to take the plunge and dedicate resources to creating a station podcast, how can you ease into this world? Here are some suggestions…

1. Send a staff member to the Podcast Movement conference in Chicago this July.
The third annual Podcast Movement conference will take place on July 6-8th in Chicago. This is the largest gathering of podcasters in North America, with over 2,000 attendees expected. I will moderate a panel discussion with on-air personality Tom Leykis, talent coach and author Valerie Geller, Rob Greenlee (Head of Content at Spreaker), and Doug Berman (executive producer of NPR’s “Car Talk” and “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!”). My session is called, “Podcast Makeover: A Live Critique Session with Broadcasting Legends.”

The sessions are full of practical, actionable tips covering every aspect of podcasting, from the content creation to the promotion to the technical details. Find somebody on your staff who is passionate about podcasts and send them to this conference to scout out the landscape. We have a special discount rate exclusively for Jacobs Media clients — email me for details.

2. Join the Podcasters Google+ community.
There is a vibrant community of nearly 8,000 podcasters on Google+. This is a very supportive group of peers who are more than willing to answer any question you might have, from the best recording gear to interview techniques to guest-booking strategies. Join, lurk, and participate.

3. Listen to a podcast about podcasting.
If you’ve never listened to a podcast, now is the time to see what all the hype is about. If you’re an iPhone owner, it’s easiest to use the Podcasts app that comes on your device. If you’re an Android phone owner, you can either listen using Google Play Music, or download a “podcatcher” app like Pocket Casts. Browse and subscribe to a few podcasts, then download an episode and see what you like. Here are some suggestions:

The Audacity to Podcast
The Feed
New Media Show
Podcast Answer Man
Podcast Junkies
Podcast Group Therapy
The Podcast Report
The Podcasters’ Studio
Powerpress Podcast
School of Podcasting

…and there are plenty more where that came from.

4. Check out the Podcasters Roundtable.
Ray Ortega hosts a bi-weekly video discussion about podcasting. Each installment focuses on a different aspect of podcasting. Check out to hear leaders in the podcast space share their views on a wide variety of topics.

5. Watch our webinar on podcasting.
On May 19, I hosted a webinar called, “How to Launch a Podcast: An Introduction or Radio Stations.” Watch this as I walk you through a step-by-step process for getting your station’s first podcast off the ground. I’ll cover everything from how to develop an engaging show concept to how to submit your podcast to iTunes.

Watch here.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

The Importance of Asking: How to Grow Your Radio Station’s Email List

Seth Resler
Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

A month ago, we relaunched the Jacobs Media Strategies website. One of the main reasons – aside from the need for all businesses to have a strong website – was because we wanted to have a living, breathing example of the Content Marketing digital strategy that we preach. In short, we didn’t want to just tell you that it works; we wanted to be able to show you that it works.

“But you’re not a radio station!”

That’s true. But Content Marketing is not a radio strategy. It can be adapted for use by radio stations, but it is a marketing strategy that’s used by thousands of companies outside the business.

Including ours.

Our Goal
The first and most important question you can ask when it comes to your station’s website is this: “What do we want people to do when they come to our site?” This is your goal.

Your station may have multiple goals for its website. For example, you may want people to:

  • Stream your station
  • Join the email list
  • Enter a contest
  • Click on an ad
  • Buy tickets to a station event
  • Purchase station merchandise
  • Request advertising information

The more accurately you can tie those goals to your station’s bottom line, the better. This is easier for some businesses than others. If you sell gadgets or good through your website, it’s very easy to connect website goals to revenue. It’s tougher with a radio station. It’s also challenging with a consulting and research firm like ours, where our arrangements with clients depend on a wide range of factors.

We decided that the goal of our website is to drive people to sign up for our email list.

Calls to Action
We redesigned our website with that goal in mind. If you look closely, you will see that we encourage people to sign up in several different places:

  • In a Pop-Up Window: After you’ve been on the site for enough time, a box will open asking if you’d like to subscribe to our blog. This pop-up does not appear on the mobile version of the site.
  • In the Sidebar: On the desktop version of the website, there is a box in the sidebar inviting readers to subscribe to the blog.
  • At the end of Blogposts: At the end of every blogpost, we invite people to sign up to receive the blog by email.
  • Research Results: We put a lot of “freemium” content behind forms. It doesn’t cost people anything to access it, but they have to fill out a form providing their data and subscribing to the blog.
  • Webinars: We use this form for both live and recorded webinars.
  • Guides: We have created several guides, such as our “12 Steps to Launching a Successful Blog,” behind forms.
  • Videos: Our short videos are not behind forms, but a handful of longer ones are.
  • Contact Form: When you fill out the contact form, you can check a box and subscribe to our blog.

In the month since we’ve launched the new site, our email list has grown by nearly 40%. We wanted to know which of these sources was driving the most email signups. Every email signup form on the site passes an unseen code that allows us to track this. Here’s how they break down:
New-Subscriber-Sources-1024x619The pop-up window was the top source, resulting in more than a quarter of the new email signups. Pop-up windows are very effective at driving email signups. (Note: This does not mean your radio station should start using pop-up windows for advertisers, only to attract sign-ups for your own station email list.)

One of the more interesting findings is that we didn’t need to bribe people to sign up for our blog: 27% of signups came from the Pop-Up Window and 15% came from the Sidebar / End of Post forms. In other words, 42% of people subscribed to our mailing list just because we asked them to. That may be something to think about in your web efforts.


Two other big sources were Study Results at 25% (driven by our recently completed Techsurvey) and Live Webinars at 18%. Obviously, your station doesn’t have these assets to offer to listeners. But, you very likely have other things that could help you accomplish your goals. You might track contest entries, or put “freemium” content like artist interview recordings behind a form.

Decide what you want people to do when they come to your radio station’s website. Then set up your site so you can not only track the number of visitors who are accomplishing that goal, but also how they are accomplishing it.

We are doing our best to not just talk the talk, but actually walk the walk. We hope you can benefit from our efforts, and we invite your ideas and feedback.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Editorial: Please Recycle. It Increases Your Radio Station’s Web Traffic

Seth ReslerBy: Seth Resler, Jacobs Media Strategies

As broadcasters, we tend to view our content as fleeting. We do one on-air break and move on to the next, never looking back. But the internet allows us to get more life out of our content long after it’s published – or aired. Shinedown may be performing in your town tonight, but that doesn’t mean that people won’t still want to hear your morning show’s interview with the band six months from now. By making this content available on the web, you can get even more value out of it after it first airs.

synchronize-150123_640-200x193But, your efforts shouldn’t end when you air the content and/or publish it on your station’s site; continue to promote it as well. By resharing your older content on social media, you can increase the number of people who come to your website.

We recently relaunched the Jacobs Media Strategies website. On the new site, which was built in WordPress, we included a plugin that recycles older content. This plugin randomly selects blogposts from the last six months and automatically reshares them on social media. As a result, we’ve seen a lift in our website traffic.

Generally, these older posts will see a small number of clicks every time they are reshared. But, over the course of a week, these add up to a significant amount of traffic. Over a month, and you can definitely see solid increases.

And, every once and a while, an older post will go viral. Last week, we reshared our Radio’s Most Innovative profile of KZEW’s “Zoo World.” When it was first published, the post attracted a healthy amount of interest, but it garnered even more traffic the second time around. Many people who missed the post when it was first published now shared it over social media, and as a result, this was one of our top blogposts of the week – despite the fact it’s several months old.

Jacobs Media Strategies

Webinar: Understanding the Connected Car

Serious changes are coming to the dashboards of American cars. Here’s what your radio station needs to know

It’s helpful to divide your blogposts into two categories: evergreen content and topical content. People will still be interested in hearing your Little Steven interview years from now, while the preview of the 2016 Arts and Wine Festival will not be valuable once the event is over. While most of the posts in our blog have a long shelf life, we are careful not to reshare posts that wouldn’t make sense at a later date. (We don’t want our “Happy Thanksgiving!” blogpost to reappear on Facebook in July.)

To get more life out of your station’s online content, use a service like Buffer, or a WordPress plugin like Revive Old Posts or Evergreen Post Tweeter.

And, remember, it pays to recycle!

Questions? Contact me.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.