But We’re AC (or HAC) … How Important Is Social Media For Our Brand?

I think most programmers agree that social media is an important component of today’s marketing mix for CHR, Rhythmic, & Alternative/Active Rock formats.  Hot AC has generally come along for the ride, too (especially brands with high profile talent).  But, I’ve recently talked with some programmers and managers who asked how much time should be devoted to social media on their AC, Country, or “upper demo” formats.  Quite simply, my answer was “more.”

Not only are “upper demos” the fastest growing cell of new Facebook users, but the psychographic profile of their most active users matches perfectly with the traditional Adult format target.

Adults with Children actually tend to be more active with social media, according to a recent study published by Media Audit60% of adults with children in the household used Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace compared to 51.3% of all adults.  Parents of younger children were even more active (67.1%) compared to 58% of parents with a teen at home.

This is the desirable “young adult in the acquisition stage of life” target consumer of so many radio advertisers:

  • 65.9% plan to make a computer related purchase within the next year (77.6% of parents with chilren under 6);
  • 62.7% plan to purchase a vehicle (70.4% of parents with children under 6);
  • 57.3% plan to buy a major appliance;
  • 57.4% plan a home rennovation project;
  • 63.3% plan to purchase video equipment; and,
  • 59.9% plan to purchase a new television.

Now, you might ask “what are these supposedly busy parents doing on Facebook?”  It’s pretty obivous – the children themselves are leading them online to share photos, videos from their new Flip(c) camera, connecting with family and friends easily, watching how their kids behave online, or just to get new product reviews before making a major purchase.

Your brand MUST be there to communicate AND interact with loyal fans and potential new listeners, regardless of your format.  If you don’t have the resources to be everywhere, Facebook is the most mainstream destination that demands your time building a strong presence (including dialogue with fans).

Of course, this leads us to the next obvious question … How much access to your social network (“friends”) should you grant to your “partners” (advertising clients)?  There is certainly revenue potential in delivering commercial messages via your social platforms; but, at what risk to losing fans who “Like” YOU – not the partner whose message you just shared with them?  I’d love to hear your opinion, leave a comment below.

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