When did radio become BuzzFeed?

Has anyone else noticed a change in many radio station’s social media approach recently?

They used to tell me who was the guest on tomorrow morning’s breakfast show or share some important local news with me. Now they seem to have ditched all that and are giving me “viral” content.

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Yes it seems that radio station’s social media has become a poor man’s BuzzFeed. I don’t get. It won’t be a success, copycats rarely are.

It doesn’t look like the audience like it either. A recent post on a local FM station’s page promising to go behind the scenes of a tv show got a mighty zero shares, 2 likes and 4 clicks. That’s from a potential Facebook audience of 150,000. In contrast Jack FM Oxfordshire recently posted a picture of an empty ice cream tub (part of a breakfast show series of what not to do to a pregnant woman). It got 64 likes from a potential Facebook audience of 12,000.

By my estimates Jack FM’s much more organic and natural post was 200 times more viral.

Most BuzzFeed articles don’t get a huge audience either but BuzzFeed works because it posts hundreds of articles a day, the few that really take off compensate for the many that don’t.

It seems like some people have forgotten the social part of social media. They’ve given up on engagement and conversation. That is a pity as social media can bring a radio station and its audience much closer.

It also seems strangely targeted, aimed at a teenage girl rather that the 30-something who more typically listens to the radio.

Maybe it’s just the people I know on Facebook but I honestly can’t remember the last time one of my friends shared a post from a British radio station (they didn’t work for!). They do share radio station content but it’s from American and Australian stations. The content they share is all on Facebook too, it’s not a click through to a radio station website.

I’m sure it’s part of a thought through strategy that makes sense somewhere but not to me.

People click ‘like’ on a radio stations page because they want to be closer to the station. How many will stay liking the page if they wanted news on their local football team and have ended up with 100 cute cat pictures? And how many new likes will you get when other content providers are doing it better?

I don’t see the strengths of UK radio on Facebook any more – personality, localness and timeliness. That’s a shame.

About the Author: Euan

With over 20 years media experience, Euan McMorrow is a multi award winning radio programmer with a track record in boosting radio station ratings and nurturing talent on to bigger and better things.

Known for his creativity and no-nonsense style he’s also deeply experienced in branding, product launches, new media, PR, stunts and coaching.

Many of his ideas and presenters he’s worked with can be heard on radio stations all around the world.