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Who Replies to Emails and Social Media Comments at Your Station?

The results from our seventh NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study are in. We’ll be sharing our latest insights as we move through 2016 – though we’ll save some for clients, some for the designs of our revolutionary direct marketing programs for clients and still others for our keynote at the Worldwide Radio Summit in April.

Many of us who’ve spent our careers working in and around radio began as fans of radio: calling in for requests, participating in station contests, attending remotes and, occasionally, writing fan letters. If you were lucky enough to have your letter acknowledged, the response was a one-size-fits-all form letter, along the lines of, “Thank you for your comments. It’s great to know how much you enjoy the station. We take letters like yours very seriously and we will consider your thoughts when deciding what to play on the station.”

Today, a reply like that to an email or comment on a station website or social media page would probably start a war with a listener. Today responses have to be honest and direct and written on a one-to-one basis; responses must feel authentic. It’s a huge commitment for staffs that are already stretched thin for most clusters, let alone a single station within a cluster.

Yet the results of our latest Ratings Prospects Study, sampled across all PPM markets among persons 14-54, show that there are significant percentages among the constituencies for all the major music formats who say they pay more attention to stations that interact with them on social media. Even at the lower end of the scale here, would any station be well advised to give up getting additional attention from people representing 30% of its audience?

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When we sift apart those most likely to engage and get their household’s commitment to participate in a metered panel or keep diaries (yes, we modeled diary participation this time around, even though our sample is all PPM markets), we see these likely ratings participants are even more keen on paying attention to the stations that interact with them in Social Media.

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While the numbers within the Nielsen samples aren’t very big, there’s an outsized chance that each one of those Social Media interactions could be with a current or future participant. You’ll want to leave every commenter with the best impression possible. If members of your on-air staff are responding to listeners, you’ll want to give them thorough guidance on how to reply if comments become difficult to answer or confrontational.

With results from Nielsen ratings samples utterly critical and word-of-mouth having accelerated to the speed of light via Social Media, there’s just no margin for error when responding to listeners in 2016.

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