NOTE: Some tools, processes and applications described in this video have been updated. For example, Facebook performance is now managed using Meta Business Suite.
Social media is an incredibly useful tool for staying connected with other people. It has become integrated into almost every part of our daily lives. If you want your show to be relevant, you must bring it on air and online. As a DJ, you can leverage this direct conduit to your audience to connect with them on your show. Social media also acts as an extension of your affiliate's brand and identity within the community. An effective AFN Radio Show exists in multiple places: live, on air, through the radio and AFN TV, but also online via the AFN Go app and your affiliate Facebook page.
In an era where apps deliver music instantly anywhere, what makes AFN stand out is our personal connection to the military community. The listener tunes in to hear your unique personality and take on local events even online. Your audience lives online. This requires you to join them during the day while they pull out their phones. When are you online? When you wake up? During your lunch break? Before dinner? Well, so is your listener. These are great times to schedule posts for your page.
PRO TIP: Look for "Schedule Posts" in Meta Business Suite, formerly known as Facebook publishing tool.
Social Media Strategy
You always want to consider your objectives and goals for your social media integration. Which segment of your audience are you targeting with this post? Is this the best time of day to post this content?
PRO TIP: Check your "Insights" tab in Meta Business Suite to see when your fans are online!
This is a great way to engage in effective clock orientation. People love to play along with trivia games or riddles in the morning. Afternoons offer great opportunities to push a new video your team has produced or one you're cross-posting with another organization.
PRO TIP: To learn more, watch the AFN Refresher on clock orientation.
NOTE: Build a strong social media strategy to increase internal and external awareness of your organization's social media policies, boost engagement, gain feedback and monitor public perception.
Establishing cross-posting and sharing relationships with other pages and organizations is a great way to augment the amount of content available for you to use on air. It can be a great asset when targeting DoD observances and initiatives. Another page may have created a "Get to Know Your Military" video that you can cross post on your page. You can repackage the content on your page by asking the audience to post a picture of themselves in their most interesting pursuits outside of the uniform.
Using and sharing videos across organizations gives you more content to work with for less work. Plus, it helps push collaboration with your partner organizations.
PRO TIP: Make your content available to partners to boost reach!
Your social media presence should be alive and engaging. If you've made a post and are asking the audience to participate with you, they expect you to engage with them. Responding with a question is one way to keep the conversation going.
Live Dynamic Content
If you ask the trivia question, "What is the sweetest fruit?" And someone responds with a comment that simply says, "Strawberries." Don't just say, "Nope, try again." Say something like, "That was a pretty sweet guess, but not quite. I used to eat a ton of strawberries, too. Did you ever dip them in chocolate?"
The goal here is to keep the relationship with the audience two-way. You want them to be able to converse with you. Following them up with a question encourages this and it's much more interesting. When interacting with the audience online, add a personal flair to your engagement, just like you would live with the mic open.
It's mangoes, by the way.
If your morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) programs have a zombie run in the next few weeks, share last year's photo album directly with the MWR social media page. This pushes inter-organizational traffic to each social media page and helps to give you visual content that you can push to on-air listeners to and for a more full experience with your show.
When you need to discuss an upcoming policy change that will affect your area of responsibility, share an article with a service component-level page or your local garrison, base or installation that will help provide context to your on-air product and inform listeners who are only participating online. Building relationships with other stations, offices such as Public Affairs and Strategic Communication and other organizations, helps form a synergy and campaign opportunities for cross-promotions.
Get a feel for the success of your page by making good use of your metrics. On Facebook, if your page is a business page, you can utilize the insights tab to monitor page views, likes, engagements and actions. Look for content that is engaging and produces comments, likes and shares. Targeted engagement is key and will yield a far more significant metric than the views in the reach. The algorithm will push your content to see more viewers if it's engaging.
Use the insight tools and sit down with your team frequently to monitor your pages' successes. This is a great way to better understand how your unique community responds to the content you're producing and how you're packaging it on air. A good DJ adapts to their audience so they are not spending time and energy on the wrong demographic.
Do's and Don'ts
Ensure you're responsive to community members, and if your page is quick to reply to inquiries and responds to messages, it will be noted publicly on your page. You want this.
NOTE: It is important to establish a comment strategy or policy that lays out expectations for review, moderation and removal of violations.
It is important to stay informed on the latest DoD social media policies, such as DoDI 5400.17. Social media mechanics are always changing, and so must the policies that guide how we operate online. Contact your leadership for the latest policies because proper usage of social media can help make for an effective and relevant show.
Get creative, try new things and, most importantly, have fun. Practice makes perfect. Have a great show.