Many radio stations have at least some social media presence. Often it’s an on-air personality or newsperson going out on his or her own to start a Facebook page, Twitter account, or blog. In the downsizing that has occurred since the consolidation of the industry began, utilizing digital media has been relegated to the back burner by even some of the largest companies, who don’t see the advantages, let alone money-making possibilities. In short, let me share a few ideas that could help if your stations are considering diving into the social media pool.

Social media reaches your audience when they aren’t listening to the radio. You can stay in touch with them during the workday, leisure time, and anywhere a computer or mobile device goes. You can engage them in conversations even when a live personality is not in the studio.

Can’t afford extra news help? Your social media audience is now your instant news, traffic, and lifestyle reporting staff, and even videographers for your website and social media presence. Many law enforcement agencies are already using social media to send out traffic alerts; you can share them with your on-air and online audience. You may find you even have free comedy writers! Your morning team’s best one-liner could come from someone you’re following on Twitter. What better bang for the buck (or no buck) is that? When your staff produces content that isn’t duplicated on the radio station, that’s another place to place advertising.

Where is the money? It can be in several places, but it may involve a shift in thinking. Is yours a radio station with a website, or a media company that happens to have transmitters and towers? What about growing separate businesses and channels that attract business categories that you don’t have now? Combining radio with social media including video, you could make a fitness coach or chiropractor a local star! How about your own interactive coupon site, complete with video?

Would you like your sales staff to be thought leaders and experts in advertising and social media? Blogging and a sales website can help make that happen. A great example is Scott Howard’s extensive sales and marketing website for the Summit City Radio Group in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Once you and your staff have learned how to help businesses integrate social media with their radio advertising, you can begin charging consulting fees to area businesses to help them maximize their social media presence.

Sound interesting so far?