As a radio broadcaster, you should always be looking for new ways to keep your audience engaged. Whether you are trying to increase your online listenership, sell merchandise, or make your station more visible online. Whatever it may be, here’s a complete social media strategy for radio station broadcasters you can start using today.

Using Social Media to Find New Listeners

Social media is where listeners are at and where you need to be as well. Most radio stations use social media to do the following.

  • Listen to what people are talking about, locally and nationally.
  • Connect with businesses, volunteers, and organisations.
  • Keep people aware of the station.
  • Promote shows and what’s going on in your area.
  • Signpost presenters at events to get interviewees or contributors to your show.
  • Build better partnerships.

Currently the most popular networks are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Facebook for example has over 2 billion active monthly users.

Each one is a bit different from the other, for example, LinkedIn has a corporate feel to it and is often used by working professionals.

  • Facebook - Connect with friends, family, colleagues, and just about anybody! Add your own Facebook app like an embeddable radio player promote your station using ads.
  • Twitter - Keep it simple and concise with Twitter’s short 140 character messages. Update your followers or find out what’s currently trending with keywords. Just like Facebook, you can use ads to promote your station and get noticed.
  • LinkedIn - Easily the most popular professional network for individuals and businesses alike. Find groups or broadcasters like yourself for creative ideas.
  • Instagram - Completely based on sharing photos and videos, Instagram is the best place to visually share your stories.

Ideally, you should be on as many social networks as you can. Search for groups in Facebook/LinkedIn or keywords on Twitter to find your audience. What are people talking about? What’s trending? The benefit of Twitter for example is you can see trending topics.

Trending topics can be quite vague. Narrow down on your target audience by using specific hashtags. For example, if you run a morning radio show search for #morningradio.


Social media is a both a posting platform and research tool. What are people currently talking about? Are your competitors doing something cool? Take inspiration from them and how they engage with their audience on Twitter.

When Social Media Goes Wrong (and Right)

Sometimes, social media strategies can either be brilliant or backfire spectacularly. For example, BBC Radio Leeds started asking questions about biscuits!

Then there’s the time Key 103 was more upbeat than they intended to be.


When you are aiming to share content to your target audience, it needs to be relevant to them. A good example is if you are running a morning breakfast show suggest morning meal ideas.


For more examples of content tailored for social networks then check out our guide on Social Media for Radio Stations: Why You’re Using it Wrong & How to Fix it.

Growing Your Audience During Broadcasts

What does your average listener care about? Get to know your audience a little better by asking questions, for example, Facebook and Twitter offer polls. Ask relevant questions about your station like the type of music they prefer.

Alternatively, share different types of content to see what works best. Which has the most re-tweets, responses, and likes? The more engaged listeners are, the more reason to create similar content.

Are you fortunate enough to get a celebrity guest on your show? For example, if you run a show focused on food then someone like Gordon Ramsay will definitely boost your listener numbers. Celebrities like this already have a large following and carry fans over to your shows. In a way, celebrities guests are an endorsement, even if the show does not go as well as expected.

The point is, relevant and well known guests grow your listener numbers by communicating with their followers for greater reach. Whilst you have their attention during the interview, promote your upcoming events or campaigns.

It’s best to know in advance what you want to promote so your messaging is clear. Take BCB Radio for example. They use social media as part of their strategy to engage and grow their listeners. All content is pre-recorded and largely speech-based. This presents them with the opportunity of what to expect during shows and plan social content around it. They pick out the most interesting bits and promote them in advance for when the show goes live.

Social media can help generate revenue for your station to sell to your community or attract advertisers. It may take time to figure out the best way social content can help you do this, but there are good opportunities to engage and experiment.

There are paid ways you can engage with listeners. Take targeted ads for example. Promote your messaging on places like Twitter and Facebook to relevant users. For example, as a broadcaster you might see promotions for audio equipment.

Targeted ads boost posts for greater visibility. People that wouldn’t otherwise see your content will be in their line of sight. Once you have their attention convert them into listeners. The Listener Magnet Course is a 6 week guide on how to do just that. Learn everything there is to know about the best social media strategies to grow your audience.

Using Social Media Post-Broadcast

Once your broadcast has finished it doesn’t mean it’s over. Repurpose content post-broadcast to get more out of your shows. Funnel your ideas into a life cycle model. Create, broadcast, distribute, and manage shows to optimise each step for higher engagement.

  1. Create - Structure content and topics based on previously well received shows through social media and build on what worked.
  2. Broadcast - Connect with your listeners live during your shows. Send out messages on Facebook or Twitter to keep your audience engaged.
  3. Distribute - Share your shows to on-demand services like Mixcloud for listeners that missed them the first time around.
  4. Manage - Keep the conversation going online through social media. Talk to fans and take onboard feedback to use for future shows.

The idea is to inspire future shows based off of the reaction from social media. Did a show not do so well when broadcast live? Did it do better when distributed to on-demand platforms? Use this feedback to tailor content and improve. For example, BBC Radio 1 does this with mixes, guests, and recording sessions by making them available post-broadcast on their website.

Then there’s Radio X. They distribute shows after they have finished to third-party platforms like iTunes, TuneIn, and Mixcloud. All of which are free and easy to use. Syndicate your content to places like Mixcloud and SoundCloud to give your broadcasts longevity.

Are you shows really long? Trim them down to make them more engaging. Alternatively, split them into multiple episodes like Monocle. 30 minute shows are divided into bite-sized chunks of around 10 minutes. Listeners travelling or short of time can listen to one or two episodes from the mini-series.

Grow your followers by managing distributed shows properly. For example, did you speak with a guest? Include them in your social messages so they can re-share with their followers. Expand beyond your usual circle of fans through re-tweets or quotes from others that have enjoyed your shows.

Listeners may prefer to stay tuned into your station, if that’s the case then replay old shows. Radio.co allows you to record your scheduled live events and store them in your media library. This is great if you want to re-run shows at a later date.

Alternatively, download your shows so you can publish it to MixCloud, SoundCloud, or any other third party podcasting service. For more info then check out this help guide.

5 Social Media Techniques You Should be Using

1. Content Strategy and Planning

The best way to attract listeners is by thinking about what they might be searching for and creating content around that.

Brainstorm ideas you think listeners might be looking for. Create shows, articles, and videos around these topics. For example, is there a well known band playing in your area? Share content around the band like fun trivia on your social profiles. Run competitions during your shows like giving away free tickets.

In the UK, the Manchester Arena re-opened to some big performers like Noel Gallagher, The Counteeners, and Blossoms. Radio stations in the area were running promotions and competitions. By creating content around trending topics or keywords you can increase traffic to your website and ultimately increase listener numbers.

2. Setting Up Profiles Successfully

Present your station in the best way possible by using social media the right way. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Clear description of your organisation.
  • Good use of logos and images that fit the social network.
  • Set targets for frequency and quality of posts.
  • Building your station’s presence, identity, and voice.
  • Planning content in advance.

The idea is to setup your profile to be as engaging as possible. For example, plan content in advance with a weekly schedule. Will your listeners feel unmotivated during a Monday morning show? Post content that will reach them using the right tone. In this case, try uplifting messages with the hashtag #MondayMotivation.


3. Tracking and Analytics Explained

Know who your audience is using analytics and tracking software. For website tracking try Google Analytics. It’s incredibly easy to setup and use. View how well your website performs and how people are arriving, for example, a majority of listeners may come from Facebook. You can make adjustments to your pages based off how visitors interact with your site.

Using Reports in your Radio.co Dashboard, you can also view listener analytics for your station. Get to know where listeners are tuning in from, which device they are using, and how long they stayed connected. Much like Google Analytics, it’s very useful information to tailor your shows for certain times or for a specific audience. For more on how you can use Radio.co for your station then check out this help guide.

4. Applying the 4-1-1 Technique

For every 6 pieces of content shared through social media it should follow a flow like this.

  • 4 pieces of content aimed at your target audience that’s from other sources, effectively you’re sharing other people’s content.
  • 1 piece is original that’s educational or tutorial focused.
  • 1 piece should be sales related like a product pitch or press release.

Essentially you need 4 pieces of influencer content by a third-party, create educational content, and create sales content. For more on the 4-1-1- technique, check out this article

5. Using Evergreen Content

One mistake many stations make is to think that they constantly need to churn out new content. Whilst it’s important to create trending content and talk about things listeners are searching for, make sure you don’t overlook existing popular content you have. This is what’s known as “Evergreen Content”. For example, recorded broadcasts are always popular with listeners.

The best way to promote your evergreen content is by uploading it to sites like SoundCloud and Mixcloud. Create blog posts featuring recorded shows to draw in listeners that searching online.

Producing Organic Content to Grow Naturally

Organic content are things that can be found naturally like blog posts or videos. For example, our friends over at MCR Live run a blog and post local events and reviews on the latest music. They also showcase bands and artists for cross promotion, like Noah Gundersen who released a new album.

However, running your own radio station can often leave you with a lack of free time to produce extra bits of content like this. You may find yourself pulling in different directions, unable to create the the best content you can. However, you are not alone!

Your listeners are a great way to get a fresh perspective and some free content in the process. Using the audience-volunteer model, enlist people to help out. Here are 6 reasons why you should try it.

  • Minimal Time - Spend a short amount of time find and setting your volunteers to work on content for your shows.
  • Zero Training - Volunteers do not need to be highly skilled to contribute. When asking them to get involved, keep your instructions simple, easy to follow, and plenty of room to be creative.
  • Unique Content - What better way to showcase the best of your station then from another person’s point of view. Listeners sharing their own unique perspective craft content otherwise unattainable.
  • Listeners in the Spotlight - Showcase the best of your listeners. Invite them onto your shows or ask them to get involved behind the scenes contributing fresh ideas.
  • Little to No Cost - You don’t have to spend money hiring and directing people with volunteers. Aside from incentives to get listeners involved (like free merchandise), there’s very little to no cost.
  • Connect Listeners to Each Other - Enrich your radio community by connecting listeners to one another.

For more tips on getting people involved in your shows then check out our guide on How to Turn Your Radio Listeners into Content Collaborators.

5 Greatest Competitions of All Time

Give people something to talk about. Generate buzz around weekly competitions as part of your social media strategy. Use hashtags to get it trending and follow the discussion online.

Throughout the years there have been plenty of successful competitions, but these are 5 of the best worth taking inspiration from:

  1. Battle of the Sexes (The Morning Crew) - A twist on the traditional trivia game, battle of the sexes pits men against women. Each team are asked related questions of the opposite sex. The gender team with the most correct answers at the end wins. The promotion was so popular it was converted into a television show.
  2. Pay Your Bills (Absolute Radio) - Listeners send in bills they would like paid. People have to tune in during to hear a randomly selected listener. If their name gets picked, their bill gets paid. Simple, but effective way of offering free money.
  3. Mystery Voice (XS Manchester) - Put your listener ears to the test. Play an audio clip from an unknown person so they can try and guess who it is.
  4. Bunch of Fives (BBC Radio 4) - Announce 5 songs will be played throughout your show. When listeners hear these 5 songs in a row they win a prize. People stay engaged for longer if there’s incentive for them.
  5. Birthday Wheel (BIG FM) - Simple, but effective. Draw a date and invite listeners to call in with their matching birthdate. First one to call in wins.

Create interesting competitions like these to properly engage with your listeners. Make it fun, make it silly, and make it something unique your audience will want to talk about and take part in.

Growing Listeners and Revenue Using Social Promotions

Social media can help you generate revenue for your radio station. Either by acting as a channel to talk to and sell to your community or by helping attract advertisers. It may be confusing at first to figure out which method works best for your station, but here are a few opportunities worth trying.

  • Selling Physical Products - Merchandise like t-shirts, cups, or third-party goods through affiliate links like with Amazon.
  • Crowdfunding - Using platforms like Crowdfunder or Indiegogo to raise money for a project or specific piece of equipment to improve your shows.
  • Advertising - Work with local businesses to help promote their services in return for a profit.
  • Commercial Partnerships - Get invested by companies that can help with your station’s finances in return for promotional partnership deals.

Here at Radio.co we worked with radio industry expert Kate Cocker as part of the Great Radio Presenter course. It’s packed with awesome tips and tricks like the SMS money method. At Key 103 they would get callers texting in answers for competitions. The prizes were always good, like tickets to a popular band or a holiday away. However, cost of texting was £1, so the station made a lot of money even after spending it on prizes.

There’s no quick way to make money from your station. It takes hard work, dedication, and a good well thought out plan to follow. Get inspired by successful radio stations and how they make money. Check out How Internet Radio Stations Make Money and how you can too.