This post is meant to be a starting point for discussing some of the techniques that internet radio stations can use to harness the power of social media to drive traffic to their site and listeners to their streaming servers. This is not an exhaustive list of techniques - but this should be a good starting place for a radio station director or manager. Although these steps take time and each one of them requires some ongoing management time - you can be sure that each step will give you more exposure and in turn will lead to more listeners and visitors.
Let's start with the social media darling - facebook.
It is a very good idea to set up a fan page for your radio station on facebook. This would be a different account from your own personal account - trust me on this - it may seem like an easy thing to just create a page using your personal account but you will want to keep things separate down the line.
1) Create new facebook account for your station manager "persona".
2) Under "home" link on facebook click down on the left "more" link to show "Ads and Pages" link - click it
3) Up top you can now click the "+ Create a Page" button
4) On the next screen you are asked to choose a community page or official page - since you want to manage this 100% choose "official page" and name it in such a way that it describes your radio station. So many people think the world knows what "B96 FM" means. It doesn't mean anything. BUT "B96 FM - Dance Hits and Top 40 - Chicago" says a lot more. Be descriptive with your page (and station) name.
5) Fill in all of the information about your radio station. And this is important - create a logo image. Don't use that header image - don't make the text unreadable - hire your graphic designer back and pay them $50 to do this the right way. You get a 200x600 logo and it will be cropped to 50x50 for your posts. Here is a good article that discusses how to create a good logo for your streaming radio station.
6) Once you save your page you can start to promote it. Under the page menu on the left go to "marketing" section and grab the code for "get a badge" and "Add a Like Box to Your Website". Add both of these to each page of your radio station website. If you don't have a website then consider making one using a service like ning.com or wordpress.com or squarespace.com
7) The "facebook badge" will display the status of your group - a short description of the group and your logo image as well as the number of fans. There are a lot of options available for the badge but we recommend using the "Add a link box" code instead of badge code if you just have to pick one.
8) The "linkbox" will add a "like" button and a photobox of all people who like your station - very easy to use - we recommend this one if you just have room for one on your site. The like button is a way for people to "vote" for your radio station.
9) Once your website is set up with your facebook widgets you can start to ask your listeners to "like our station on facebook"...
This concludes part 1 of our facebook tutorial for internet radio stations - think of facebook as another receptor for listeners to join your station. Looking ahead to part 2 we will discuss twitter and how to use that with your radio station - this will include a set of scripts that will read your server "now playing" data and update your twitter feed with that information.