Social Media Best Practices For Your Radio Station – Part 2 – Twitter

In part 1 of this series we discussed using facebook as a tool to push visitors to your radio station. Setting up a facebook page for your station allows a station manager to network within the facebook environment and generate new listeners and visits for their online radio station. And adding facebook “like” widgets to your radio station site will help visitors “vote” for your site by liking it and thereby promote it to their facebook networks.

Part 2 of this series discusses twitter and how a station manager can use it to gain listeners and visits. If you are not familiar with twitter then you might want to read this article – twitter is a micro-blogging platform that allows people, web services and applications the ability to convey 140 character messages about what they are up to now.

There are two main ways a radio station can use twitter and each requires its own twitter account. So head on over to twitter and sign up for two different accounts. The first account will contain a stream of your ‘now playing’ song titles that will update as songs change in your broadcast. This will be populated automatically by a php script – details below. You can call that “station name_nowplaying”.

The other account is a more custom news stream from the station that will allow a station manager to promote station artists, events and contests. Few twitter followers will want to be updated on *every* song you are playing and will sometimes unfollow you as the song stream data can be annoying and clog their stream. By having this second account set up – a follower can still get good news and updates from their favorite stations without having to get song by song updates as well. By splitting these up – we make sure your news and retweets and recommendations do not get lost in the ever updating stream of now playing song title tweets.

So now that you have the two account set up – you will need to manage them. We recommend hootsuite or tweetdeck. Each of these applications has a free level and a premium level. The free level is fine for most uses. These programs can offer some great benefits:
• You can set up multiple accounts on each and easily manage them on the same screen.
• You can “pre-tweet” your news so that tweets will go out on your schedule
• You can set up searches for keywords relevant to your station and easily retweet and follow other users

To connect twitter and shoutcast you will need a php script and some help from your webmaster. Here are the steps to get it started:

Here is a link to the first twitter to shoutcast connection script
Shoutcast to Twitter Now Playing Connector (2832)

1. Register a new app at http://dev.twitter.com/apps/new
2. Fill in tokens and server info in twitter.php
3. Upload title.txt, twitter.php, EpiCurl.php, EpiOAuth.php, and EpiTwitter.php to your webserver IN THE SAME FOLDER!
4. Make sure that title.txt is writable (chmod 777)
5. Visit twitter.php in your browser or setup a cron job (explained earlier in this thread)

Here is a second script
SAM Shoutcast to Twitter Now Playing Connector (1392)

Both scripts came from the shoutcast community and any questions can be posted here in the shoutcast forum.

In closing – use twitter to follow radio stations, internet radio news sources and artists you like. Post your own news on twitter to keep your followers up to date on your news and set up a second twitter account to link in to your shoutcast “now playing” data.

Next time we will discuss twitter techniques and marketing ideas to help attract new listeners and keep your current listeners engaged.

Social Media Best Practices For Your Radio Station – Part 1 – Facebook

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 200×600 logo and it will be cropped to 50×50 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.

Happy Streaming!

Start a Free Streaming Radio Station – Internet Radio Tutorial

setting up an internet radio station – introduction to streaming radio

streaming radio microphone

create your own internet radio station for under a $100 and start playing your favorite music, discussing your favorite subjects and broadcast whatever you want

If you love music and want to broadcast yourself then you need to make a radio station. Streaming radio station software is very powerful,

usually free and allows you a lot of freedom to configure your station the way you want. In this tutorial we will go over the setup of our own radio station. dubradio.servemp3.com.

Just a quick overview of how I set up my internet radio station.

Each of these areas will be addressed separately later on in this tutorial:

streaming radio speaker

  • HP-ePC with a 125GB drive and about 500MB of RAM (overkill)
  • Zara Radio – my audio “player” a radio automation software package allowing me to queue up songs – ads – teasers and jump in with the MIC whenever I want. And the price is nice at FREE.
  • EdCast3 is the audio processor that takes the audio from Zara and encodes it to send to the streaming server
  • IceCast 2 is my audio server – serves MP3, MP3 AAC+, OGG and other formats – very low CPU use compared to other solutions
  • UltraVNC is used so we don’t need a monitor hooked up – I can use remote desktop to manage my radio station box hidden on my bookshelf – makes it nice to stash away on my bookshelf.
  • noIP.com to map a domain name ( dubradio.servemp3.com) to my computer – I have cable so my IP address is dynamic – the noIP.com service sends a ‘heartbeat’ signal that detects when my IP address changes – if it changes they re-route incoming traffic to my NEW ip address. Pretty coo!
  • lightHTTPD for Windows – a light webserver to serve up your radio station web site.
  • PHP – a dynamic programming language module because I love PHP.
  • ClamWIN anti-virus to keep the radio station box clean and that’s about it.

Except for the HP e-PC all of the above is free. But please – donate to the projects to keep them alive.

Make Your Own Radio Station With IceCast Streaming Server: part 1

Get the latest version of IceCast Streaming Radio Software

Although it may seem daunting – setting up a streaming radio station can be a very rewarding process. It can also be a wormhole that sucks your time, patience and desire to ever broadcast. There are many options for setting up server software – we have had good luck with IceCast Streaming Server – a FREE, open source audio streamer currently maintained (officially) by the xiph.org foundation – the same people that brought you the vorbis video format and the .xspf playlist format.

The first trick to this process is getting the most recent version of IceCast. Although the IceCast.org site says the most recent version is 2.3.2 (at the time of this writing) – there are some updated releases out in the wild. Continue reading Make Your Own Radio Station With IceCast Streaming Server: part 1