When t’wireless met Twitter
It seems there’s no abating it’s popularity at the moment. Twitter is having it’s ‘moment’ in the UK, forcing its way into the public consciousness.
This week we’ve become more aware of radio realising the potential of the micro-blogging service. In the last 2 weeks there’ve we’ve seen stations and presenters dip their toes into the Twitter-pool:
- At radio 1, Scott Mills, Greg James, Fearne Cotton and Chris Moyles have all started using it.
- Even their newsreaders, like Dominic Byrne and Hannah Morrison have got in on the act.
- Birmingham station BRMB now tweet updates from the newsroom
- And Jack FM in Oxfordshire have been doing it for ages
- Presenters on the Touch Radio network in the midlands have been ahead of the trend too.
- BBC Radio Five Live’s Up All Night began tweeting last night
- At my own workplace Viking FM, we’re setting up the service to use from next week.
So what potential does Twitter hold for radio in the UK? Well, I think programmers have two choices. Do they have a ‘station’ twitter which updates listeners on station news, competitions and is used by everyone from presenters to journalists?
Or should each presenter create their own twitter profile and develop their own community around themselves?
Either way, Twitter offers some awesome opportunities to connect with listeners, and crucially interact with them. Presenters can reveal a little of their personality off-air (but they must be sure to respond to as many messages as possible), to build up the relationship.
During weather-events, as they like to be called, they offer a quicker way to update listeners on school closures than the website. They could even be used for traffic and travel updates and news headlines.
Unsurprisingly commercial radio is a step behind it’s BBC rivals, who seem to have realised the potential a little quicker. But the twitt-ability of the audience shouldn’t be underestimated.
The argument’s already been made “but how many of our listeners use twitter?” Well maybe not many right now. But the numbers are growing.
And you never lose points for getting in ahead of the curve.