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On-Air Talent Can Drive Stations’ Social Media Engagement

Clear Channel study cites Chase, T-Mobile ad campaigns

Local and national on-air personalities are very effective at driving a station’s social media engagement with its listeners.

That’s according to a survey by Clear Channel Media & Entertainment.

The results suggest that product endorsements by radio DJs are more powerful — and more valuable to advertisers — than sponsored Facebook posts, sponsored Tweets or television spots.

When comparing radio personalities to other media personalities, six out of 10 listeners said that radio hosts are “like a friend,” whose opinions they trust. With even more ways for consumers and on-air personalities to interact, four out of 10 listeners feel personalities make more of an effort to foster a personal connection, making the radio experience inherently more personal, particularly when compared to TV or streaming playlist services.

Clear Channel Chairman/CEO Bob Pittman says on-air personalities are a key element in defining what makes radio different — and more personal — than straight social media. “These personalities are viewed as stars and tastemakers, but also have a familiarity and personal touch that invites listeners not only to tune in, but to call, tweet and email as if they are listeners’ personal friends. It’s a powerful relationship, one that has deep implications for smart marketers who recognize that when Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Duran, Delilah, Bobby Bones, and hundreds of other personalities offer an endorsement,­ whether of a song, a brand or a product, ­ listeners take it to heart, and take action. No other medium has this power.”

Clear Channel cites recent T-Mobile and Chase campaigns in which the involvement of on-air personalities “significantly” improved consumer awareness, consideration, recall and purchase intent.

The T-Mobile campaign included a day in which local on-air personalities “took over” Clear Channel radio stations in 18 markets. After the campaign, recall had increased by 100% and purchase intent grew by 33%, according to the broadcaster.

For Chase, syndicated host Delilah voiced a campaign for the company’s Blueprint service that bumped up awareness by 26%. In addition, a third of all listeners said they were likely/somewhat likely to get a card after the campaign, nearly doubling the intent number, according to Clear Channel.

The study also found that six out of 10 American listeners have a favorite personality who they look forward to hearing in the morning. Seven out of 10 participants said they consider these personalities to be like themselves, people who are “relatable” and “authentic,” and many have remained loyal, listening to the same personality for years.

The majority of Americans have interacted with radio personalities during their lifetimes, according to the findings which show that eight out of 10 have called into a station, met a DJ in their community, or interacted in some other manner. About six out of 10 of listeners have also engaged with radio through social media platforms.

The survey, conducted in conjunction with the University of Southern California, is based on findings from 2,700 respondents.