It's one thing to be a startup - like Foursquare - in the social media space. It's a whole other thing to be a traditional business - like radio - and try to retrofit your business model to better integrate and serve your changing customer base.
There is no better example of this phenomenon than Kodak, a company that totally lost its way because of its inability to move to the digital film space. But today, CEO Jeff Hayzlett, is reinventing Kodak via social media. For starters, the company has a Chief Listening Officer who is focused on customers.
In the video below, Hayzlett talks about a new definition of ROI - Return On Ignoring. Which is what happens when you don't jump into the social media space, ignoring the wave of online communities, and in effect, blocking out the audience.
Hayzlett is using all the tools, trying different avenues to connect with his customers. He understands that photo sharing is all about families, friends, and good times - all the elements that are super-sized by Facebook, Twitter, and other relationship-based sites.
Our new Tech Poll VI - released last week - illustrates the rising star that is social media. In our current survey - conducted among more than 26,000 respondents across 78 radio stations across the U.S. - eight in every ten have a profile on a social media site. Facebook leads the way, but Classmates.com, LinkedIn, and Twitter are moving quickly. MySpace, on the other hand, is now in the process of actually moving backwards, which is another blog about how brands aren't what they used to be.
For radio to best utilize these new tools, stations will need to do more than promote contests and send out tweets about new music.