Giving radio a face

Giving radio a face

For this post I’ve chosen to write about an article written by Bradley Freeman that looks at Radio and Facebook, and what the relationship between the two mediums is in America, Germany, and Singapore. The article can be found here.

What the article is saying

The main points that I’ve taken away from reading this article are:

  • The article questions whether radio and social media will be compatible with each other.
  • Is social media a threat to the radio industry?
  • Could social media enhance and insure the future of the radio industry?
  • Is social media an effective platform for radio stations to communicate with their listeners?
  • Are the stations that were analysed using social media properly, and to its full potential?

Is it relevant?

Whilst reading through this article I found that several of the points that were made were relevant to the radio industry today. An example of this is that the stations in the three countries are all using social media to promote themselves in one form or another, it then goes onto sa  y that “Radio is always exploring ways to add value while keeping costs down”. This is achieved in several different ways, for example the American stations that were studied actively promoted competitions via their social media outlets, an example of this is Amp radio in Detroit used their profile picture to promote a competition where a listener could win “$100 in free gas” which in turn would encourage listeners to keep checking Amp radio’s social media outlets to see who had won the competition.

Amp radio


While reading the article I also came across some points that weren’t relevant such as: “The arrival of Web-based social software services is still relatively recent and represents an area needing greater attention”. I thought this point wasn’t so relevant because the article later contradicts its self by explaining how radio stations in America are using Facebook to promote the station, highlight competitions that they’re running, and using it to branch out to new listeners in an attempt to expand their listenership.

Does it compare or contrast?

While reading this article I’ve found that it directly relates to what I’ve been taught in my social media lectures. The piece highlights the use of social branding among stations out in Singapore and America in particular because there are thousands of stations, and they’re all trying different strategies in an attempt to stand out from the crowd, while trying to draw listeners in from other radio stations that broadcast in the same area as them. In addition to this the article explored the different methods of sharing content on Facebook whether its text, picture or video based, this reminded me of the social media strategy that I’d developed and which methods were best to promote the points I was trying to put across and the content I was sharing on the web, and what the best methods were and which channels would give me the best results. The study found that Singaporean stations used the photo sharing option most, showing people at public events such as film premiers and with it creating a sense of community that the listeners were actively a part of.


However the article did contrast what I’ve been taught about social media, it stated that social media was not a medium by saying “We prefer the term social software because the controversially and not conclusively discussed definition of a medium is problematic and does not appear to describe these social applications appropriately.” However I feel that if other social media outlets such as Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram were included in the study that social media could be classed as more of a medium rather than a standalone tool used by radio stations with varying levels of success.


I chose this article as I thought it would be interesting to see how radio in countries outside the UK use social media in this digital age in comparison to those based in the UK, additionally the article was written in 2011 so it was a recent account of what’s happening in radio globally in terms of social media. When reading the article I found it interesting that radio stations in Germany do not use social media as a means of connecting with their audience as much as stations in America and Singapore do, and I think it would have been interesting to factor in the use of other social media outlets such as twitter and YouTube to see whether they are more effective at communication than Facebook is, and to what extent audiences actively engage with the content that these stations are putting out using these websites.