How Broadcast Company Of The Americas Merged Radio With Social Media

September 9, 2014

This month we are happy to feature a marketer who straddles two different mediums, Jamie Mae Cheng, digital marketing manager at Broadcast Company of the Americas. Also known as BCA Radio, they own and operate:

  • XEPRS-AM 1090 kHz: The Mighty 1090, sports radio (Flagship home of the San Diego Padres)
  • XHPRS-FM 105.7 MHz: 105.7 MAX FM, classic hits
  • XEPE-AM 1700 kHz: ESPN Radio 1700, sports radio

Translating radio content to a social media audience is no small feat, but Jamie Mae Cheng has mastered exactly what it takes to engage the world of radio with the social media world.

BWF: What social media channels does your brand focus on?

CHENG: Right now we’re focused on Facebook, Twitter and we’re incorporating Instagram.

For the most part, I feel like the negativity lends to the authenticity. A lot of listeners look for a reality aspect and everything isn’t always cookie-cutter happy.

BWF: How does your brand build an online community and connect with fans?

CHENG: In my opinion, consistently pushing information at people that they don’t care about will never achieve your social media goals. The audience has to want the information you’re putting out. It’s important to make sure our content is compelling to our specific audience.

One of the things I try to do from my department is ensure the content our station is putting out connects to our fans on a personal level. To accomplish that, we focus on in-depth analytics and we engage our fans by using their content. We will have a “fan of the week” on the music (105.7 FM) and sports (1090) station. The sports audience on Twitter is very engaged, so that does well. We also use a “tweet of the week” from fan Tweets.

We also monitor what’s happening in our social communities, but we rarely filter our posts. There’s a time and place for certain things, so if fans are being obscene we take care of that. But, for the most part, I feel like the negativity lends to the authenticity. A lot of listeners look for a reality aspect and everything isn’t always cookie-cutter happy.

BWF: What’s your biggest challenge so far?

CHENG: Getting a proven revenue stream and highlighting the successes for our management and sponsors. Proving to them that the engagement with our audience is vital to putting their product within the hands of our listeners is challenging.

BWF: How do you measure success? And, what tools do you use?

CHENG: I’m such a metrics fanatic. I look at everything I can on the analytics side of social. I use Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics a lot. I wish I had more time in my day to delve into all that analytics has to offer. I’m sure you’ll hear that from every single social media person.

We rarely – if ever – promote posts, so it’s nice to see what’s working for free. We have a lot of different shows happening throughout the day and I like to compare our month-to-month results. We also use Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to schedule out posts.

BWF: Speaking of promoting posts, do you find it useful?

CHENG: The content we put out is very timely. We’re normally the ones breaking news, so by the time anything could get promoted our fans have already seen it. It’s not necessarily something that I want to pin at the top of my feed again. So, for our specific case, I don’t really find it useful.

BWF: What does your social media team look like?

CHENG: We have six or seven people working in social. It seems small, but we all wear a lot of hats. I oversee the digital marketing for a few radio stations, so it’s different audiences for each one. We have a team built up of promotions directors, programmers, sales, producers and show talent who contribute content. They’re all very hands-on with our social media team and engage with our listeners and fanbase.

Whatever timely controversial topics are happening that day in the music or sports world we use on social to build engagement.

BWF: Where do you get content?

CHENG: A lot of the key content we have is directly related to our shows. Show producers gather engaging content for their shows, so we take that content and translate it to our social media audience and continue the conversation.  Basically, whatever timely controversial topics are happening that day in the music or sports world we use on social to build engagement. Our Twitter audience is very active with each of our shows and station handle.

BWF: Do you incorporate user-generated content?

CHENG: We do a lot of user-generated content for engagement. We use certain questions and include sponsor-related items to bring radio advertisers onto the social platform. If there is a direct response they’re looking for, we’ll Tweet out questions or set-up a poll.

BWF: Do you see benefits from using user-generated content?

CHENG: Absolutely! The amount of credibility our brand gets by using listeners content is amazing. It makes it more personal and helps highlight the personality of our station that our listeners are looking for.

BWF: You have an On Demand section on your website? Tell us how you are using that.

CHENG: People can access the podcasts of our most recent shows and interviews. Our video library and YouTube channel have a variety of topics from sports news, interviews, to lifestyle man of the street content showcasing what San Diego sports leaders are doing on-air as well as in the community. We also have video blogging happening on our website where we take a sneak-peak teaser and place it like a trailer on Instagram.

BWF: What changes in digital marketing have impacted your business? What has surprised you the most?

CHENG: Taking the on-air experience and moving it to social so it isn’t just a one-way avenue anymore. It’s now a two-way communication process where we can highlight what the radio stations value. The traditional way of radio was always about callers as far as people interacting with the radio station. At work we like to think of radio as the original social media. Also, mobile is a big change in digital marketing.

BWF: How do you use mobile to your advantage?

CHENG: We have a huge mobile community with about 40,000 users who are actively engaging with our stations. Whether it’s listening to the mobile live stream or using the social elements tied in to our app, our mobile fans like that they can integrate directly with us from their smartphones and social channels.

BWF: What one big lesson have you learned that you wish you could teach others?

CHENG: I can’t do everything on my own. Focusing on every social media channel and keeping track of a zillion followers on my own would be amazing, but it’s not realistic. Another lesson would be to focus your attention on what’s working and then prioritize your efforts. When I started, the brand knew they needed social but there wasn’t a specific strategy in place. Now we are more organized and can be more effective with social media.

BWF: How do you stay current on social media trends?

CHENG: I read a lot of blogs and interesting articles or tidbits I find while scrolling through Twitter. It’s crazy to see that seeing quirky videos and sparking ideas from BuzzFeed shorts to see what content people are engaging with and finding valuable. Subscribing to industry newsletters and going to events around town like Social Media Day in San Diego to network with people and see what they are doing. It’s great to see what’s working for them and learning at the same time.

Meet Expert: Jamie Mae Cheng

Jamie Mae Cheng, Broadcast Company of AmericaJamie Mae Cheng is a ten-year public relations and marketing veteran who emphasizes in integrated media relations. She is currently the Digital Marketing Manager for Broadcast Company of the Americas, operating The Mighty 1090, 105.7 MAX FM, and ESPN Radio 1700. Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from UC San Diego, Jamie has held past roles in advertising, public and media relations, event management, and hospitality. A strong believer in capturing life and a social media enthusiast, Jamie’s passion for exploring and photography has become a large part of her Southern California lifestyle.

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