How best can stations grow their business? Many would say that social media is the answer, due to its mainstream popularity and pervasive reach.

But others say that social media advertising lacks the effective content engagement and audience value of FM/AM radio. And advertising efforts can be made even more substantial when the two platforms are combined together in a cohesive marketing package, according to a new blog post.

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A post by Cumulus Media | Westwood One Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard cited revelations from the 2017 book System1: Unlocking Profitable Growth, by John Kearon, Orlando Wood, and Tom Ewing of the “ad effectiveness agency” System1.

The authors found that growth is driven by increasing sales to new customers and light users, rather than attempting to increase the loyalty of an existing customer base. “Contrary to popular belief, targeting a wide audience and including non-users is not a waste of money. It’s a key driver of growth,” Kearon, Wood, and Ewing wrote.

Building fame is one of the best ways to build a brand, according to the System1 authors, who said that “fame is what gets a brand onto a person’s mental shortlist.” To do this, companies need “to build fame, target wide, touch deeply and be distinctive.”

But social media falls flat of that in some areas, said Bouvard. According to the 2021 Infinite Dial study by Edison Research, Facebook users in the U.S. have decreased 9 percent since 2017. Erosion is coming even more quickly among younger demographics with Facebook’s aged 12–34 audience down 28 percent.

To grow reach, marketers should consider adding AM/FM radio to a station’s social media campaign. Radio reaches new consumers that are unavailable on Facebook including 56 percent of those aged 18+.

The blog post also touched on the varying strengths of social media and radio ad strategies when calculating content engagement, concentration, audience value and all-around impact.

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