James Cridland's blog

A radio futurologist writing about what happens when radio and new platforms collide
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Google+ – the opportunity for radio

Posted on Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 at 10:10 pm. #

What's Google doing with radio? - no expense spared on this stand!

You probably know that Google+ doesn’t want brands using it. Lots of accounts have been disabled – including broadcast brands like the Columbia, MO television station KOMU.

Google+ is pretty clear. The social network’s “content policy”, linked from every page, reads:To help fight spam and prevent fake profiles, use the name your friends, family or co-workers usually call you. For example, if your full legal name is Charles Jones Jr. but you normally use Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, either of those would be acceptable.

So, no brands. Sorry, KOMU. Sorry, Mashable and Ford. Sorry, Sesame Street.

So, what does this mean for radio?

A massive head start.

Our brands are defined by the people we have on-air. And those names are just fine by Google.

On Google+ you can already follow IT Crowd writer Graham Linehan; acerbic ridiculous-thatch-wearing writer Charlie Brooker, actor that played Kryton who now does stuff with electric cars Robert Llewellyn, comedy writer to the stars Daniel Maier, journalist and author Ben Goldacre, and the Grace Dent/Caitlin Moran twins. They’re there (even if some have yet to start posting).

Your station’s biggest and best people, too, can be on Google+.

Yet, there are precious few radio presenters there. Yes, there’s the bright and digitally-inquisitive Geoff Lloyd from Absolute Radio, and 2BR’s John Isherwood also appears. But, out of the top radio presenters on Twitter, I can’t find anyone in the top ten who’s on Google+. I find this perplexing, and disappointing.

Google+ isn’t yet officially launched: it’s in a “field test” phase. That said, comScore reported last week that it’s already achieved 20 million users in its first 21 days.

And what does a new Google+ users do, when they visit Google+ for the first time? Search for their friends. And don’t we tell advertisers that radio personalities are their listeners’ friends?

People already on Google+ will get a massively unfair share of voice for the next few months, because of the lack of other users to follow. Should Google+ take off – and there’s currently little to indicate it won’t – then this is a massive opportunity for radio.

So where are your presenters on Google+?

- There’s a (sold out) social media night in London, Wednesday night (‘tomorrow’, as I type), from the Radio Academy. I’ll be there. (I know how to RSVP quickly).
- With Capital FM’s James Brownlow, I’m producing the social media session of The Radio Festival in November.
- Yes, we’ll cover social media at nextrad.io as well. (A few tickets left.)
- Media UK – @mediauk – will be adding Google+ profile links shortly to our people database. Naturally.
- If you’d like to follow me, I’m at http://james.cridland.net/+ – feel free. Alternatively, I’m also @jamescridland on Twitter.

3 comments

Colin Kelly
commenting at July 27th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Good post James and I agree about the opportunity – I’m slowly getting to grips with Google+ and seeing the potential. BUT..it hasn’t captured people’s imagination the same way Facebook has. Mention it to a lot of “ordinary folk” and you get some blank looks. Plus, it’s lack of compatability with Tweetdeck means it’s YET ANOTHER network to sign in and out of and share content on.

Terry Purvis
commenting at July 28th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

‘Mention it to a lot of “ordinary folk” and you get some blank looks.’

As James points out, that’s because it has not yet been opened to “ordinary folk”, just for the invited few.

Read the social media hype websites however and you would think Google+ is open to the general public and, more interestingly, already beginning to wane in popularity, with headlines like: ‘Google Plus Traffic Declines 3% Over One Week’.

Once/if it becomes popular amongst the public at large opportunities or otherwise for radio stations may or may not appear.

3 Ways To Increase Radio Audience Using Google Plus : Music Radio Creative Blog
commenting at August 2nd, 2011 at 5:14 pm

[...] but you may set up a personal profile to promote the radio station if you’re a radio host as James Cridland mentions in his blog post Google+ – the opportunity for radio, “Our brands are defined by the people we have on-air. And those names are just fine by [...]

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