It can be difficult to convince non-users of the social web about its real world benefits. One method that can be effective is to take a brand that virtually everyone has used or is aware of and point to their success. Exhibit A:
NPR has been one of the more aggressive and forward thinking of all media outlets in their adoption of social media. The end of virtually every single show on their air is tagged with a call to action to go to their website and download a podcast. They have essentially perfected the Tivo for radio concept that I have been longing for forever. The music player (which we have written about in the past) is great and they allow you to create your own programming day and listen to it in the order you want, whenever you want. I have found this especially useful for shows that I like but are not available on my local NPR affiliate, or might come on at an inconvenient time.
Well, now they are adding more social media functionality to their site. You will now be able to create Facebook-like profiles and list your favorite books, movies, NPR shows, friend up NPR hosts etc. The station is also expanding its API library so local radio stations, and ordinary people, can incorporate its content into their own applications. One tool plots the subjects of NPR stories on a world map. Another lets people listen to stories on their iPhone.
NPR also plans to increase the flexibility of its podcast downloads, which have tripled in use over the past two years.
“The initiatives will both further its goal of spreading information worldwide, and draw in younger audiences — which represent the future for fundraising at NPR’s member stations,” says the AP.
So what have been the results year over year? We already mentioned that podcast downloads have tripled, but unique site visits have gone up 78% since last year. What about money? Well, wouldn’t you know that fund raising is up, too.
All of these changes did not happen without a fight. In fact, former CEO Ken Stern left last March over his hesitancy to adopt some of these changes, but NPR is moving down the right path and prospering as it does.
An ear-opening case from a recognized brand.