The Radio Sector and Social Media | JSB Talks Digital Podcast

The Radio Sector and Social Media

JSB Talks Digital is a weekly digital marketing and social media podcast hosted by author, strategist, consultant, speaker and trainer Joanne Sweeney-Burke. Each Friday Joanne shares her digital marketing and social media insights from her work as CEO of Digital Training Institute. 

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In this episode I talk radio and social – and how they are perfectly matched in the Digital Age to grow audiences both offline and online.

Coming up in the podcast:

  • In social media news, a new study highlights the importance of reviews to convert local search traffic into sales; Facebook Messenger Reaches 1.2 billion users and Snapchat launches ‘Snap to Store’ measurement;
  • I interview Teresa Hanratty, Project Manager with Learning Waves, the training partner of the independent radio sector in Ireland;
  • In shout-outs: Three radio stations nailing it on social;
  • Introducing my new feature – Ask JSB;
  • In JSB’s column – How the radio sector can use its voice on social media to grow audience share; and
  • Find out what podcasting tool saved my working week.


Social Media News

New study highlights the importance of reviews to convert local search traffic into sales

Online reviews and ratings of businesses on websites like Yelp, Facebook, Google, and TripAdvisor have the power to shape consumer behavior, that’s according to a new study by ReviewTrackers.

The results reinforce the importance of online reviews for increased web traffic and online reputation.

Here’s some of the key takeaways:

  • Over 50 percent of consumers often or always check out online reviews, while only 34 percent seek out information on discounts and pricing.
  • 36 percent of consumers agree that Google reviews, reviews on other websites, and local search rankings are the most important factors when looking for a business.
  • 68 percent of consumers say that at least half of their searches result in a visit to a local business. These visits then eventually translate into sales, with at least half of local searches eventually leading to a purchase for 58 percent of consumers.
  • 63 percent of consumers believe that online reviews are “important” or “very important” when choosing a local business.
  • Only 3 percent do not consider reviews when making a purchase decision on a local business.


Facebook Messenger now has more than 1.2 billion users

Messenger now has more than 1.2 billion monthly users, up from 1 billion users in July.

Messenger’s user growth has rocketed since Facebook launched the messaging service as a standalone app in 2014.

Facebook has since added a suite of new features to Messenger with games, a chat bot platform, voice calling, video calling and a revamped camera with masks, frames, stickers and effects. It also launched Messenger Day which sees your messages self-deleting after 24 hours.

Let’s not forget that Facebook also owns Whatsapp but CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that in general, WhatsApp serves as a replacement for text messaging, whereas Messenger is a more an “expressive and rich environment” with a broad range of content.


Snapchat launches ‘Snap to Store’ measurement

One of the big criticisms of Snapchat is its lack of analytics and our ability as marketers to measure ROI. From fad to frank business return – business-savvy marketers always want measurability.

Despite boasting 158 million active daily users, Snapchat is still struggling to monetize through advertising.

Snapchat’s new ‘Snap to Store’ feature might win them back some respect from the cynics.

The dashboard shows advertisers how many people who visited their location had seen the brand’s ad on Snapchat, as well as how many visitors did not see the ad but use Snapchat, so long as at least 1,000 Snapchat users had visited a location.

This limits the potential for a lot of smaller brands.

Snapchat’s Snap to Store measurements only track the most recent 7-day window, but the dashboard does also include a chart plotting the first time people visit a location that uses a 28-day window.

According to research commissioned by Snapchat, 80% of Snapchat users take Snaps in restaurants, 66% use the app in shopping malls, 50% are active while at the gym and 49% use it in airports, underlining the potential value of the offering.

Snapchat Stat


Interview: Teresa Hanratty, Learning Waves

Teresa HanrattyIn today’s show I speak to Teresa Hanratty, Project Manager with Learning Waves.

Learning Waves is a network member organization representing all of the independent commercial radio stations in Ireland.

Set up in 2004 it provides training for those working at all levels of radio. The network is funded by Skillnets and members’ subscriptions.

To date they have trained over 6,000 people working in radio in Ireland.

Be sure to listen to Teresa’s answers.

Q1) Firstly, tell us a bit more Learning Waves and the type of training you provide.

Q2) Your members are natural storytellers and have a distinct advantage in the digital age. Do you think they firstly realise that advantage or secondly use it?

Q3) What impact has social media had on your industry?

Q4) Podcasting is experiencing rapid growth rates with the proliferation of smartphones and ‘on the go’ listening. How can the radio sector capitialise on this trend?

Q5) When it comes to audiences – do you see your offline and online audiences as two separate cohorts?

Q6) What can digital marketing professionals learn from the radio industry about storytelling?

Q7) If you could transform the independent radio sector and bring it fully into the Digital Age, what would you like to achieve?

Q8) Tell my listeners a little about the collaboration that we will be working on in terms of social media and digital training.

To find out more about Learning Waves, log onto their website. You can also follow them on Twitter @LearningWaves and like their Facebook Page.


JSB’s Column | How the radio sector can leverage its voice on social media

In today’s column, I wanted to discuss how the radio sector can leverage social media to grow its audience base offline and online.

As you heard in my interview with Teresa, I’m embarking on a project with Learning Waves, the independent radio sector’s training partner in Ireland.

As a former radio journalist and all-round radio head, this feels like the perfect collaboration.

I have a huge appreciation for the spoken word so it’s no surprise that I turned my attention to podcasting almost a year ago. Getting back behind the mic on a weekly basis has helped me explore new topics, keep on top of weekly changes in social media as well as interviewing and making connections with some fascinating people from all industry-types who are using social and digital marketing tactics.

So while I promote JSB Talks Digital as an education marketing podcast for those interested in digital and social – I equally learn from each show and that keeps me relevant and my knowledge current.

Coming from a radio background I can see quite clearly the opportunities that exist for this sector. I equally understand that the recession and streamlining of the industry in Ireland has resulted in under-investment and even stagnation in terms of digital growth.

However, we are now at a time when digital is at the forefront of everybody’s mind and organisations, senior executives and staff are ready to learn and in fact, I’d say are hungry to learn.

So here’s my take on how the radio sector can leverage social media to grow their audience base.

A radio station makes its money based on its listenership which is driven by programming and personalities. But here’s the top three ways radio stations can leverage social right now.


A pivotal role in every aspect of the radio station is news-gathering. News, sports, current affairs, entertainment, music – every show has a responsibility to engage in news-gathering. It used to be a cumbersome task making a series of phone calls to get to the right source and unleash the details of the story.

However, now we can get to the source much quicker using social media.

When I worked in radio we had a contacts book with a list of people we would contact when a particular story would raise its head. But things have changed. Audiences want new voices and new opinions.

Audience engagement

On radio listeners can text, call, email and ultimately come on air to have their voice heard. But with the arrival of social media we can extend that on-air conversation by using a particular topic hashtag and inviting followers and fans to have their say. What this does, is that it gives you

Content promotion

The bread and butter of radio stations is listenership. So why not leverage digital platforms such as Soundcloud to increase your base numbers, albeit, from an online perspective?


Shoutouts | 3 innovative uses of social media by radio stations and presenters

In this part of the show I usually give shout-outs to brands, organisations and individuals whose work online is worth talking about.

In today’s show I’m sharing three innovative uses of social media by radio stations and presenters.

Doireann Garrihy, Spin South West

Doireann Garrihy is an Entertainment Reporter with Dublin-based Spin 1038 and Spin South West. She is also a Snappchatter and was named Best Snapchat Star in the 2017 Gossies Awards.

Doireann with a background in drama and theatre brings her impersonation skills to life.

Her impressions of Irish bloggers on Snapchat went viral last year – watch it on the blog post associated with this podcast.

Doireann is a great example of how radio presenters can leverage their own social media accounts to build up a tribe – both on social and on radio.

Add Doireann on Snapchat @dg19592


Off the Ball / Newstalk

I love listening to sports shows on radio. So it’s no surprise then that I also love listening to sports podcasts. For me it’s simply giving me a choice to listen in my own time when I’m on the go.

I honestly don’t know why more radio presenters aren’t capitalizing on the growth in podcasts and leveraging social to gain greater personal brand engagement and radio listenership.

They have 4,415 followers on Soundcloud so not a bad community of engaged listeners separate to their radio show on Newstalk.

They also have a series of shows created into playlists so you can choose your sporting genre from GAA off the ball to Football with John Giles, Golf weekly or League of Ireland.

Subscribe at:

You can also follow them on social media:

Twitter: @offtheball
Snapchat: offthe_ball
Instagram: offtheballnt 


Highland Radio, The Shaun Doherty Show

I have to give a shoutout to Highland Radio’s Shaun Doherty Show, one of the most popular morning talk shows in Ireland. I should also note that I worked as a broadcast journalist on Highland Radio after graduating.

Shaun has amassed a massive audience in the station over his 25 years there and he has managed to capitialise on the Digital Age by podcasting his shows which are hugely popular among the Donegal Diaspora and even those working night shift.

Shaun has also gone front of screen and is often seen going live on Facebook streaming from outside broadcasts and even from Africa where he has been doing charity work of late.

You can find all his podcasts on the Highland Radio website:



I’m delighted to launch a new feature on JSB Talks Digital.


Ask JSB brings the voices of my listeners onto the show. So you now have an opportunity to ask me a question, have it aired on the podcast and I will respond.

Be sure to listen to my first two questions from two of my biggest and most loyal fans.

  • Djameela, my Digital Marketing & Design Executive
  • My son Bobby – a huge Snapchat fan

So I want to give you a voice on JSB Talks Digital. Simply log on to and you might find yourself and your question on air!


Social Media Tool of the Week: SpeakPipe

The social media tool that saved my working week is SpeakPipe.


My new feature on the show “Ask JSB” will be facilitated by SpeakPipe.  Do you have a burning social media or digital marketing question that I can help with? If so, you will now be able to leave me an audio message on my website and I’ll play it on my show. I’ll also answer your question.

If you have website, you have the option of creating your personal voicemail page on SpeakPipe and adding a link to the voicemail page to your blog.

There are three different ways to use SpeakPipe on your website.

  • Inline widget You can embed SpeakPipe directly into a blog post or webpage. An inline widget provides flexibility and you can give the widget context by embedding it directly into the content on your website.
  • Dialog widget You can add the SpeakPipe side button to your website. It allows your visitors to access the SpeakPipe dialog widget from any page of the website. 
  • Voicemail page You can create a personal page on SpeakPipe without installing anything on your website. If you share the link to the page with your customers, they can use it to send you voice messages. 

So go one – “Ask JSB” log onto my voicemail page at

If you want to learn more about SpeakPipe or sign up log onto:


I love feedback

I’d love to know what you think about this episode. So please get in touch by commenting below or tweet me @tweetsbyJSB or send me a snap to jsbsnaps.

Review JSB Talks Digital on iTunes


Listen: JSB Talks Digital | Episode #44

I would like to thank Eoghan Murphy aka The Galway Gamer for producing my podcast series and to Flirt FM on the campus of NUI, Galway where I am based for the use of their studio.

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