Date: January-May 2015
My Roles: Developed research; participated in interviews; interpreted research data; wrote reports
Problem: My team worked with Michigan Radio to analyze listeners’ engagement with station’s social media campaigns and to improve listeners’ online participation.
We used the following research methods:
- Interviews with staff and listeners
- Comparative Analysis
- Twitter Analytics
Deliverables: We wrote two technical reports that we shared with Michigan Radio’s social media director. The final report also included suggestions for potential Twitter campaigns ready for implementation. Reports can be shared upon request.
We conducted 5 interviews with Michigan radio staff, some in-person and some by phone. These interviews were followed by 17 thirty-minute phone interviews with Michigan Radio listeners. We recruited our 17 interviewees to include only those listeners who followed Michigan Radio on Twitter and/or Facebook.
We examined social media campaigns run by 5 public radio stations comparable to Michigan Radio: Vermont Public Radio, Public Radio International, Minnesota Public Radio, St. Louis Public Radio, and WBUR Boston. To select the above stations, we drew on interviews and additional informal conversations with Michigan Radio staff. When examining each station, we evaluated the stations’ social media platforms, number of followers, and use of social media. We also examined successful social media campaigns run by the above public radio stations with an eye to understanding successful trends.
Using Tweetchup and Quintly, we looked for the most popular hashtags initiated by Michigan Radio and focused on Michigan Radio’s hashtag #whyistay, a particularly popular campaign run by the station in 2014. Insights gleaned from this analysis shaped our final recommendations. In examining the data, we noticed particular trends that made the #whyistay campaign successful such as appeals to local patriotism and timeliness of campaign, the #whyistay campaign following on the heels of a Gallop poll that found the majority of Michigan residents desired to leave the state.