Last week, I wrote about how a radio station could use WordPress' Custom Post Types to build a directory of local bands. But if your radio station's website is built in WordPress, this feature has plenty of other applications as well. For example, you could use it to help your morning show be more proactive on social media.
Warning: This post is only applicable to radio stations that have built their sites on the WordPress platform, and the topic is fairly advanced. To do what I'm outlining here will take some effort and additional research on the part of a knowledgeable webmaster.
Here's a crash course in WordPress' Custom Post Types: In WordPress, a “post” is a simply piece of content. Out of the box, WordPress offers two different types of posts: Posts and Pages. (Yes, it's a little confusing, because WordPress is using the word “post” in a generic sense and a specific sense.) Posts are designed for news articles or blogposts — they come with author bylines, publish dates, a comments section, etc. Pages, on the other hand, are meant to be used for webpages that rarely change, such as the “Contact Us” or “About Us” page on a website. Unlike Posts, Pages do not display author bylines, publish dates, or comments sections.
While WordPress comes with these two types of posts by default, it also allows you to create your own. In the example of our local band directory, we created a Custom Post Type called “Profiles.” You could also create others. For example, a podcaster could create a Custom Post Type called “Episodes,” a band could create a Custom Post Type called “Albums,” or a radio morning show team could create a Custom Post Type called “Shows.”
What's the advantage of creating a Custom Post Type? You can link extra datapoints to each piece of content using Custom Fields. For example, if a band created a Custom Post Type called “Album,” they could create a Custom Field called “Songs.” Linkin Park would list “In the End,” “One Step Closer,” and “Crawling” (among others) in the Songs custom field for their Hybrid Theory album.
Sometimes you want to display these datapoints in your content's Template. When displaying an Album, a band would list the Songs associated with it.
But sometimes, you don't want to display these datapoints; sometimes you want to use them for something else.
Shownotes Pages for Radio Morning Shows
Let's say you're a radio morning show, and you want to borrow a practice from podcasters and create a “Shownotes Page” for every show that you do. A “Shownotes Page” is a webpage that usually contains a short summary of the latest episode, an audio player that allows people to play an episode on demand, and a list of links to things mentioned in that episode. The advantage of a Shownotes page is that it provides podcasters with a link to a specific episode that they can share on social media. More importantly, it allows listeners to then reshare that link on social media, directing more people to the podcast.
Shownotes pages can provide the same benefit to radio morning shows. By creating a shownotes page for every day's show, it makes it possible for your radio show to get shared on social media.
Many podcasters use WordPress' default post type — Posts — to create their shownotes pages. While there is nothing wrong with doing it this way, creating a specific Custom Post Type for podcast episodes — or in our case, “Morning Shows” — allows us to automate actions that will increase social sharing. Here's how:
Let's create a Custom Post Type and call it “Morning Shows.” We'll create Custom Fields for our Morning Shows, including:
- Interview Guest's Name
- Interview Guest's Organization
- 7:00 AM Contest Winner's Name
- 8:00 AM Contest Winners Name
- Contest Prize
These are fields that will be displayed publicly on our website. The Template that displays our Morning Shows might include text that says:
“[Guest's Name] of [Guest's Organization] drops by the show. Also, congratulations to [7:00 AM Winner] and [8:00 AM Winner] on winning [Contest Prize]!”
The data in the custom fields associated with each Morning Show post will automatically be inserted.
But let's take this one step further by gathering some datapoints in Custom Fields that are not publicly displayed in our Template. These Custom Fields include:
- Interview Guest's Email Address
- Interview Guest's Twitter Handle
- Interview Guest's Instagram Handle
- 7:00 AM Contest Winner's Email Address
- 7:00 AM Contest Winner's Twitter Handle
- 7:00 AM Contest Winner's Instagram Handle
- 8:00 AM Contest Winner's Email Address
- 8:00 AM Contest Winner's Twitter Handle
- 8:00 AM Contest Winner's Instagram Handle
- Twitter Handle for Contest Prize
- Instagram Handle for Contest Prize
Automating Emails and Social Media Posts
Now we've gathered email address and social media handles associated with the people and organizations mentioned in the audio of the show embedded on this webpage. What are we going to do with all this? We're going to use it to automatically share the link to our Morning Show post, in the hopes that these people will in turn share it with their followers. Of course, you could do all this manually, but that takes a lot of time.
Instead, you can find WordPress plugins that can pull the info from these Custom Fields and automatically send email or post updates. You'll want to do research to find the best solution for your needs, but I use Toolset to automatically email the people with email address in the Custom Fields. For example, it might read:
“Hi [Guest Name],
Thanks for coming on the show today. You can find a recording of your interview here: [Link]
Please feel free to share it on social media. We're @WKRP on Twitter and Instagram.
The Morning Zoo”
I use the WP to Buffer plugin to automatically post social meet posts, such as a tweet that reads:
“Congrats to [7:00 AM Contest Winner] who won [Contest Prize] on WKRP this morning! Listen: [Link] [7:00 AM Winner Twitter Handle] [Prize Twitter Handle]”
Configure several variations to automatically post whenever you publish a new Morning Show shownotes page, and suddenly you're generating and sharing a ton of content that could get passed around the internet. This will drive more people back to your radio station's website where they can listen to your radio show on demand.
Of course, this isn't easy to set up. It takes a lot of planning and some trial and error. But once you get it right, it can help your morning show stay active on social media without taking up all of your time.
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