Indie88, or CIND-FM, is Toronto’s newest radio station. Privately owned and operated out of a house in Liberty Village, Indie88 is Canada’s first Indie station. After its official launch on September 3rd 2013, Indie88 quickly became a citywide favourite winning both Best Radio Station and Best Radio Personality for afternoon drive host Raina Douris, as voted by Now Magazine readers. The station puts an emphasis on promoting emerging Canadian musicians and puts their audience first.
It’s all about you
When Indie88 soared onto the airwaves in Toronto in 2013, they had a clear mission – “I. We. Together, we’re Indie88”. The goal of this station was to really connect with its listeners, to place a priority on on-air and online interaction with its audience. Even before their official launch, they were actively engaged; using the twitterverse to select the first song to be played on air with #Indie88FirstSong. “We asked our listeners which song we should launch with,” said Program Director, Adam Thompson. “The overwhelming majority asked for Arcade Fire’s “Ready to Start,” so, that was our launch song!”(1)
“Indie88’s approach to programming is definitely what sets the station apart from others on the FM dial. Using listener input, social media, and analytics, the programmers are able to cater to the musical tastes of all their most vocal fans.” – David Rockne Corrigan, National Post.
Indie88 employees are the driving force behind the stations active social media that expands across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and their own site Indie88.com. Announcers often take over the Indie88 feeds to tweet or post Facebook messages looking for listener input, questions or comments. Listener comments can be read live on-air or discussed in the comment sections. This is a way for people to interact with individual hosts on topics that are important and pertinent to them. It lets the listener be heard. This constant “conversation” with their audience is what they envisioned from the start.
Employees also use twitter as a platform for contests. Contests can be started, selected and winners announced all online as well as on the air. Listeners use hashtags to enter, while staff and followers ‘like’ and retweet their favourites.
Employees not only post under the Indie88 banner, but use their own accounts to distribute news, music, photos and helpful Toronto specific information. Blog posts are written and posted by individual employees, and videos are created and uploaded.
With different employees posting about various topics on multiple platforms of social media all under the umbrella of Indie88, we see the impact that employee involvement can make in engaging and expanding audiences – as was the goal all along. At first glance, one may assume that Indie88’s heavy reliance on employee’s social media activity is purely economical – it is a small workforce, so everyone must contribute. However when you consider their ‘indie’ roots and desire to truly connect and interact with their audience, employee involvement in social media becomes the obvious choice.
Lessons: While their social media reach may not be as widespread as larger companies, Indie88 saturates the feeds of its listeners and target audience with news, music, contests and more. Employee involvement is key to their strategy and success – with all on-air hosts actively engaged in creating and disseminating social media content on various platforms, they have created a open dialogue and community feel that invites listener participation.
Submitted by: Caitlin Brookbanks
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