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Cole Cubelic Values Every Interaction With His Listeners

When it comes to growing a radio show in 2022 is there a more effective way than social media? Sure, word of mouth will always have its place in the world, but nothing today seemingly replaces an audiogram with a great quote from a guest or even a tweet that gets people commenting. Cole Cubelic, co-host of McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning on WJOX 94.5 in Birmingham, AL is a big believer in social media and the impact it plays on his radio show. 

Cubelic’s preferred social media platform is Twitter and has a very large involvement in how his show page operates on a daily basis. Twitter comments have become a big part of the show and the involvement he sees on a daily basis has been pretty incredible. That’s been the payoff of making Twitter such a big part of the show. 

“Let’s face it, there’s a lot of people that have listened to sports radio for their entire life that will never call in, and it just gives them a completely different way to be involved,” Cubelic said. “That’s one reason we try to like and retweet almost everything people send in, because we want them to know we see them interacting with the show. We go to the feed a lot during the show and we’ll read feedback, especially if it’s good.

“To me, going back to my days in Huntsville, we used to have an hourly segment called 10 after Tweets, and at :10 after every hour, we would just read tweets. It got to where it wasn’t just tweets that came into the show, it was a way for us to say, alright, Adam Rittenberg tweeted this out, it’s not worthy of an entire segment but it’s informative. We would throw those out there, as well. By reading those you might spark a reaction from listeners or someone else on the show that can lead to a bigger conversation. Really it’s a way for people to interact with the show in a completely different way.”

I’m like most people. I spend way too much time aimlessly scrolling on Twitter during the day. With that being said, it takes a lot for something to catch my attention and stop my scroll. But one surefire way to do it is a post of an audiogram.

If you’re unfamiliar with what that is, it’s normally a graphic that has the picture of someone, along with the audio of an interesting opinion someone had on a radio show. I’m a huge fan of them and often implement them on my own radio show. 

You’ll see a lot of them on the McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning Twitter page. It’s the perfect way to highlight the best quote you were able to get out of a guest. But what if there’s more than one great quote you want to highlight? How does Cubelic choose which quote will get the most interaction? 

“Conrad Van Order, who works on our show, he’s the one that puts those together and he does a really good job with that,” Cubelic said. “He is my co-pilot as far as Twitter for the show. He helps with a lot of that. Damian Mitchell, our producer, has access and helps out with it also.

“Honestly, if that happens we’ll talk about it during the break and Greg might say, what he said about last night’s game, you’ve got to get that in there. What we said about Nick Saban, that’s got to go out. And there’s no reason we can’t do two from the same guest. But we do normally have conversations about it right after it takes place.”

If you’re on a show that uses social media as a big driver for interaction, it doesn’t mean you have to completely abandon any other forms of communication. Cubelic’s show is proof that you can use Twitter often and still work in phone calls. Remember, different people prefer different things, and while many might never call into your show, some still want to. 

“I’d say it’s fairly balanced,” Cubelic said. “Now I think there’s a lot more people that tweet into the show that call into the show, but I think as far as what we actually get to, it’s probably 50-50. I try to get to the majority of our callers, but it’s hard because I like to stay on topic and if I see someone is calling in about Kansas/North Carolina and we’re talking about Texas A&M’s signing class, I’m not just going to put them on the show.”

“That’s probably the most difficult part of managing phones, in my opinion, is not just plugging everyone through. This happened today, a guy called in, got screened, he put Coach K, I went to him, and he said, actually I want to talk about something totally different. I clench my fist when that happens because I don’t feel like that’s good radio. But as far as what we actually get to, I’d say it’s pretty even because we don’t get to all of our tweets, we get to a decent amount of calls, but we also don’t get to all of those.”

Social media also really helps when it comes to promoting guests. Not everyone is listening to your radio show, but someone might tune in, that otherwise wouldn’t if they’re scrolling social media and see an interesting upcoming guest with a live link to listen. Cubelic is a big believer in constantly giving the listener directions on where to go. 

“It goes back to the basics of radio, right?” Cubellic said. “People don’t change their habits and they’re stubborn with how they consume things. I just think it’s important to have, hey this is the website, hey, this is the link to the app, you have to hammer that home forever because there’s going to be new people consuming and it goes back to your ABC’s of radio. I’ve always struggled with replaying the hits. Ryan Haney had jammed this into me, but if I hit North Carolina-Kansas in the first segment it’s hard to make myself go back and talk about it again. But I know the reality is the majority of our listeners an hour later didn’t hear that and probably want to hear that topic addressed. It’s the same thing on social media, which is probably consumed at a faster rate with a smaller attention span, so you’ve got to keep hitting that.”

Everyone is always trying to find new ways to grow their radio show. A good place to get ideas is the McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning Twitter page. But it’s not just important to post. It’s also important to interact with the comments you get. Cubelic and McElroy have seemingly mastered the art of it. 

Expect quality social media posts from the show page throughout the spring and summer. Especially when you factor that in that one college football team in the state is the favorite to win a national championship and the other, which Cubelic played college football at, is having the craziest offseason anyone covering Auburn has ever seen. 

“We’ve seen some crazy ones,” Cubelic said. “I was a player when we had a coach that was fired in the middle of the season and the offseason after that became very different. There had been others that if the media had operated the same way as they do today, maybe would have been more crazy. But because Of how this was covered and where the media is today, yeah I think this by far the strangest Auburn off-season I’ve ever seen.”

Tyler McComas
Tyler McComashttp://34.192.167.182
Tyler McComas is a columnist for BSM and a sports radio talk show host in Norman, OK where he hosts afternoon drive for SportsTalk 1400. You can find him on Twitter @Tyler_McComas or you can email him at TylerMcComas08@yahoo.com.

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