Social media provides new brands with an incredible opportunity to launch a new product to a highly targeted, engaged, wallet-out audience. You have access to consumers located all over the world along with the ability to target them based on very specific parameters.
Brands today have such a massive advantage over brands that got their start just ten years ago. While this all sounds great, it's not as simple as making a few posts on launch day and watching the sales snowball.
It takes a lot of preparation and planning, along with a great product, to have a successful launch on social media. Here are the seven steps required to expertly launch a new brand on social media, regardless of the niche.
1. Establish a clear set of goals
You need to identify your KPIs and goals before anything else. What is going to make your particular launch successful? This will be drastically different for every brand. It might be based on sales, email-list growth, or just the generation of buzz that translates into long-term brand awareness.
If it's sales- and revenue-based, be specific. How many sales? How much revenue? You need to have all of this figured out ahead of time. Determine how much money you are going to invest in the launch and be sure that whatever your goals are, you break even, at the very least.
2. Develop a timeline
When you have your launch date set, you will need to back up and map out the timeline from the current date to the launch date. Then, break that window of time into blocks. Every step of creating a launch will require time. If you feel that your timeline is too tight, push it back.
The last thing you want to do is commit to the launching date and then a week prior have to push it back. That can be a death sentence for a brand, especially if you have already hyped up the date to a social audience that's waiting in anticipation.
3. Select the best social media platforms
This is where your strategy starts to play out. What social media platforms are you going to want to focus on to reach your target audience? While you may think going super wide and launching on every platform available is the correct play, it's the opposite.
Focus on the two to three best platforms for your launch. This allows you to put more effort into each one, which will greatly impact the return on investment. Pick the social media platforms that best match your brand and its target audience.
Going after a younger 18- to 20-year-old demographic? TikTok is the place to be. Interested in connecting with a 32- to 45-year-old homeowning demographic? Then Facebook should be your number one platform. Don't worry about what social platform is the most popular: Select based on where your target audience is active.
4. Map out an influencer marketing strategy
Aligning with the right influencers to help give your launch a boost can give you momentum unobtainable elsewhere. Try to work out deals with influencers who have engaged audiences that match your target market.
From a flat fee per post to a revenue-sharing agreement, work out something that makes sense and allows you to tap into those followings. If you break even or even take a slight hit, consider the upside, which is gaining a large customer base on day one that can be marketed to down the line multiple times.
And here's a pro tip: Let the influencer introduce and announce your brand and product to his or her audience as he or she sees fit. The response will be much better if this is done naturally and not something that feels staged and planned. Giving influencers total creative control will yield the best results.
5. Design launch-campaign assets
You're going to need a wide variety of content assets and formats. On launch day, you will need to have several campaigns loaded up and ready to go that you will closely monitor and optimize in real-time.
If one format or image is performing better, you will need to adjust. Will a meme outperform a GIF? What about a video? You need variety to collect as much data as possible. Some examples of campaign assets include high-quality product images; lifestyle images; videos, both long and short; GIFs, and memes.
It's also important to design each content asset specifically for the platform it will be used on. This includes formatting video run times for the specific social channel and making images the correct size to ensure proper display.
6. Schedule your social media content
Once you have your social platforms identified and all of your content assets created, you now have to schedule it. You have your official launch date, but don't forget the days leading up to it. This is a perfect time to build anticipation with teaser content.
You can schedule your entire organic campaign in one of the SaaS tools like Hootsuite, which helps you organize the launch as well as reply and engage during the launch. You are going to want to be available to answer questions and reply in real-time.
Participating in the discussion will drive more sales, and the engagement boost will help further your organic reach. Even if your launch strategy revolves around paid social media ads, you still want to have an organic campaign scheduled.
7. Launch your campaign
If you planned for enough time to get everything mapped out and situated, you will be ready to go on launch day. Be sure to have extra hands on deck to handle customer service issues, answer pre-sales questions and ensure everything goes smoothly.
A poorly executed launch can sink a brand before it even has a chance to thrive. Be sure to plan for every possible mishap because a launch without some hiccups is unheard of. Be prepared for the unexpected and ready to make adjustments as you go.