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Social media provides an incredible opportunity for new brands to launch a new product to a highly targeted, engaged, wallet-less audience. You have access to consumers located all over the world and the ability to target them based on very specific parameters.
Brands today have a huge advantage over brands that started just ten years ago. While this all sounds good, it’s not as simple as making a few messages on launch day and watching the sales snowball.
It takes a lot of preparation and planning, along with a great product, to successfully launch on social media. Here are the seven steps needed to expertly launch a new brand on social media, whatever the niche.
Related: 10 Laws Of Social Media Marketing
1. Establish a clear set of goals
You need to identify your KPIs and goals before anything else. What will make your particular launch successful? It will be radically different for each brand. This can be based on sales, mailing list growth, or just generating buzz that results in long term brand awareness.
If it’s based on sales and revenue, be specific. How many sales? How much income? You must have understood everything in advance. Figure out how much money you’re going to invest in the launch and make sure that whatever your goals are, you’ll at least hit breakeven.
2. Develop a timeline
When you have set your launch date, you will need to save and plot the timeline from the current date to the launch date. Then divide this time window into blocks. Each step of creating a launch will take time. If you feel your deadline is too tight, push it back.
The last thing you want to do is commit to a launch date and then a week before pushing it back. It can be a death sentence for a brand, especially if you’ve already announced the date to an eagerly awaiting social audience.
3. Select the best social media platforms
This is where your strategy begins to play. What social media platforms are you going to want to focus on to reach your target audience? While you may think that going to great lengths and launching across all available platforms is the right game, it is the opposite.
Focus on the two or three best platforms for your launch. This allows you to put more effort into each, which will have a huge impact on ROI. Choose the social media platforms that best suit your brand and its target audience.
Are you targeting a younger demographic between the ages of 18 and 20? TikTok is the place to be. Interested in getting in touch with a demographic of homeowners aged 32 to 45? Then Facebook should be your number one platform. Don’t worry about the most popular social platform – select it based on where your target audience is active.
Related: 8 Easy Ways To Make Social Media Work For Your Business
4. Develop an influencer marketing strategy
Matching up with the right influencers to give your launch a boost can give you a boost you can’t get elsewhere. Try to make deals with influencers who have engaged audiences that match your target market.
Whether it’s a per post plan or a revenue sharing deal, craft something that makes sense and lets you leverage those subscriptions. If you are breaking even or even taking a slight hit, think about the upside, which gains a large customer base on day one that can be marketed multiple times down the line.
And here’s a pro tip: let the influencer present and advertise your brand and product to their audience as they see fit. The response will be much better if it is done naturally and not something that seems staged and planned. Giving influencers full creative control will yield the best results.
5. Design the assets of the launch campaign
You will need a wide variety of content and formats. On launch day, you will need to have several campaigns loaded and ready to go that you will closely monitor and optimize in real time.
If a format or an image works better, you will need to adjust it. Will a meme outperform a GIF? And a video? You need variety to collect as much data as possible. Some examples of line items include high quality product images; lifestyle images; videos, both long and short; GIFs and memes.
It’s also important to design each piece of content specifically for the platform it will be used on. This includes formatting the video execution times for the specific social channel and setting the images to the correct size to ensure correct display.
6. Schedule your content on social media
Once you’ve identified your social platforms and all of your created content assets, now you need to schedule it. You have your official launch date, but don’t forget the days before it. Now is a great time to create some anticipation with teaser content.
You can plan your entire organic campaign in any of the SaaS tools like Hootsuite, which helps you organize the launch as well as respond and engage during the launch. You’re going to want to be available to answer questions and respond in real time.
Joining the discussion will drive more sales and increasing engagement will help increase your organic reach. Even if your launch strategy revolves around paid social media ads, you still want to schedule an organic campaign.
Related: 10 Social Media Marketing Strategies For Businesses
7. Launch your campaign
If you’ve got plenty of time to plan and situate everything, you’ll be good to go on launch day. Make sure you have extra hands on the bridge to handle customer service issues, answer pre-sales questions, and make sure everything is going smoothly.
A poorly executed launch can wreck a brand before it even has a chance to thrive. Make sure you plan for all possible mishaps, as a hiccup-free launch is unheard of. Be prepared for the unexpected and ready to make adjustments as they go.