Congratulations! You have a new product, offering, or branding, and you can’t wait to share it with the world on social media. Launching something new on social media is more than simply throwing up a tweet or publishing a Facebook post. For a launch to be successful, it requires three main parts: preparation, execution, and reflection. Here are my tips to ensure that your launch goes well.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
This quote rings true whether you’re planning the Declaration of Independence (the original re-brand) or your latest product line. Having your ducks in a row pre-launch will make the day-of execution that much easier.
Tip #1: Google Docs is your best friend. The collaborative nature and real-time editing of this program makes it the perfect place to plan your launch. I recommend using it to lay out just about everything. This includes copy, links to graphics, FAQs, roles and responsibilities, timing, and ad planning. Once you’ve established your plan, you can share with other team members and higher-ups who can weigh in and comment. Once it’s all approved, you’re ready to go!
Tip #2: Collaboration is key. Social media is only one cog in the greater launch machine. The product team, operations, design, legal, and executives all have a hand in getting things out the door. You’re going to need their input and expertise to write copy, FAQs, and support the overall marketing plan. Also, establish a chain of command in advance for escalations and questions on launch day.
Tip #3: Regroup the night before and have a day-of checklist ready to go. I use the pen and paper method in addition to Google Docs. It helps me to see what exactly needs to be done, and I can physically cross tasks off the list as I’m going. Email yourself Instagram photos, and have them saved on your phone so you’re all set. Take care of the small details the day before so you’ll have one less thing to do on launch day.
“It’s one thing to write down an idea and another thing entirely to execute it.” – Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
The big day has arrived. Your preparation now comes down to execution. The execution is what your community (and bosses) will see, so it’s important to have your game face on and be ready to rock.
Tip #1: Take a breath before publishing. It’s better for a tweet to go out a 9:02 AM that’s correct, than a tweet with a typo at 9:00 AM on the dot.
Tip #2: Engage in real-time. Don’t just throw up your approved posts and walk away. Read the comments and tweets coming in, and answer them. They could be positive “Awesome, I love this!” notes, or brutal “I hate your product, and will never buy your brand again!” slams. Most likely, they’ll be a mix of both. Don’t just reply to the positive messages; be transparent and honest with your community, and try to address any concerns they may have. This is where the importance of having a chain-of-command comes in. Know who to go to for answers.
Tip #3: Expect the unexpected. Things will get hectic and maybe even go off the rails a bit. I’ve learned that no matter how much you prepare, there’s going to be a curveball, or something that was overlooked during planning. Like any good coach, you may need to adjust and make a game-time decision. Work to resolve the issue quickly and efficiently with your team.
Bonus Tip: Read my blog post on what to do when things go wrong here. I promise everything will be OK!
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” —Sir Winston Churchill
You’ve planned, you’ve executed, and now it’s time to relax, right? Wrong. Post-launch is the time to reflect on your planning and executing to gain learnings and insights.
Tip #1: Incorporate reminders into your communication calendar. There was a lot of time and effort spent to roll out your new product. Keep supporting it through social media posts and give it some post-launch love.
Tip #2: Put together a social media report. Include items like screenshots, links, and engagement numbers. Depending on your organization, it can be a quick recap or an in-depth presentation. It’s important to see if your objectives were met and what type of feedback the community provided. Bonus: it’s also your chance to show off the work you did!
Tip #3: Regroup and reflect. Once you’ve had some time to look at your report and talk to the larger team, pick out things that went well and things that didn’t quite go so well. It’s important to learn from the good, the bad, and the ugly, so you can do better the next time.
Social media launches can be an exciting and stressful time. You’re in charge of public-facing communication channels, and people aren’t shy about expressing their opinions. By planning, executing, and reflecting, you’ll set yourself up for success. Follow the above tips and stay flexible!
Do you have any tips for launching a product on social media? Share them as a comment!