So, you’re getting ready to launch a new product or service? Social media obviously comes to mind, especially if you already have a healthy following of customers and prospects. Use the tips below to plan a successful product launch on social media.
1. Identify the best channel mix for your launch. While the bulk of your launch may take place on Facebook or through your email list, you may want to include other channels such as your blog, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. These channels can work in conjunction with one another if you plan ahead.
2. Create a launch schedule. Think about your product launch as a blockbuster film. Movie studios start generating buzz long before movies hit the theaters. For example, you’ll likely hear about the latest star to join the cast – and the movie hasn’t even been shot yet. You’ll see previews for the movie a year before it’s ready. While your product launch may not take years to materialize, you can take a cue from Hollywood by generating anticipation. One way to do this is to start with the product’s launch date and work backwards. Create a schedule of social media activities leading up to the launch.
Activities to consider include the following:
- Teaser material – This could include blog posts, a YouTube video, an email marketing campaign, or tweets. The idea is to pique your audience’s interest and let them know that something big is coming.
- Surveys – People love getting involved before the launch. For example, what if you were asked to screen a blockbuster movie months in advance? Wouldn’t you love that? Wouldn’t it be even better if you were asked to provide feedback so the producers could fine-tune the movie and make it even more spectacular based on your feedback? After giving the producers feedback, wouldn’t you be excited to see the final product? Use surveys to get feedback from potential customers early in the process. This feedback can be extremely useful as you finalize your product. It can generate interest, excitement, and buzz; it can get people involved and plant the seeds for future sales.
- Include “coming soon” messages – You may already have your sales page written and ready to go, or a whole website for that matter. Before the final reveal, add “coming soon” messages to start drumming up interest.
- Create a “keep me posted” mailing list – Encourage people to sign up for your mailing list so that they can be notified of any news, special discounts, or events related to your product launch. Not only is this a great way to keep potential customers posted, you’ll have a list of eager buyers to target once that launch date finally arrives.
- Create a viral promotion – Use Facebook or Twitter promotions to encourage your followers to help spread the word. For example, as the launch date gets closer, you could hold a photo or video contest where followers compete to win your product as the prize.
3. Create a work breakdown structure. Now that you have a schedule filled with launch activities, what needs to happen? Who needs to do it? And when? Work breakdown structures are commonly used by project managers to ensure that all project work gets done on time and within budget. When it comes to launching a product, you are a project manager whether you call yourself one or not. Work breakdown structures sound like a lot of work at first, but they really aren’t. In fact, you’ll likely find yourself working more productively once you have a work breakdown structure in place.
Essentially, you break down the work into its smallest components, making the work more manageable. Use your schedule and break each milestone down into its individual tasks. You can do this using software, an outline in Microsoft Word, or index cards. For each task, write down which milestone it is associated with, what needs to be done, by whom, and by what date.
Finally, start tackling each task. Before you know it, launch day will arrive! With a well-thought out plan properly executed, your launch should be met with excited buyers who have been waiting anxiously.