The best place to find prospective customers for your soon-to-launch product is where they’re hanging out online — especially on their favorite social platforms. Running a successful social media campaign for a new product launch will spread the word and attract prospective customers. And its relatively low cost makes it an ideal advertising opportunity.
Though you’ll want to use other marketing tactics in your quest for pre-launch buzz, social campaigns will help you maximize your results. Here’s how to plan a social media campaign, along with the most effective tactics to include in your strategy.
How to Plan a Social Media Campaign
Every good marketing campaign starts with a plan. Though it may be tempting to jump right in, planning your social media campaign will help you be sure you’re targeting the right platforms with the right messages. Here’s how to create an effective plan.
1. Get to Know Your Prospective Customers
Before creating a plan, be sure you have a thorough understanding of your prospective customers. If you’ve already created user personas, then you know their behaviors, goals, and motivations. If you haven’t created user personas, take some time to do that now. Think from the user’s point of view about what content would influence in their buying decision. Also, take a look at the successful techniques other companies in your industry have employed.
2. Define Your Goal(s)
You need to know where you want to go in order to create a plan to get there, so start with the end in mind. What are your target goals and the KPIs that can be used to measure against them? You need to define success in order to achieve it. Are you hoping to spread awareness? Generate a list of people interested in the product? Build your follower count?
Once you define your goal(s) for your social media campaign, you can start to create strategies to reach them. You may focus on driving traffic, impressions, and engagement to get your tribe talking about your new product. Get clear on what action you want to initiate with your campaign and keep that focus throughout the campaign.
3. Map Out the Timeline
Once you determine your product launch date, it’s time to create a timeline. Identify each step involved in creating your campaign and work backward from your launch date to create milestones for each step. Then work forward to determine post-launch milestones. Generally, you’ll want to follow a 4-part schedule:
- Pre-launch: 2-3 weeks out, lead with problem/solution messaging and benefit statements in a series of social posts. Create and share enticing content that gives people an idea of what to expect on launch day.
- Launch day: Plan for a big splash on the day of your product launch.
- Post-launch: 2-3 weeks after your launch, follow up with updates, images and descriptions of your product in action in the real world, new ideas for how to use your product, and other attractive content.
- Post-launch integration: After the launch period, you’ll work to integrate your new product into your regular content schedule— though you may also plan additional activity to continue the momentum of the launch.
Once you establish your campaign timeframe, you can start planning out your content. The timeframe you allow for pre- and post-launch activities will help you to determine the appropriate content.
4. Identify Social Media Channels
The social channels you choose will depend on which channels your prospective users are active on. Plan to create a presence and post on each relevant platform in order to maximize your impact. Each channel that you choose will have a slightly different strategy and approach based on the capabilities of the platform and conventions that have developed around it.
5. Brainstorm Types of Content
Get creative and consider all types of content that would engage your audience, including text posts, quizzes, polls, contests, images, and videos. Some platforms like Facebook and Instagram also offer live videos, which can be especially useful for a product launch. Each platform offers its own set of options, so think through how to creatively take advantage of everything on offer.
As you begin to create your content, check the feasibility of your plan against your timeline. If you didn’t plan far enough ahead, consider being more strategic. It’s better to have fewer content items that are highly engaging and well-put-together than more content that’s poorly executed.
Tactics for a Successful Social Media Campaign
There are many different tactics you can implement for a successful social media campaign. Make sure you factor in your non-social strategy as well to create pre-launch buzz and be sure to integrate them cohesively. Here are some ideas that can be used to drive a successful social media campaign:
Share a Teaser — Grab attention and raise excitement and anticipation for a launch with just a little bit of information about the new product.
Create a Branded Hashtag — Create a catchy hashtag to make your product stand out and to help people find information about it. Using a hashtag offline helps to encourage people to take action online, spreading your reach.
Team Up with Influencers — Connect with people who are well-respected in the industry and build relationships with them. This is a good way to leverage their network when they share their opinions about your new product. Your reputation increases by association.
Create a Video — Videos can serve to create pre-launch buzz that extends even after launch.
Tell a Story — Create a compelling narrative describing how your product helps users overcome a challenge.
Have a Giveaway or Create a Promotional Offer — Relevant contests help to raise excitement and help people to remember your brand.
Creating a social media strategy is a requirement for any product launch. Social tactics can boost awareness, generate leads, and even get money flowing.
Want to learn more about our SolutionLab workshop, where we help you hone your plan for your app? Get in touch.