So, you’ve spent the last few months working tirelessly on an exciting new product. You’ve designed it and redesigned it, put it through testing and feedback campaigns, and refined it until it’s perfect. That means that only one question remains: will anyone actually buy it?
Of course, no one’s going to be rushing to your store or website to purchase your new product if they don’t know it exists. That’s why it’s crucial that you have an effective product launch that will get people talking.
In the past, that might have been an advertisement in a newspaper or a TV commercial. But in today’s business world, social media is the most important battleground for up-and-coming companies.
For this reason, you need to be able to effectively create a product launch on social media if you really want to build buzz around your new product. How? Read on to discover our 9 crucial steps to a successful social media product launch plan.
Why is it important to plan your social media product launch?
From artificial intelligence in workplace settings to virtual reality shopping, the world of business is constantly evolving as technology becomes increasingly advanced.
However, one thing remains the same: if you want people to know about a product, you have to put it where they’ll see it—and, right now, that’s on social media.
Think for a second of all the time that you spend on social media. Whether it’s mindlessly scrolling on Instagram in the evening or messaging old friends on Facebook, we probably spend more time than we’d like to admit on our social media apps.
Image sourced from marketingcharts.com
That means that investing in social media is a vital part of any company’s marketing strategy. If you create a campaign that gets people talking, your advertisements will be shared over and over again, potentially putting your product in front of millions of potential customers.
That sort of reach simply cannot be achieved in more traditional forms of marketing. However, it’s also possible that your social media campaign might struggle to get off the ground at all.
If you want to create a social media product launch that reaches the stars, you’ll have to make sure that it’s well-planned, effectively structured, and clearly organized.
Why is this so crucial? Well, while you can probably put together a social media product launch using your phone in a few minutes—take a picture of something, add a little caption and a hashtag, and upload it to Instagram—it’s not likely to go viral.
Although the best social media product launches might look effortless, they’re actually the result of detailed planning which allows them to generate buzz across the world.
With social media marketing increasingly important, there’s really no excuse to not spend time planning your product launch on social media.
9 steps to a successful social media product launch
So, how can you actually create a social media product launch plan that works? Below are our 9 steps to a successful product launch on social media.
Set out your goals
If you start something without knowing what the purpose of it is, you’ll not only be unable to assess whether it was successful or not, but you’ll also find that you’re lacking any motivation or direction.
That’s why you should always begin a social media marketing plan with a clear set of goals and targets.
This can be drawn from a range of different sources of information. Maybe you’ve conducted some market research and know that there’s a certain sector of the public that you want to target, or maybe you’ve got an explicit sales goal that you want to reach.
Image sourced from databox.com
As well as increasing brand awareness with a certain demographic or increasing sales numbers, other common goals include changing brand perception, increasing social media followers, and generating more revenue.
When setting out your goals, try to keep them simple and straightforward, as you don’t want to worry about achieving 4 or 5 separate targets.
You might also want to link them to your company’s other current endeavors—if you’ve just set up a specific customer retention call center strategy, for instance, you could choose a product launch that is targeted at existing customers to keep them excited and interested in your brand.
Visualize the launch
Once you’ve outlined the targets of your social media product launch, it’s time to start thinking about planning the launch itself.
Counterintuitively, however, you should start at the finish line. Sit down and picture what an amazing product launch would look like when your work has finished. Discuss this as a team to draw on a wider range of ideas and inspiration.
Visualizing the launch at the beginning of the planning process will mean that you and your team have a clear understanding of what you’re working towards. Similar to setting the right goals, this will provide you with a specific direction of travel when you’re planning the rest of the product launch.
Create a timeline
Now that you know what your product launch will essentially look like, it’s time to set a date for the all-important launch day. From this, you can formulate a comprehensive timeline to make sure that you’re always on schedule – and start to show off about your incoming launch.
Screenshot taken by author from twitter.com
This timeline should include a pre-launch stage (think about everything that needs to happen before the launch itself), a launch stage, and a post-launch stage (this last period will let you assess the success of your product launch).
Once you have this timeline established, you can divide up the tasks that need to be completed in order for every stage of the product launch to go to plan. You can also start to schedule posts publicizing your product launch in the weeks leading up to it.
Focus on the most effective social media platforms
Social media marketing might seem like a modern and intelligent form of marketing, but choosing the wrong channels can make your campaign as unrefined as simply cold calling random numbers—you could end up targeting demographics who have no interest in your product or brand by focusing on Facebook rather than Instagram, for instance.
You should go back to the goals that you outlined at the start of the planning process when choosing the social media platforms that your launch will emphasize. For instance, if you want to improve your brand recognition with young people, you might want to focus on platforms like TikTok.
It’s important that you choose one or two channels to focus on, as this will shape the rest of your product launch—a TikTok campaign will have to utilize video technology, for example.
Decide on a strategy
The overall strategy of your product launch is undoubtedly linked to the type of social media platform that you’ll be targeting. This can include visuals that you want to use in every piece of marketing, or some key phrases that you want to return to throughout the campaign.
An example of a social media marketing strategy is one that aims to target teenagers. In this case, your product launch will be publicized in a way that’s engaging, humorous, and simple to understand, and you’ll want to use these principles across all of your marketing materials.
Again, these strategic guidelines need to be shaped by your end goals, suit your chosen social media channels, and fit easily into your launch timeline.
Screenshot taken by author from twitter.com
Find creative partners and build your campaign assets
Of course, unless you’re exceptionally talented, you won’t be able to put all of these strategic visions into practice on your own.
If you want your social media product launch to stand out amongst an endless supply of enticing and appealing images on Instagram, for instance, you’ll have to make campaign materials that are visually exciting.
You might have an in-house creative team that you can closely work with to build visual images and campaign materials that turn your ideas into practical outcomes.
Alternatively, you might have to find a creative partner to invest in. Either way, turning to creative expertise at this stage in the product launch plan process is necessary.
You should pre-plan your whole range of campaign assets, from infographics to GIFs, which should all draw on a shared visual vocabulary. This means that they should share a common color scheme, typeface, and design template so that potential customers can easily identify your brand and your marketing materials.
Look for influencers to work with
There’s a reason why social media influencers are so sought after by brands. Simply getting your product in a post by an influencer can make it appealing to their thousands of followers and helps to establish word-of-mouth and consumer trust in your brand and product.
Screenshot taken by author from instagram.com
However, you shouldn’t just be approaching any old popular social media account; it’s important that you find the right influencer for your product, brand, and target audience.
This will help you to target the people who will be most likely to purchase your product and grow your brand in the direction that you want it to go.
If your product or service is aimed at people who need to know the answers to complex computer science questions such as “what is LLMOps” for instance, it wouldn’t make much sense to partner with a popular yoga instructor on TikTok.
It’s also important that you don’t just treat influencers as a tool in your marketing campaign. You should see them as an active partner in your product launch.
Draw from their expertise and ask for any advice or suggestions. They might even put you in touch with other suitable influencers, helping you to further grow your professional network for future social media product launches.
Update your social media campaign calendar
Once you’ve got most of the significant building blocks—such as your creative assets and your influencer partnership—in place, it’s time to put your product launch timeline into action.
Any good social media marketing team will have a detailed social media campaign calendar.
This allows you to schedule posts and campaigns at times when they’ll be most effective, while also ensuring that you avoid any content collisions, such as accidentally launching two separate products at the same time.
Think about how regularly you’ll want to be posting about your product launch and how early you should signal your followers towards it. If your product is a central part of your business and brand, you might want it to completely dominate your social media campaign calendar for a couple of weeks.
To build excitement for your product, start posting about the problems that it intends to solve. If your product is a new phone, for instance, you could ask your followers if their phone keeps disconnecting calls and then hint that you’ll be providing a solution on a fixed date.
While we recommended that you focus your product launch on one or two social media channels, you should always advertise it on all of your social media platforms.
For instance, you could tease it for a week on Instagram before pivoting to TikTok for a video-based product launch on the day itself. This will let you draw on all of your followers, regardless of their favored social media channel.
Launch the product!
Screenshot taken by author from twitter.com
By this point, you should have a pretty clear plan for your social media product launch. However, when it comes to the actual launch, it’s always worth performing some last minute checks.
Make sure that you’ve chosen the best time to post on your chosen platform—you don’t want to have a product launch when few people are using the app. Similarly, go over the campaign assets and any other videos or materials you’ll be using in the launch to ensure that they’re up to scratch.
Once you’ve done all of that, your planning should have paid off. All that’s left to do is click the launch button and put your feed up.
Social media—the future of product launches
There’s no doubt that product launches will live on social media for the foreseeable future. By following our step-by-step guide to planning a social media product launch, you can be confident that your launch will be as successful as possible. Start planning today!