5 tips for launching a brand on social

Does your brand have a scalable social plan? Use these tips to set the tone for an engaged community.

In an increasingly digital workforce, architecting a scalable social plan is critical for the launch of any brand. Social channels are powerful tools that can help your team build pre-launch buzz and set the tone for an engaged online community. The stronger your social presence, the better outreach your product will have.

Launching a new brand but don’t know where to begin? Here are 5 tips for launching your brand on social.

1. Establish a pre-launch presence

It’s important to start generating buzz for your project as early as possible to put your brand in the best position for success. At least 3-4 weeks before you launch, create a social plan for generating product awareness. This could be simply creating a website for your brand, or publishing digital content on one or multiple social channels. Whatever will most effectively promote the tone of your product to your target audience.

Want to maintain an air of mystery around your product but still generate buzz? Settle on copy and images that provide limited context for what’s to come without giving away who or what you are.

2. Develop a channel-specific strategy

Having a one-size-fits-all approach to social media isn’t acceptable in this day and age. It will bore your community and hinder your growth as a brand. Instead, try incorporating a content strategy that is specific for each media outlet you plan on promoting your brand through. Facebook can be a conversion tool while Twitter could be great for customer service; Instagram could be where your brand comes to life visually.

Small budget and limited bandwidth? Twitter can be your best friend. Build public or private lists to help organize your newsfeed and use it as a marketing tool. You don’t need to follow people in order to build lists, but you can use these lists to help establish your target audience. For example, if I’m launching a line of yoga gear, I’d create a private list of influencers and yogis who I’d potentially want to target.

3. Defining content pillars

Content is one of the most important, time-consuming and often most expensive aspects of brand planning. A content pillar is a piece of content on a specific topic or theme which can be broken down into various sections, pieces, and materials. To optimize success at launch, start by defining 3 – 5 pillars of content that make sense for your brand. Then, create a balanced content mix per social channel. For example, you may share brand news and product updates on Facebook while Instagram will be a vehicle for lifestyle content.

It’s imperative that you launch with your own original content. Even if you only have budget or bandwidth that allows you to use a few photos or very simplistic videos, use those to establish your brand’s unique identity. Shared content should only be used post-launch.
4. Consider customer service

Social media will be the first place your consumers will go to ask questions and express concerns about your product. So before you launch, it’s critical to have your customer service strategy already planned. How will your team support incoming tweets, Facebook messages and Instagram comments from your audience? Remember, your content will be public, so having a buttoned-up FAQ and process in place is also important.

Using a free tool such as Hootsuite is a good way to stay on top of conversations. Hootsuite allows you to set up filters to monitor brand mentions, hashtags and top-line sentiment. This information will help you plan your future content strategy by providing insight into what is and isn’t resonating with your consumers.

5. Set scalable KPIs

How you measure success at launch will be different than how you measure success in 6 months. While fan acquisition and lead generation are two important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), you can’t get anyone to follow you on social media if they don’t know that you exist. Consider focusing on brand awareness and instilling proper messaging during the pre-launch phase so that you can assess the effectiveness of your social strategy post-launch.