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Why Social Media for a Launch?
Many business owners and entrepreneurs ask me the same question all the time:
Why Social Media for a Launch?
When it comes to marketing, social media has changed the game entirely.
Instead of spending money on ‘press’, you spend time being the media. I say this because social media allows you to connect with people and encourage engagement with very little money – but the investment is time. Unless you hire a social media management company to do the heavy lifting while you leverage your advantage over the competition.
Like many companies or individuals, you have a blog, a podcast or maybe even a video series on YouTube or embedded on your website. If that’s the case, then you’re a media outlet that can leverage your following every time you launch.
Here are 9 tips that you can use to launch your new product or business
Tip #1: Create a Teaser Campaign on Facebook
When your idea is nothing more than a thought, start brainstorming ways you can employ social media to hint that something exciting is coming.
An example of this in action is the launch of Social Media Examiner’s, “Project Torch”.
“Starting months before launch, I regularly posted random images of torches, Indiana Jones and updates about my progress on Project Torch. People were private messaging me, calling me and emailing me (family, friends and business peers) wondering what in the world this secret project was.” ~ Michael Stelzner – Social Media Examiner
Tips for teaser campaigns
- Experiment using Facebook posts with and without images.
- Share progress images (I showed fuzzed-out logos we were working on).
- Reference your “code name” in all of your updates to create natural curiosity.
- Be very careful not to reveal too much too early (even to your closest friends and employees!).
Tip #2: Create a Video That’s Personal
Social media provides an amazing opportunity to connect with people, so create a video that reveals the need you hope to address – simply hint at the solution.
“The video below was put together in less than two weeks. Part was filmed with my iPhone while I was on vacation and the other part was done with the help of a guy at my church on a Saturday afternoon.” ~ Michael Stelzner – Social Media Examiner
The key take-home message here is this: Reveal your video to a live crowd if possible for maximum effect.
Tips on creating a good teaser video:
- Start with a script and record yourself talking.
- It’s okay to record in segments and sew the audio together.
- Find photos that support your video (I asked my dad to mail old photos of me as a kid).
- Create a bunch of working video clips that support your script.
- Put the entire movie together. You can do this yourself using a tool like iMovie or ask a friend who is more experienced to help bring everything together.
- Consider having an original music score done after you record the audio (as I did here).
Source: Social Media Examiner
Tip #3: Start a Founders List
No matter where you go, people will always love being apart of ‘special’ groups. Think about creating a unique email interest list for people who want to learn about your launch.
Create a Facebook app that you can direct people to sign up for a special list where the’d get insider updates. Include a welcome video within the app to explain exactly what they’re getting, and add hype.
The tab should include something like:
“If you’d like to be a part of an exclusive list of people who get the “inside scoop” on all we are doing, complete this form.”
The goal with this video and sign up form is to build a list of people with whom the video resonated. The reason behind this is so that you can build a little army of loyal followers to help you get the word out.
Tip #4: Create Weekly ‘Behind the Scenes’ Videos
It’s time to leverage that loyal followers list that you created. REMEMBER: It’s important that you provide something of value to them. Don’t think that you can spam them with promotions and other ‘salesy’ content.
You’re probably thinking: “Hey I don’t have money to buy a video camera.” Well guess what, if you have a smartphone, you have a video camera. Most cameras are 3.4mp which is twice what a $800 video camera had a few years ago. So, no excuses!
This video was created and uploaded to YouTube with just an Iphone:
Each week you should create a short video that shows people what you’re doing behind the scenes to prepare for your launch. You can include models, design mockups, or articles that you’re working on.
After each video is created and uploaded, don’t forget to email it to your loyalty list!
Tips on creating good “behind the scenes” videos
- Use a smartphone, but hold it in landscape mode so your video fills the entire frame.
- Look directly into the camera and get someone to hold your phone for you if possible.
- You can film yourself if you have a phone with two cameras (like the iPhone).
- Consider showing your screen and what you are working on (outlines, schedules, images and so on).
- Keep it short and sweet.
Tip #5: Make the Launch Educational
Use your blog or podcast to post useful tips about how you’re launching.
Social Media Examiner: “Said another way, teach your audience how to launch while using your launch as the case example.”
Tips on creating educational content about your launch
- Make sure the content truly provides value.
- Under-emphasize the launch and over-emphasize the tips and techniques.
- Use your launch as the case example when possible.
Tip #6: Use ‘Coming Soon’ Messages Across Your Best Social Media Channels
The perfect time to let your audience know that something is coming soon is when you’re close to launch.
One way to do this effectively, is to once again, leverage that loyalty list that you created earlier. And don’t forget about your videos.
Another way is to leverage your personal Facebook profile by sharing your videos and pay to promote it to your friends and family.
You can also leverage your newsletter email list by letting those folks know about your upcoming launch. You should create a link to a special page with the video and an option to subscribe to the Founders List.
- Many of our friends reached out and said “How can I help?”
- We landed numerous podcast interviews that we were able to schedule to correspond with our launch.
- We grew our Founders List, which allowed us to get more folks to help spread the word during the launch.
Tip #7: Have Someone Interview You on Your Platform
It always looks better to have someone else promote you, rather than constantly tooting your own horn, don’t you think?
When you have a platform like a blog or YouTube channel, it’s common to see guest bloggers or video interviews. But, how you go about becoming a guest on your own show?
How about having a guest host, and you be the guest? That doesn’t sound that crazy, does it? Speak a little about your launch and touch lightly on the specifics.
Tips for appearing as a guest on your own show
- Do the heavy lifting for the guest host, including providing a few questions he or she can ask you.
- Let the guest host run the show (step back and enjoy the spotlight).
- Focus on providing a ton of value.
- Pick a host who can relate to your launch and perhaps resonate with the ideal target market.
Tip #8: Integrate Your Launch Into Your Platforms
Be sure to mention your new product or company on ALL of your platforms. For example:
- In a banner ad on your blog
- In your Twitter bio and background image
- In your podcast
- On your Facebook page cover image
- On your Google+ page
- On your LinkedIn company page
- On your “About us” page
Tip #9: Encourage People to Help Spread the Word
Once again, this is where you leverage your loyal followers list. When it’s time, ask them to help spread the word!
Tips on creating shareable tweets
- Reference your Twitter ID and a hashtag so you can easily track the number of people who participate.
- Respond to everyone who shares that tweet (a thank-you goes a long way!).
- Write the tweet the way someone else would likely write it (informal language).
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This post was written by David Moceri