Sahail Ashraf posted on 10 October 2016
You know when they spend millions on building a ship, a big ocean liner, for example, and they launch it with a bottle of champagne and a huge fanfare? That’s what you should be doing with your brand on social media.
Okay, the bottle of champagne may be pushing it a little, but the fanfare should be there. Getting your brand launched on social should be big, bold and purposeful. So how do you go forth into the great unknown with a brand, and hit it out of the park first time?
Well, preparation really helps. You need a few things to be in place first of all before it has a chance to work. Try the following as clear waypoints if you’re launching a brand.
This is a little promise you have to make to yourself before you swing that champagne bottle against the side of your virtual ship. You need to commit to a strict schedule of posting before you start. This will guide you massively as you move forward.
Of course, this post frequency thing may change as you get to know your audience better, but you will most certainly set you up solidly if you are able to show some level of commitment early on. This will also set up very good habits as your strategy starts to embed in and you face the challenges of maintaining an audience.
Putting in good habits early on means much bigger rewards later, as the self-discipline starts to develop. And it also allows you to use your time wisely.
At the same time, building discipline into your operation early means you can start to develop a voice. Developing a voice is crucial, again as your brand begins to develop. You need to be consistent in how you phrase your updates so that your audience begins to recognise who you are and what the brand stands for.
Put together a persona and think primarily about what your brand has as an ethos or mission statement.
Then consider how to best get this across in the content that you use. This is what your brand sounds like, and what it stands for.
This is a crucial aspect of social media, and if you’re launching a brand, it’s vital that you nail this immediately. Imagine walking into a networking meeting and talking to random strangers all day long. It doesn’t work. And you look stupid.
On social media, talking to the right people is vital. If you know who your audience is, you can create tweets, updates and an overall strategy that brings value to what you do. Start to take a good look at your demographics.
If you’ve done any kind of marketing anyway, which you must have done since you are a brand, you will have some idea of a buyer persona that your brand is trying to reach. This is what you are supposed to think about whenever you enter a social media setting. Know your customers, and go after them. Don’t waste your time talking to and trying to connect with people who will not buy from you.
There is a certain school of thought that implies that influencer marketing is the way forward. If this is the case for you and your brand (as in you feel you need to get to know important people and leverage their influence) then so be it. But right at the start of things, your aim is to make sure that your social media marketing is focused entirely on people who are interested in your product or service.
Building a base of people who are hungry for what you sell makes absolute sense. Veering away from that and being more daring works only after that base is there. Grab that buyer persona work and make sure that you are only hanging out where your customers are, pure and simple.
Hardly anyone does this, we think. It’s easier to just run in and hope your strategy works, even when you don’t have a strategy. But planning out the first six months will bring you a massive amount of benefit.
Work out what your posting schedule is. Then work out the kinds of posts you’re going to throw up there. If you are struggling, wait a while and then use your metrics to see the best posts you have created, the stuff that people like.
This will tell you which types of posts get the most engagement, and are therefore worth following up with more of the same.
Inside that plan, there had better be some idea of how you are going to measure the success of your campaign. What are you looking for? Conversions? Engagement and nothing more? Or are you just focused on building reach for six months?
Knowing your aim means that you can move quicker, adjust and adapt accordingly. Using metrics helps you to formulate a plan. For example, if after a few weeks you know your reach is dead in the water, you should aim to make a plan that builds reach primarily. After reach is boosted, focus on engagement, and so on.
But plan to do this.
If your company has a group of social media savvy individuals, use them. Don’t relegate them to the sidelines, because they can be the difference between a strong start and a slow stagger. Talent comes in many shapes and sizes, and it isn’t always obvious.
Take your brand launch seriously and court the best players in the office, people who know how to use Facebook instinctively. There is a difference, for example, from a Facebook user who likes updating with funny videos to the one who knows how to use video on the platform. Unless you are a solo player, create a team, some people who know the platforms you have chosen to use. It builds in that instant feeling of confidence. And it makes everything go a lot smoother when difficulties crop up.
Some basic principles here then, to guide you on your way when you’re launching your brand on social media. Like all things social and brand-related, taking your time and preparing, before you go in, makes all the difference with your ROI.