| Jun 19, 2023 | | 12 min read

From goals to metrics: Crafting an effective social media launch strategy


For agencies that offer social media management services, a tried-and-true approach to social media launches that you can also tailor to each client is important. By launching brands or products seamlessly on social media — and doing so in a way that supports performance and return — you build client confidence. That results in longer relationships with clients, better word-of-mouth marketing, and growth for your agency.

Be successful with social media on behalf of your clients by downloading “The ultimate guide to effective social media for business” now.

In this article, you’ll discover common mistakes to avoid when launching products or brands on social media as well as a well-tested approach to social media launches.

Common mistakes when launching a product on social media

If you’re selling social media packages to others, it’s as important to know what not to do as it is to know what to do. By avoiding common mistakes, you can create a more powerful product launch or social media brand launch strategy. Check out some of the most common mistakes below.

  • Failing to establish clear goals. Without clear goals, the definition of success is up in the air. You won’t know when you’ve reached it, and even more important, neither will your client. This can lead to misunderstandings about contracts and other commitments as well as lackluster performance because the team doesn’t have a clear goal to work toward.
  • Neglecting to research your audience. Understanding the target audience is essential to success with a launch on social media. The audience informs every decision, from which platforms you choose to what type of content you publish. If you don’t know the needs and preferences of the target audience, you can’t craft messages that resonate with them.
  • Not creating a content strategy. A strong content strategy aligns messaging across all posts and platforms. Without consistent messaging, you can confuse the audience, which can lead to lackluster results for the campaign or even accidental misalignment of the client brand.
  • Overlooking the importance of visuals. Posts with images and videos get more engagement on social media, as these are highly visual platforms. In fact, on LinkedIn, images typically drive more than twice the comments, and posts with videos get five times the engagement (Smart Insights). These trends are true across all social media platforms.
  • Focusing solely on promotion. Social media should be social, which means creating a community. Some posts can be promotional in nature, but you should also work to share informative, helpful, or entertaining content that builds community and trust.
  • Ignoring social media analytics. Going with your gut isn’t an option, and it’s especially important to track client social media analytics as an agency. What works for one client may not work for another, and without the right metrics, you may not know how to optimize strategies for each brand or product.
  • Underestimating the power of influencers. The market for influencer marketing grew from $1.7 billion to $16.4 billion from 2016 to 2022, and there aren’t any signs of a serious slowdown (Influencer Marketing Hub). The reason for this growth is that partnering with influencers is a powerful way to expand your reach on social media and engage new audiences.
  • Not engaging with your audience. Conversations require at least two people, and that’s true on social media as well as in face-to-face situations. When you don’t engage with your audience by asking questions and responding to comments, things go stale quickly and you also lose out on important relationship-building opportunities.

For more information on what to do or not do when managing social media accounts, check out these guidelines for social media management.

Creating a social media launch strategy from start to finish

Of course, learning how to launch a social media strategy requires much more than knowing how to avoid common mistakes. The steps below will walk you through launching a brand or product on social media via methods that provide the best chances at success.

Identifying goals

Always start with the purpose of the social media launch. What is the client business trying to accomplish? The purpose of a product social media launch strategy, for example, may be different from the overall goals associated with a brand social media launch.

Create SMART goals for every social media launch

A purpose isn’t a goal. It only points you in the right direction for creating SMART goals that keep everyone on the same page and make it easy to know when you’ve succeeded. SMART goals are:

  • Specific. “Improve social media performance” isn’t specific. It leaves too much interpretation, so everyone involved may have a different understanding of what success looks like. Be as specific and concrete as possible when creating goals for social media launches.
  • Measurable. Once you’re specific about the purpose of the effort, attach metrics that help you measure success objectively. Examples of metrics related to social media launches include engagement numbers, click-through rates, and conversion rates.
  • Achievable. Don’t set yourself up for failure, and don’t over promise to your clients. Take time to understand benchmarks in various industries for social media marketing so you know what’s possible before you create goals with clients.
  • Relevant. Ensure the launch goals are relevant to the business purpose. If your client wants to drive more sales with a product launch on social media, relevant SMART goals deal with click-throughs and conversion rates rather than likes or comments.
  • Time-Bound. Give yourself a deadline. Time-bound goals provide an endpoint at which you evaluate the results and decide how to move forward with new efforts in the future. Without a deadline, teams can flounder forever without accomplishing much.

Example of effective launch goals

Compare the goals below to understand what an effective SMART goal for a social media launch might look like.

Poor SMART goal Strong SMART goal
Increase brand recognition by 300%. Increase click-through rate to sales landing pages by 20% quarter over quarter.
  • Brand recognition may be difficult to measure and attribute to social media efforts
  • No deadline
  • Depending on the timeline, this goal may not be realistic
  • The goal is specific to a certain action
  • You can capture click-through metrics with a variety of tools
  • Quarter-over-quarter deadline provides a time period
  • Increasing click-through by 20% in three months is realistic in many cases

Understanding your target audience

How you go about achieving the goal you set depends heavily on who the target audience is. The messages you develop, the platforms you choose, and how you engage with people depend on their interests, ages, and other factors. Define your target audience by:

  • Conducting market research. Look at other competitors in the space. Who are their customers, and would the target market for a particular product or brand overlap with that audience? How do competitor audiences seem to interact with and respond to various messaging? These insights can help you plan a more successful launch.
  • Talking to existing customers or your client’s subject-matter experts. Get feedback from your client or their existing customers when possible. You can look at previous surveys or customer reviews or talk to client SMEs about what customers want or need.
  • Creating buyer personas. Divide the potential target audience into sectors and create a single buyer persona to represent each sector. It’s easier to think about addressing a single person with messaging than an entire audience, so buyer personas can help you create guidelines for brand messaging or brainstorm content for social media campaigns.

Developing your messaging

Use what you know about the business goals behind the launch and the target audience to develop messaging that is likely to resonate with the audience.

Create a unique value proposition (UVP)

The UVP is what makes the brand or product different or the main “why” that drives most purchase decisions.

For example, the UVP for the fast food industry is that you can get inexpensive food quickly. But Burger King’s UVP for many years was, “Have it your way.” At the time, not all fast food eateries allowed you to customize everything, so this made Burger King unique in the market.

Figure out what makes your client’s launch, brand, or product unique and capitalize on it through messaging that highlights that value.

Develop a consistent brand voice

Decide how the brand should communicate with its audience. Is it formal, funny, or casual? Think about the types of words it should and shouldn’t use and which overall grammar style it follows. Capture all this information in a brand style guide that your team and client can follow to ensure all posts sound like they’re coming from the same brand.

Create posts that resonate with the audience

Now you’re ready to publish and distrubute content. Think about questions the audience might have or what problems they need solutions for and create social media posts around those ideas. You can also check out these social media ideas for businesses for help getting started.

According to Pew Research data, Facebook and Instagram are the two most commonly used social media apps among adults aged 18 and up (Pew Research). However, various audiences flock to different platforms. Younger people are more likely to use Snapchat and TikTok, for example, while older audiences tend to stick with Facebook.

Demographics aren’t the only factors you should consider when choosing social media platforms for a launch. Other considerations include:

  • Whether it’s a business-to-consumer or business-to-business launch. If your launch targets professionals in a specific niche, you may want to include LinkedIn. However, LinkedIn is less helpful for B2C retail or service launches.
  • The type of content you’re planning. If video content is important for your target audience and messaging, sites that support video well, such as YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, may be good choices.
  • The platforms you can realistically manage. It seems like common sense to launch on as many platforms as possible to increase exposure. In reality, even efficient social media agencies can only manage so many platforms per client. You may also have tools and processes that work best with select platforms. Choosing options outside your normal purview could reduce the efficacy of your launch.

Generating buzz and building anticipation

Whether you’re interested in social media for reputation management or you want to maximize the performance of a launch, knowing how to create excitement is important. Start by:

  • Creating teaser content. The movie industry does this well by publishing trailers for upcoming movies. They even publish trailers for the trailers — little teasers that share a few images or just a bit of soundtrack and a title. Think about ways you can tease an upcoming product or brand to get people interested before you start providing full information.
  • Leveraging influencers and brand ambassadors. Partner with people who have interested followers on social media who might be a good match for your product or brand. Provide them with your content teases and launch information and a schedule so they can trickle content to their followers leading up to and during your launch.
  • Running contents. Boost user interest and participation by running contests. One example is to create a giveaway of a free product or service. Anyone who posts content with your hashtags or shares your posts is entered in the giveaway.

Execution and launch

Create a launch timeline your team can follow to ensure nothing gets missed. Use visual tools like Gantt charts to make it easier to create a realistic schedule and automate task deadlines and assignments via project management tools when possible.

Ensure the team creates content and schedules it in advance of the launch. That way, they aren’t scrambling to get things done in the eleventh hour, which can lead to poor quality and messaging issues. Vendasta’s Social Marketing tool makes it easy to schedule and automatically post content across numerous social platforms and profiles.

You can also use Social Marketing to monitor and respond to comments and messages that your launch generates. Keeping communication open with your target audience can help generate excitement during the launch and keep people engaging with client social pages after the newness of the launch wears off.

Measuring success with KPIs

Keep an eye on key performance indicators during the launch and schedule time after the launch to consider performance based on those KPIs. By discussing what worked and what didn’t with your team, you can continuously improve processes and create more effective social media launches in the future.

Remember that KPIs should be relevant to the mission of the launch and possible to capture with a decent level of accuracy. Good options for KPIs include:

  • Click-through rates. You can determine how much traffic social media efforts drive to critical landing pages or other pages on the client’s website. High click-through rates mean the social media launch captured audience interest and called the audience to action well.
  • Conversion rates. If you know which clicks came from social media, you can determine which customers came from social media. This is one of the best metrics for a product launch, because it lets you know that the social media strategy targeted and converted the right people — the ones who would eventually make a purchase.

Not ready to handle the entire scope of a launch on your own? Discover how white-label social media management services can help.

Frequently asked questions about social media launch strategy

How can social media influencers be used in a launch strategy?

You can use influencers in your niche to reach audiences on social media that don’t already follow you. Influencers tend to have strong community connections with their audience, so when they recommend brands or products, the audience is likely to act on those recommendations. This can help drive sales, increase follower counts, or boost engagement early in a social media launch.

How can paid advertising be integrated into a social media launch plan?

On most social platforms, organic reach is near zero. That means out of all the people that follow your account, only a small percentage see any given post you make. And in many cases, people who don’t follow you at all won’t ever see the posts. Paying for advertising or to sponsor posts on social media helps ensure the posts show up for wider audiences. When you’re launching a brand or new product on social media, paid efforts help you connect with more potential followers or customers.

About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

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