How to Launch: Social Techniques for Building a Successful Launch

Do you want to launch a product or service to your existing audience?

Are you wondering how to get people involved and excited?

To discover how to create a successful launch, this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast goes deep on the subject.

More About This Show

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael Stelzner

The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.

It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).

In this episode the tables are turned. Cliff Ravenscraft, popular podcast producer and host of Podcast Answer Man, interviews me!

You’ll learn the different ways you can get people involved in a successful launch and how to create a buzz around a new product or service.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

Listen Now

You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, Stitcher or Blackberry.

Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

How to Build a Successful Launch

I reveal how I launched a brand-new online magazine.

An introduction to My Kids’ Adventures

MKA_logo

My Kids' Adventures logo.

I knew as a busy, working entrepreneur, marketer and parent that my kids were growing up way too quickly. So I decided to go ahead and create My Kids’ Adventures.

It’s an online magazine for parents who want to have adventures with their kids anywhere, either in their home, neighborhood or the great outdoors. It will launch very soon and it has tons of great content from creative people.

Listen to the show to hear what made me go ahead with the idea for My Kids’ Adventures.

How to first tease this new idea to your audience

One of the biggest challenges you face when you want to launch something new is the possibility that not all of your audience is interested in your idea. You should always have a strategy and more importantly, start early.

The first thing I did with My Kids’ Adventures was to come up with a cool code name, which was Project Torch. Once this was decided, I started to tease my Facebook personal profile friends.

As soon as Project Torch was announced on Facebook, everybody wanted to know what it was about. I was teasing a sub-community of my larger community.

You’ll hear how it not only caused underground buzz with my employees at Social Media Examiner, but high-profile friends too. In marketing terminology, you’d call it the teaser phase.

Whenever I start something new, I always go to the same place to do the initial planning. Here I made a short video of me saying that I was working on something new and very exciting. Implying I was in the same place I was when I started planning Social Media Examiner made people believe that it must be something big.

Once I had written my notes on the new project, I took a photo with my iPhone and uploaded it to Photoshop to blur out the answers to my questions. This image was then put on my personal Facebook Page to tease my audience.

torch tease vision statement

I used Photoshop to blur out the main parts of the Vision Statement.

I did the same thing with the Vision Statement. I blurred out about 70% of the words, leaving enough for people to try to figure it out. You’ll also discover the other teasers I used on Facebook over the next few months.

torch tease facebook

This was another way to tease my audience on Facebook.

This got people interested and they wanted me to share with them what Project Torch was about. Everyone loves a mystery. The response I received was the motivation to keep going.

Listen to the show to hear how the idea came about when I went to Disneyland last year.

How to release more details

Following the teaser stage, I moved on to what I call a super-soft release. Although I wasn’t totally ready, I decided to make an announcement during my keynote at Social Media Marketing World in April this year. You’ll discover why it was the ideal time to do this and why I chose to do it with video.


The video was shot two weeks prior to the conference, much of it while on vacation with my family.

You’ll find out why I chose to use certain shots and how it all came together in about 10 days.

The story in the video doesn’t really talk about My Kids’ Adventures—it’s more about the challenge we face as busy parents and how our kids grow up really fast. The response I received was unbelievable.

It was a huge risk to show this video at a business event, but at the end of the day it has everything to do with business, as we are all busy working parents.

You’ll discover how many people approached me at the conference and what about the story resonated well with so many people.

Listen to the show to find out why you don’t have to have something fully baked before you introduce it.

How to recruit people to help

After the keynote, there was a line of people waiting to talk to me about the video. I knew there would be a response, so I announced a URL they could visit where there would be two different signup forms available.

One form was for the Founders List, which is a list of people who want updates as the project progresses, and the other was a Wanna Help? List. These lists started to build the day the video was released. You’ll hear how many people filled out the Wanna Help? form.

mka introduction page

The landing page for My Kids' Adventures signup forms.

The video was a massive recruitment vehicle for us to get people involved. The reach was amazing. The nature of social media helped us create an exciting starting point.

The idea behind the Founders List is that people want to be part of a special club. You’ll hear what the people on this list received each week and how it inspired them to share. The goal for the list was to get 1000 people on it before we launched.

One of the important things to help grow a business is to have some sort of a base in place. If we can get between 750-1000 people interested before we launch, then it will help us launch a lot better and faster. These are our evangelists who are willing to help.

Everything we’ve done on this project is completely separate from Social Media Examiner. We use AWeber as our email platform and both signup lists are brand-new.

Listen to the show to learn about the process we used to contact these people and what resonated with them the most.

The reveal to the Social Media Examiner community

In the June 7 episode of the Social Media Marketing Podcast, I started to include a 5-7 minute segment on how to launch a product or service. Every week since then, I’ve given tips and been able to use My Kids’ Adventures as the example.

With these episodes I’ve made it a teachable moment. It’s teased my podcast community, which is still a smaller community than the overall Social Media Examiner community.

We also added a large graphic to our Social Media Examiner home page, which allows people to click through to learn more about My Kids’ Adventures.

You’ll hear what we have planned for the people on the Founders List to help get the word out when it approaches launch day.

I know I’m entering into a very competitive space; however, we are trying to be a little bit different. We want to be slow, methodical and consistent and this is what’s going to help us win in the end.

Listen to the show to hear which three adventures Cliff can’t wait to try out from My Kids’ Adventures.

This Week’s Social Media Question

JeFreda Brown at Brown Accounting Solutions asks, “I want to start biweekly live Q&A sessions on Twitter. My business focuses on accounting, tax and business consulting services for small- and medium-sized businesses. What’s the best way for me to do this and how far in advance do I need to send information out to reach as many business owners as possible?”

jo freda brown on twitter

JeFreda Brown on Twitter.

First of all, why only limit yourself to answering people’s questions to a specific time of day, rather than trying to make “an event” about it? Why not just simply answer people’s questions that they have about accounting all the time? You could become known as the lady who answers people’s accounting questions.

Once you are known as a valuable resource for people whenever they have questions, these people will then start to refer their friends as well.

When you answer questions on Twitter, you can answer them whenever you want. You don’t have to answer them immediately. This overcomes the challenge of getting the word out ahead of time.

You’ll hear how you can use different social media platforms to help promote your service and how it will encourage people to ask questions.

Call in and leave your social media–related questions for us and we may include them in a future show.

Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how this works for you.

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

Help Us Spread the Word!

Please let your Twitter followers know about this podcast. Simply click here now to post a tweet.

If you enjoyed this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast, please head over to iTunes, leave a rating, write a review and subscribe.

Ways to subscribe to the Social Media Marketing podcast:

What do you think? What are your thoughts on launching a new product or service to your existing audience? Please leave your comments below.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, and host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. He also authored of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. Other posts by »




More Info
  • http://indispensablemarketing.com/ Patrick McFadden

    Awesome techniques for spreading an idea and launching. Really like how you gave it a code name and blurred out 70% of the words. I can really see how that leaves enough mystery for people to try to figure it out. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Patrick – A little bit of creativity can go a long way :)

  • http://triberocket.com/ James Hahn II

    Awesome episode Mike! I’ve been studying launches more and more, and this was a fascinating case study on how to do it right.

    I also wanted to add a quick hashtag tip for JeFreda. Today, hashtags are used more as added commentary about a tweet than as ways to categorize conversations. She could use #business, #accounting, #taxes, etc. But, the chances are the people she is trying to reach aren’t monitoring those hashtags. A better idea for her would be to encourage people to ask her questions using a hashtag like “#taxqa” (by the way, I searched Twitter and no one has ever used it – and it’s really short, bonus!). That way, she can position herself as the expert as you suggested, but have a Call to Action with her audience saying something like, “If you have any tax or accounting questions, or want insights on how to grow your business, please send me a tweet @BrownAccounting and make sure to include the hashtag #taxqa so everyone in the community can benefit from the answer. And since I’m always available to help, I’ve answered a whole lot of questions by now. So, feel free to search Twitter for #taxqa. You might be surprised at just how much you can learn in only 140 characters!”

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks James for adding more insight to JeFreda’s question

  • http://blog.tianakai.com/ Tiana Kai

    I love your approach on how you are launching My Kids Adventures. It seems like you are really focusing on a need and that you are helping others solve a problem.

    My husband is building Snaplive, a sitebuilder, and has been documenting the process for a few months on his blog, Twitter, Reddit and Vimeo and has been receiving great feedback before it has even launched.

    I think more services and products should have a pre-launch strategy like you guys, it really helps build hype and interest. Good lunch on the launch Michael!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Tiana – In this social age folks love to know how things come about and the response is pretty amazing when you do it that way. I’m sure your husband will have great success.

  • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

    Great interview. Cliff did an outstanding job of summarizing and keeping it light. Looking forward to the 15th!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Jeff – It was fun to give him control and step into the guest seat

  • Robert Coorey

    Michael,

    Well done on such a great launch. I’m currently writing a book with case studies of successful new launches and I’d like to feature your launch in the book. Please get in touch!

  • Alan ‘Brand’ Williamson

    Thanks Michael for inspiring my very own pre-launch Project Becks – Turning round a destination brand based on Brand Beckham who recovered from his setback following his sending off during the (Soccer) World Cup 98 between England vs Argentina

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Sounds like a good idea Robert. Find me on Facebook

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Glad you found inspiration Alan :)

  • Robert Coorey

    Done!

  • Dan Linstroth

    Thanks for letting us see “behind the curtain.” This was helpful. I have revisited this episode multiple times in preparation for my own launch. I particularly liked your recommendation to make a personal video. I’ve also found this to be effective.

  • Pingback: How to Launch Online – Podcast with Michael Stelzner()









Pinterest
Join our Social Media Marketing Networking Club
Check out the Social Media Marketing Podcast!