Launching With Social: A Study of What Works and What Does Not

Are you planning to launch a new blog, product or service?

Do you want to know how to organize and execute a successful launch with social media?

To share ways you can use social media to launch or celebrate anything, this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast gives techniques and insights learned from the launch of My Kids’ AdventuresParenting Adventures podcast.

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, you’ll learn how to plan your launch and what assets to include. You’ll also find out what worked for us and what didn’t.

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, SoundCloud or Blackberry.

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

Launching With Social

Start the launch process

The first thing I did was to prepare a PowerPoint presentation for people on the internal team. If you’re a one person show, you can prepare the same ideas and present them to a friend or even to yourself. What’s important is to go through the process below.

First you need to identify the audience you want to target. As part of the annual survey for Social Media Examiner and My Kids’ Adventures, we asked two questions.: “Do you listen to podcasts?” and “Are you a mom or a dad?”. Based on the responses we were able to determine that dads listen to podcasts more than moms which helped us to resize our expectations.

You then need to identify your biggest asset. Whenever you launch anything, you should use what I call tag-along marketing. You’ve built an audience somewhere – with a blog, a newsletter, an existing podcast. This asset you own is there for you to use. Piggyback some of the marketing efforts for your new venture on it. My biggest asset was the Social Media Marketing podcast.

Next take a look at who you’re up against. I looked at the Kids & Family category and identified Sesame Street, Adventures in Odyssey and other podcasts from established brands that have been around forever as competitors.

parenting adventures on itunes

Parenting Adventures can be found on iTunes.

You need to establish what your product is all about. To wrap everyone’s heads around Parenting Adventures, I simply shared that it’s a 30 minute interview show followed by a fun activity.

Then choose your launch date. The Parenting Adventures podcast launched on Friday, June 13, 2014.

Listen to the show to hear why this date was chosen to launch the Parenting Adventures podcast.

Find the best way to launch

One of my strongest assets are the relationships we’ve built. From these relationships, I was able to identify different “camps” of people we could reach out to for their support.

One of the obvious camps was staff and contractors who work for our company. For the second camp, we identified allies from the bloggers and podcasters the My Kids’ Adventures marketing team has been building relationships with for a year. Another camp included people who write for My Kids’ Adventures and the last camp was made up of my personal friends.

Listen to the show to find out other things we had in the launch pipeline.

Leverage your website traffic

When people come to your website to read an article, they might discover you have something more to offer.

We added the Parenting Adventures podcast to the website navigation bar at the top of the page, to the sidebar and the About Us page.

parenting adventures linked on mykidsadventures.com home page

We added links to the Parenting Adventures podcast to several places on MyKidsAdventures.com.

I also put together a ‘help us spread the word’ page to give people everything they need to promote the show for us. On that page I included a video to thank people for their participation.

Listen to the show to discover how we are using this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast to promote Parenting Adventures.

Make it frictionless

The first thing on the Parenting Adventures launch page is a welcome video. Then I outline Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 and Visual Assets.

Step 1 showed people how they could participate in our ThunderClap campaign.

step 1 on the podcast launch page

We made helping promote the launch of Parenting Adventures easy and frictionless with easy to follow and complete steps.

Step 2 let people use Click to Tweet to send a pre-crafted tweet and promote the show; I also created a few tweets for people to use after the show launched.

Step 3’s Other Ideas included pre-crafted text updates with images for Facebook and Google+and a YouTube video to introduce the podcast. I also invited bloggers to publish an article for their own sites and made a 34-second audio mention available for podcasters to play on their own shows.

Listen to the show to hear what else was included in the launch page.

Recruit helpers from your camps

I mentioned we had four groups (or camps) of people to communicate with via email and asked for their commitment to help us.

For example, we had our Managing Editor Jennifer Ballard reach out with an email to each of the My Kids’ Adventures writers. Each email was written to include their name and a personal note similar to the following.

SUBJECT LINE: Kirsten, Your help regarding MyKidsAdventure.com

Hi, Kirsten.

Thanks for writing for MyKidsAdventures.com. Thanks so much for you article on Glow-In-The-Dark Bowling.

Quick question: Mike (our Founder) is launching a brand new podcast called Parenting Adventures on June 13, 2014. Would you be willing to help us get the word out? It could be something as simple as a tweet or a Facebook post, really anything you think that could be helpful. Just let me know and I’ll send you more details when we approach the launch.

P.S. The podcast cover art is attached.

P.P.S Did you know more than 400,00 people have visited My Kids’ Adventures since we launched? Pretty cool, huh?

Every person was in a spreadsheet we used to note whether the message was sent, whether people replied to the message and if they said they’d be willing to help.

We repeated this with a slightly different script for every different group of people we defined.

We sent these emails to about 400 people and within a week had the list down to 200 people who indicated they were willing to help.

Listen to the show to find out how and when we continued to communicate with people who agreed to help.

Solicit your list to help you promote

Eleven days before the launch, we sent out this email to the My Kids’ Adventures newsletter subscribers (5,000 people).

SUBJECT: Jim, new podcast launch, your help

Hi, Jim.

I have some exciting news. We’re launching our new Parenting Adventures podcast very soon and could use your help. If you visit the link below, and agree to share the news your tweet or Facebook update will be queued and combined with many other people. Then on June 13, all those social shares will release helping the podcast launch with a bang. It takes literally seconds, see?

I linked the email to the ThunderClap campaign instead of the promotion page. I ended up with 227 people who agreed to participate in the ThunderClap campaign, with a combined social reach of 1.9 million people.

On June 19, we sent out a different email to the Social Media Examiner newsletter subscribers (260,000 people).

SUBJECT: Ian, we have a new podcast!

Hi Ian.

We just launched a new weekly show called Parenting Adventures, which is affiliated with our sister property over at MyKidsAdventures.com. Even if you aren’t interested in the topic, I would love your help getting the word out. See below.

With this new show, the top parenting experts, providing you actionable tips you can immediately implement for more fun with your family.

You can listen whenever you want.

How to Subscribe to the Podcast:

Click here for iTunes or find us in the Apple Podcast app by searching for Parenting Adventures:

Click here for Stitcher radio

Click here for our RSS feed

Click here to listen from your web browser

Help me Spread the Word

I could use your help.

1. Would you click here to share the podcast on Twitter

2. I would love an iTunes rating and/or review (gets us more exposure via iTunes)

3. Click here for other ways to help get the word out (and to see HOW we launched this show).

Thanks for your continued support!

Listen to the show to find out why we approached these two groups differently.

Use social media

To get the buzz going and help with the launch itself, we were able to use several social properties to introduce people to the Parenting Adventures podcast.

For example, on the @kids_adventures Twitter account we did picture tweets with a link to our ThunderClap campaign.

We posted the podcast cover art on the My Kids’ Adventures Page on Facebook with an announcement.

 

We promoted the upcoming podcast with tweets from the @smexaminer Twitter account that linked to the launch page where people could join the ThunderClap campaign.

In addition to Twitter and Facebook, we published related updates from LinkedIn and Google+. I continue to play a Parenting Adventures outro at the close of every single Social Media Marketing podcast.

Listen to the show to get insights from the ThunderClap campaign.

The results

The Parenting Adventures podcast made it to #4 in the iTunes Kids & Family category. The show is currently listed at #5 or #6 the New and Notable category and has a weekly listener base of 700 people listening to every episode.

Listen to the show to hear a key take-away and find out how we use context to gauge the success with Parenting Adventures.

launching with social

Find insights from the launch of the Parenting Adventures podcast.

Other Show Mentions

social media success summitToday’s show is sponsored by Social Media Success Summit 2014.

This is our largest online event. It’s completely online, so no travel involved. There will be three sessions each day spread over an entire month. Each day has a theme.

Visual marketing is an important part social media and here’s a sample of what we’re going to cover:

  • How to Use Visual Content to Drive Massive Social Media Engagement with Kim Garst
  • How to Get Noticed on Pinterest with Cynthia Sanchez
  • How to Build A Pinterest Presence Like Whole Foods Market with Michael Bepko from Whole Foods Market
  • How to Use Visual Content to Get More Shares and Drive More Traffic to Your Blog with Donna Moritz
  • How to Implement a Successful Instagram Marketing Plan with Jen Herman
  • How to Use Instagram to Sell with Sue B. Zimmerman
  • How to Visually Stand Out in an Image Saturated World with Jessica Gioglio from Dunkin’ Donuts

In all, we have 40 different sessions that focus on showing you how to use visual marketing across various visual channels.

If you want to learn more, visit here where you can check out all of the speakers and the agenda. Make sure you grab your ticket before the price goes up. We’ve got a lot of earlybird sales going on right now.

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. And if you listen on Stitcher, please click here to rate and review this show.

Ways to subscribe to the Social Media Marketing podcast:

What do you think? Are you launching or celebrating anything soon? What are your thoughts on how to best launch a product service? Please leave your comments below.

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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
  • jason

    This podcast will not play on stitcher. Fyi. The only thing that plays is the initial promote.

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

    Thanks Jason! We are working on a fix

  • http://www.evolveyourweddingbusiness.com/ Heidi Thompson

    Same on itunes and the player on this page

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

    We fixed it :)

  • http://www.evolveyourweddingbusiness.com/ Heidi Thompson

    I’m still having the problem

  • http://www.evolveyourweddingbusiness.com/ Heidi Thompson

    There we go :)

  • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

    Thanks Mike. Timely info as I’m in the midst of my podcast launch. I did some things right, and now have more fresh ideas!

    I’m learning a lot of folks are challenged with using iTunes. So, planning to do a video tutorial to link to/embed in my messaging.

    Oh, and one of the first things I did when I got started was pull out my copy of Launch. :)

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

    Glad it was helpful Jeff :)

  • Gillian

    Good job Mike I liked the behind the scenes aspect.

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

    Thanks Gillian

  • Monika

    Hi Michael, I am really impressed by your honesty and also by the amount of work that went into the launch. That makes really clear that no success comes over night but is due to a lot of strategically designed actions which come together.

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

    Thanks so much Monica :)

  • Karen Pattock

    You really knocked it out of the park with this valuable and detailed information Mike! Thanks so much for taking the time to record this episode. I learned so much!!!!

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

    Thanks Karen

  • Jodi Green

    Thanks Mike. Really great post! Learned alot and enjoy it immensely.

  • http://www.fundafunda.com Meryl van der Merwe

    I listened to this yesterday and am providing the feedback you requested. Yes, please do regularly tell us what you are doing. I found the “what didn’t work” as helpful as what did. And it was encouraging to hear that not everything you did worked! As someone who is applying what I am learning from the podcasts, your blog and others, it is very demoralizing when things don’t always turn out as expected. You have no idea how comforting it was, when at the end you admitted that you had expected the launch to go much better than it did.
    Thanks!

  • http://www.lonearmadillo.com Lynne McNamee

    Thank you for this — and all of your — episodes. I wanted to especially thank you for your honesty in this one. As marketers, we do our best to stay on top of trends, see opportunities, but also to test on our own brands and companies before using them with clients. Thunderclap, as you prepped it, sounded like it should have been more successful. Your willingness to share that all did not go as planned/hopedit took some of the pressure offf the rest of us. While I’m excellent at what I do, so often, it doesn’t feel like enough. I’m a huge fan of yours and appreciate that you were willing to ‘go native’ with your audience. Thanks and best wishes.

  • Joshua Ryf

    You requested that listeners let you know if they find this type of podcast (about how YOU market your business) useful. The answer is YES! I really enjoyed hearing what you did to launch your new podcast for parents. Including what worked and what didn’t was excellent. Thank you!

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

    Thanks Joshua

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

    Glad you found it useful Lynne

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

    Thanks Meryl!

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

    Glad you enjoyed it Jodi

  • Jennee Rasavong

    I’ve only recently become a fan of your podcast but this has been my favourite thus far. Please keep creating content like this – it’s great to know the behind the scenes work that goes into your successes!

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

    Thanks so much Jennee :)

  • http://StartUpDadHQ.com/ Joel Louis

    Mike as always thank you for sharing and providing awesome value. I’m running a thunderclap campaign right now and I noticed quite a few include at least 1-3 hashtag words. Do you think it would have made a significant difference if you had used some hashtags related to niche? For example: #podcast, #family, etc… or do you think the use of hashtags my have impacted the number of supports (i.e. some people are sick of hashtags)?

    Thanks

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

    It’s a great question Joel and I am really not sure









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