Before launching a social media campaign, there are many important considerations to take into account. Thorough planning can can have a dramatic impact on the effectiveness of your launch strategy and ongoing campaigns. But what are you supposed to create plans about? And what can you really do before the launch date?

This checklist will enlighten you to some major activities that should be undertaken prior to campaign launch, which are essential to most common social media campaigns.

When executed correctly, these activities can create a spring board to propel your initial campaign performance. You want to start on the right foot, correct? Then don’t scrimp on your campaign launch tasks and activities.

Ensure your social media campaign launch runs smoothly by paying attention to my checklist below.

Start before your campaign launch

Don’t take the campaign launch date as the time when you should start working on your campaign. You should be working on your launch well in advance. Get your social channels optimised and start building your audiences. Create and schedule the non-time sensitive social messages early to reduce launch work volume. Also start your list-building activities early to avoid having a slow uptake period after launch. No initial following means little real value can be realised quickly.

Run a pre-launch promotion

In order to start traffic generation prior to launch, you could run a promotion. Attracting a targeted following before launch ensures you have people to communicate with and market to once you push the button on your campaign. You could tie this is with your list-building or social audience building, to strengthen platform presence or email marketing capabilities.

Do your research

Never find yourself in the shoes where after launch, you are not aware of something that you should be. Or that you don’t know something key about your audience, competitors or industry, that you should. Do your research well in advance of your campaign launch so that you don’t have to back-track once things get underway.

Be clear on your strategies

It goes without saying that even before deciding on your launch date, you should have meticulously formulated various campaign and platform specific strategies. These will dictate the direction and flow of your social activities and campaign launch. Your objectives, targets, metrics, policies and all the necessary planning tasks should also fall into your strategy processes.

Think about your funnels

Your overall traffic flow, along with your conversion practices, will highlight key opportunities where you can market to your audiences appropriately. These can be summarised by creating funnels – visual aids for establishing the key stages in your strategies.

Get marketing resources and materials in place

This should go without saying, but you should never launch a campaign until all your marketing resources are ready to go live. Any point of contact with your audiences is a potential marketing opportunity. Optimise them and you would have enhanced your marketing capabilities. Your landing pages, PPC ads, email signatures, email templates and auto-responders are just a few points of contact which should be set up and refined before campaign launch.

Update marketing platforms to incorporate social media launch

If you have been building your social audiences in anticipation of your campaign launch, then you will likely have already have amassed a following and have some content available on your channels. Before launch, it is a good idea to optimise your profiles to incorporate your launch strategy. If, for instance, you are planning to run a promotion to enhance your launch success, then all your points of contact should have call-to-actions to this promotion.

Create content calendars

Knowing what your next steps are before taking them is key to a sound social media strategy. Conduct your keyword research in advance, which should bring to light your next topic areas and content headings. Your content can be produced off the back of this research, which can then be scheduled to share at appropriate times in the future.

Involve related people

Often, key people are not involved in the campaign launch, until after launch. This might sound silly, but when other departments are busy with their own work, then without being pushed they will rarely want to take time away to plan and engage with another departments initiatives.

During set up, you will want to include your web designer or web design company so that they can update your website and other online resources. Your sales team should also be aware of your campaign launch and be involved in any scripting or sales tactics that overlap with your social media campaign. To be honest, keeping anyone in your business out of the loop concerning a social media campaign launch is probably a bad decision…

Do what you say you would

If your pre-launch campaigns state a specific date, then don’t delay it. Perception is a strong influencer online and not delivering on your launch time-frame sets you off on the wrong foot. If pre-launch promotions have mentioned there will be a winner on launch day, then pick one and award the prize you promised. Don’t have your reputation ruined before you have even launched your social media campaign. Trust is very easy to lose and very hard to gain back.

Campaign launch: checklist recap

As you can see, there are many activities you can undertake prior to launching your social media campaign. Most of these activities are fundamental to launches and will have a dramatic effect on the outcome, depending on how well you prepare.

Being in control and having a clear plan of action prior to campaign launch will mean that you can get many time consuming activities done in advance. When you do launch your social media campaign, you would have freed up a lot of time which can be used more effectively by engaging with your audiences.

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