It seems like everyone is getting a face-lift these days: The Atlantic, WSJ.com, Redbook, the XO brand, Self. And whether you’re hitting refresh on a legacy brand or a newer dotcom, the redesign and relaunch of a publication is a big deal.
Social media is a powerful channel to communicate and share your new, highly visual story. You can use your social channels to protect the integrity of your brand while disseminating your new look, fresh voice and updated content.
Plus, it’s a plum opportunity to build some major brand cred.
Here are 10 ways to leverage social media if or when your brand redesigns:
1. Start a Thunderclap. It’s like a social flash mob. Sign up in advance and the program will share your celebratory message via Twitter and Facebook. Your followers will create a social tidal wave by tweeting/posting one message at the same time. Incentivize your followers like W did for their 40th Anniversary.
2. Give social the exclusive. Think like Beyoncé and unveil your new cover on Instagram or Tumblr. You want to reach a younger audience? Activate in their channel. And make it good—don’t skimp on content.
3. Promote your Twitter content. Own a hashtag to ensure that your material surfaces. This dovetails nicely if it’s tied to a franchise that’ll work across platforms.
4. Use Vine to capture behind-the-scenes snippets from the relaunch. Quirky moments that inspired the creative direction; art installations that influenced a clean, uncluttered, cover. Or try focusing on one theme: Glamour emphasizes fashion, VH1 opts for music over reality show content.
5. Have a consistent dialogue. Now is the time to be overactive and accessible. As the feedback (positive and negative) rolls in, respond. Tell commenters that you’re the same brand but have an updated image. Then provide a link to compelling or service-driven content. Are you seeing your brand tagged (@PopularSciene, @TeenVogue) on Instagram? Visit as many profiles as possible and return the love with a heart or a comment. Notice re-pins coming from the same people on Pinterest? Follow them back. Comment and re-pin THEIR content onto your boards.
6. Creative should be consistent, too. SELF’s Twitter backdrop is a compilation of the pillar categories that define our new look. Like the pages of our relaunch issue, our Google+ profile is highly visual, featuring a large, updated cover photo.
7. Take the road less traveled. Ditch the Facebook chat. Try Spreecast to deliver a smart roundtable discussion with celebrities, experts or editors included in your new issue. WSJ has a smart, informed channel on the live stream video platform and owned the space during New York Fashion Week 2013.
8. Get your editors and publishers involved. Use this as an opportunity to put a name and face to your experts via social. Include @ mentions of your editors in tweets. Encourage them to opine on topics within their beat. Have them RT content within their sphere of coverage. Like point-of-view publishing, readers like to connect with real people, not omniscient brands.
9. Establish a Google+ profile three months prior to the relaunch. Post once a day. Repurpose content from Facebook if you don’t have the bandwidth for original. The goal is to improve your search results in time for the launch–when you need all the eyes you can get.
10. Tidy up your social bios. Go ahead, flaunt your makeover. You look great. Include messaging within the “about us” section of each channel. Take inventory. Use this is an opportunity to freshen up your mission statements. Re-title and give your Pinterest boards a description. Update your You Tube channel.
I’d love to hear from you. In your opinion, what brands have done it right? Have you seen any social media fails? As a reader, what would you like to see? Tweet me @StephaniePaige.