Launch day is finally here! A Community Launch Checklist is a great tool to start planning and executing your new community launch. You have done so much work to get to this moment from interviews to research to vendor selection and of course strategizing and planning. Now it’s time to kick the tires and watch your community go, go, go. This day will be long and exciting and it’s very easy to get all caught up in it and forget things. To be on the safe side, a couple of days before launch you’ll want to do a bit of a dry run with your team to make sure everything is working and ready to go so you can avoid any technical issues on the day. This would include any websites going live, social media handles, or community platform sites. Once you’re confident you’re ready for the day, it’s time to execute.
A Community Checklist for a Successful Launch:
Technical Requirements (work with your IT team if you have one):
- All external websites that are meant to be live should be pushed live the day before (at the very least) in case of any hiccups
- Community Platform is switched on, ready to accept new members (and should also be tested ahead of time)
- Social Platforms are live, ready for content
- All Branded Imagery is Set (all placeholders or temporary content should be removed!)
- Mobile App is Live and Ready for Download (if you have one)
Coordinated Announcements (work with your Communications team):
- Press Release
- Blog Post
- Social Media Posts by Brand (have a few of these ready throughout the day for all platforms)
- Social Media Posts by key stakeholders (C-Suite, Community Manager, Marketing, etc.) (provide them with copy the day before, and confirm the day of that they know how to post and where!)
- Internal Communications: Company Newsletter, Intranet, Slack, Email from CEO (have these approved well in advance)
Customer Service Preparedness (work with your Customer Success team):
- Ensure your customer service team is ready for all inevitabilities, and knows who to escalate any product/service issues to
- Update them with any issues you’re seeing elsewhere and how it’s being handled
Community Platform Onboarding
- Your first members should be benefiting from your well planned out engagement plan, but also include a “Welcome to the Community” post in a newsfeed for all to see
- Introduce yourself to your new members
- Make sure any and all automations work as they should (Get some Zapier inspiration here)
- At the end of your launch day, attempt to post a welcome to all who joined and tag them!
This is optional, but if you plan to do any kind of launch event such as an in-person event or a webinar ensure your venue/platform are reserved, ready for you at your designated time, and log in 20 minutes early to work out any last minute kinks.
Crisis Management Plan (All Stakeholders)
It’s not if, but *when* will something go wrong with an online community. Work out your plan of attack for when something goes wrong to have available the day you go live – just in case! This will include scenarios that you may need some canned responses for, such as:
- Negative mention(s) in the Media
- Negative social media responses
- Negative posts within the community platform
- Technical Issues or complaints regarding your product/service
- Technical Issues with your Community Platform (can’t log in, password issues, etc.)
- Disgruntled Former Employees (it happens!)
Remember, working in community is a dream job and you’re doing something really cool. This Community Launch Checklist is just a starting place and you can build on it from here 🙂 You get to engage people, build a network, and help out others with whatever they came to your community for! Mistakes will happen – we’re all human. Take a minute to pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
If you enjoyed this, then check out our article on Engaging Your First 100 Members!
Reach out to Honeycommb today to get started and chat with our team about how to onboard your first 100 members and make sure you’re set up for success from Day 1: Book a Demo to see what we can build together for your people!