Lessons from a failed launch

In recent days, gamers have swarmed social media to show their disappointment in the launch of the highly anticipated video game, ‘Cyberpunk 2077’, some of which have been waiting over ten years for its release. To the dismay of many, the game released to platforms in an unplayable state, making gamers ask the question ‘How could this have happened?’ With a troubled development and constant delays, I can assume the developers just wanted to release the product in whatever state that it was in at the time, so that it could be in the public domain and work on it from there. As with other troubled launches, the move has seen a wave of backlash and the developer, CD Projekt Red, has since issued a flurry of apologies and promises made to fix the many issues plaguing it.

While there isn’t always a clear link between a troubled launch of a video game and social media, I believe there are some key takeaways that can be applied. The most significant takeaway being, not to release or post something until it’s fully finished, thoroughly checked over and proofed. Posting content that has not been fully finished or proofed on social can be damaging to your brand, your reputation and your overall image. It’s harder to work backwards to fix past mistakes than it is to take your time and make sure everything is as you want it, even if this goes against internal deadlines.

Creating great social content is a process that should not be rushed and is something that demands respect and time. Time that should be given to the designers to build engaging imagery, copywriters to craft thought-provoking text and Social media managers to execute across the different platforms flawlessly. If this process is rushed or has the mentality of ‘just get something out there’ it indeed shows, as it seems unfinished, unpolished and downright… bad. The same applies to the content being promoted through social media. A campaign can be fantastic, raising awareness for a product, but if that product is then of a lesser quality than advertised, the result will be a dissatisfied audience that demands reparations, apologies and may never buy a product again.

These lessons can go across the entire process of social media marketing. Companies need to take their time to create noteworthy stories, back it up with strong social content, not rush and never release something they are not proud of or happy with. As with Cyberpunk 2077, these mistakes are genuinely costly and not just to their reputation.

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