Social media is a great place to get the word out about your new product. Whether it is a new iPhone app or a new kind of mascara, you can be sure to reach your target customer via social media, and with all of the tools that most social media platforms provide to brands and businesses, you have lots of flexibility when it comes to how, when, and even where your social media launch takes place. Knowing just how to launch your product, however, can be difficult. That is why we have come up with this simple guide to get you started.
- Figure out which social media to use. While you might want to use all of them to cast the widest possible net, you find a more effective strategy in figuring out which social media has the highest level of engagement with your customers and focusing your launch on that specific social media. Look over the last few months of data you have from your social media strategy—which media is most active? Where do most of your customers hang out? When it comes to a product launch, you only want to be investing your time and money in the platforms that will really bring good returns.
- Pick out a theme or hashtag. It gives your customers, followers, or fans an easy way to be a part of the conversation and gives you an easy way to track that conversation. You’re likely going to be encouraging user participation as much as possible, so make sure that hashtag is heavily publicized. Encourage users to post pictures of themselves going to get the product, picking it up, or using it for the first time (depending on what it is) with that hashtag and be sure to use that hashtag in all of your marketing and update efforts during the launch. The right hashtag will be short, easy to remember, and make sense with the name of your new product.
- Campaign before the campaign. Start engaging your fans or followers on your chosen social media channel about the new product well before it launches. Build hype for your launch by making your new product mysterious and asking your fans/followers to guess what it is. Highlight customers or run a special promotion like a giveaway to draw in more followers and really extend the reach of your product launch.
- Make videos. You can utilize Vine for your product videos or just upload them to YouTube or Vimeo and then embedded them in an update. Making-of and production update videos can help build interest and hype in your upcoming product. Get those involved in the project to talk about their part in the production, how it fits into your brand, and even how and why the new product was conceived. Tell the story of the product before it launches, and after it launches, make videos about the launch itself to create a better brand recall.
- Give out rewards for brand loyalty. Pick what your loyalty threshold is (do they just have to like you on Facebook or do they have to be subscribed to your company newsletter?), and come up with some sort of bonus content or sneak peak for those who are classified as loyal customers. You can even set up a very special program for those who want to get the product early and write reviews or post videos about the product on the day of the launch.
- Get your fans/followers to publicize for you. A simple contest that pits consumer against consumer, either to refer the largest number of friends to your brand or to produce the best creative project with your product and then post the pictures to their social media pages with your hashtag is a great way to get your fans/followers to act as your publicists. Those already loyal to your brand will be more than willing to do something creative, as long as the prize is worth the time. A great prize to offer those that participate in your social media launch is the new product itself!
- Utilize social media tools and trends. Facebooks quizzes are super popular right now. Is there a way to come up with a quiz that relates to your upcoming product? A quiz app or game is a great way to reach out to both your current fans and followers, and to get them to spread your name around their own newsfeeds, as well as earn you more fans, as the promotion continues. Facebook especially has plenty of tools that can make your launch more effective, but think creatively about how you can use Twitter and Instagram to make your launch more “fun.”
Do you have your own twists on the above methods? Please let me know in the comments section below.