Everyone knows that social media is a great way to promote your products and services. That’s particularly true with new product launches – there’s no better way to build buzz and an army of enthusiastic fans.
However, launching a product on social media takes planning and effort – if you just send out a few tweets, you’re not going to get results. Here’s how to use the power of social media to make your product launch a resounding success.
Choose the Right Social Media Platforms
There are lots of social media platforms, and each one is different. You need to choose the best ones for your product or service.
Facebook and Twitter are universal, but other platforms give you a more targeted audience. For instance, if you’re a tech startup, then LinkedIn and Quora are good choices. If you’re launching a lifestyle product, look at Pinterest or Instagram.
Get Creative with Your Messaging
Every marketing campaign – digital or not – needs messages that resonate. Think about your product and why your audience is interested in it.
In some cases, you’ll want to talk about hard benefits – your new breakfast bar is tasty, healthy and convenient – but an emotional appeal or humor often works better online.
Whatever you do, don’t be boring. For example, when Wendy’s launched their Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger, they turned fan feedback into love song videos which they posted on their Facebook page. The result? 7.5 million views on Facebook, and their stock price went up by 31%.
If you’re struggling to define and target your audience, try creating buyer personas. Sit down and write about the person you want to sell to – how old are they, what do they like to do, how much do they earn, do they play sports, who are their friends and so on.
Make it real – talk about Prashant Yadav or Mary Porter, not some abstract customer demographic. Once you have these personas, think about how to get them excited about what you are trying to sell.
What do they care about? How do you build a relationship with them? How do you avoid turning them off? If you do this, your messaging will fall into place much more easily.
Target key influencers
The world is divided into two types of people – those who lead and those who follow. By getting influential bloggers to talk about your new product, you can amplify your message dramatically.
Sites like mine, Tomoson, are a great way to identify good candidate blogs and connect with the bloggers behind them.
If you decide to contact influencers directly, remember that those at the top are inundated with requests. Perez Hilton and other star bloggers aren’t easy to reach, so it’s often best to start with more modest targets.
Don’t make the mistake of sending an impersonal email and expecting results – it will just end up in the trash. Take an interest in the bloggers you want to connect with – follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook, and show them you genuinely enjoy what they do.
Before you actually launch your product, you should be building buzz about it online. You want people to be curious and excited so you have a ready-made audience when your product does come out.
Don’t give away all the details – just enough that people want to know more. For example, send out messages about “Project Panther” without giving any details – just hinting at great things to come. If you do this well, you’ll be astounded by the results.
The waiting list is another variant of the teaser campaign. It’s particularly effective if you’re launching a new website or online service. Since people want what they can’t have, there’s a good chance they’ll sign up in droves.
Pinterest did this for their pre-launch – visitors had to apply for an invitation to the site. Another good example is Robinhood, a commission-free stock-trading app that launched in 2014.
While still in beta they set up an online waiting list that grew to over 300,000 people. They even had the bright idea of giving people priority access – moving them up the list – if they referred their friends. CNN Money picked up the story, giving Robinhood even more exposure.
Nurture and Promote
Once your product is launched, you need to exploit all the buzz you’ve created. It’s a big mistake to sit back and let nature take its course. Your audience may be enthusiastic, but they will rapidly lose interest if you don’t interact with them – in fact, they can easily turn hostile.
Set up a memorable hashtag that your fans can use to talk about your product or service. Make sure you respond positively to what they say, and take the time to answer their questions every day.
Show that you think their feedback is important by retweeting positive comments, and give them incentives to promote your product further.
Post new content regularly – e.g., videos on YouTube – to keep up the momentum.
Contests are a good idea. You could set up a contest where people submit new ideas to make your product even better.
You can also use this to promote your product – give contestants additional entries for free when they share or like your content.
Measure your campaign
Finally, measure how well you are doing. Set clear goals and then track them. Track shares, volumes of tweets, the number of unique people using your hashtag, and so on.
There are plenty of tools that can capture social media metrics – for example, Socdir has a list of more than 300. This will help you figure out what’s working and what isn’t, so you can tune your approach as you go along.
Latest posts by Jeff Foster (see all)
- 5 Ways to Turbocharge Your E-commerce Brand on Social Media - July 22, 2015
- The Ultimate Guide To Social Media Product Launches - June 23, 2015
- How To Build Great Relationships With Bloggers - May 25, 2015