How to run a Social Media Product Launch

When unveiling a new product or service you want to unleash it with a bang. In an ideal world this would include a few 60 ft high billboards, a prime-time TV campaign and a few fighter jets to pull your adverts across the sky – but realistically your budget probably won’t stretch to this. However, if done right, a social media product launch can deliver far greater awareness – whilst remaining very affordable.

Gathering enough momentum to really kick-start a product launch on social media can be tricky if you don’t have the right strategy in place. Social media by its very nature is fast paced and transient, with “buzz” developing and fading quickly – so it’s essential that you know how to maximise your time in the spotlight.

Many of our clients have now become expert exponent at the art of creating social excitement, so we have interviewed them and gathered some top tips on how to help you get your social media product launch of to a flying start.

Tease them

People love a good mystery, so teaser campaigns are a great way to create some real excitement around an upcoming product release. Don’t be too rigid with your plans and play with the variables and trends, try out memorable hashtags, fun competitions and even include blurry images of your product – be as inventive as you can be to build suspense.

Beyonce’s Lemonade is a recent example of how well suspense-based campaigns can work. The #UNDRESSNEWTWINGO 2014 Renault Campaign is another one that really shot to fame thanks to the mystery behind the big reveal. But be careful not to reveal too much too soon.

Plan ahead

When you start planning your campaign, research when your posts receive most engagement and what style of content works best. It’s important that you’ve done your homework and don’t plan to launch your campaign during the Game of Thrones finale or during a major sports event, as your followers may well be engrossed in other things at that time. Be really smart with timings, it can be the difference between a success and a failure.

Get your friends excited

Give your mailing list a sneaky preview or some special information surrounding the upcoming new product to get them excited and build exclusivity. If you ask them to send their thoughts and feedback on social media then their followers will be able to see that they are mentioning your brand, raising brand awareness.

Identify who the key influencers are within your social network and leverage your relationship with these people. They will help extend the reach of your content and help form positive sentiment around your product or campaign. Again, giving these people some form of exclusivity will ensure they talk about you favourably.

Start a trend or join one

A trending hashtag based around your brand is always on the wish list for social media marketing teams. It’s not always easy to achieve, but if you plan strategically, have a loyal following and give them enough incentive to join in – you can pull it off. If you’d a slightly easier option, you could always jump onto an already popular hashtag, for example, if you were releasing a new line of sunglasses, then launching the campaign on a #TravelTuesday will give your content some fantastic exposure to those outside of your social network.

Get your followers to do the hard work

Why not see if you can spark off some compelling user generated content? If you are welcoming a new cake to your menu you could run a competition offering a free delivery to the follower who shares the best picture of them enjoying a slice. Free content for you and free cake for them – everyone’s a winner. It’s always good to thank your followers for getting involved and interact with them as you would using your personal social accounts, it helps to make your brand look more human and strengthens your relationship. If you’re an organisation that can’t really offer freebies, you could try a discount code, a free trial or even an ebook. The potential is endless.

Gather data and prove ROI

Imagine this – you launch your campaign and everything goes perfectly, every item is sold out, you have a buzzing happy social following, your Head of Marketing comes over and praises you – perfect day. But then he says “I can’t wait to see your successes continue with the next social campaign”, que the instant anxiety.

Social success isn’t based upon luck. You need to be able to analyse and evaluate why you were successful in the first place and use the data for future releases. What content worked on which channel, at what time of day and why? Without this information you’d have set high expectations based purely on luck – with no chance of repeating it and be back at square one.

Use this article as a check-list for your social media product launch campaigns and you will be in a strong position to hit your targets, time and time again. Every campaign and product launch is a learning curve and an opportunity for you to refine your approach and better understand your target audiences.

Discover how Hillary’s Blinds regularly launch their newest product lines using social media here and generate significant marketing impact.

Rhiannon BirchAbout the Writer:
Rhiannon Birch is PR & Marketing Coordinator at SocialSignIn. She is passionate about all aspects of writing and enjoys discussing the real-life stories behind social media. With two young children and three dogs, Rhiannon spends her (very little) spare time exploring new places and watching Star Wars.

If you’d like to connect on LinkedIn click here or follow her on Twitter @RhiSkywalker