Social media can be an excellent way to help launch a new product, but there are a few things you should consider before you jump in.
The 70:20:10 rule
When it comes to your business’ social media channels, it is vital that you have a good balance between useful and relevant content that will appeal to your target audience, as well as brand and product-specific information.
The general rule of thumb is that your content should be:
70% information that is related to your industry and valuable to your fans;
20% content from external industry sources; and
10% may not sound like very much, but any business that develops a social media strategy must remember that a person’s news feed is a personal space where they want to see updates from friends and family, so if you were to constantly advertise to them they will soon become bored and irritated by your presence and will be likely to unlike or unfollow your business. Therefore, the majority of your content should be based around what your audience would like to see and find interesting in their news feeds, for example links to articles that solve common problems your audience have. These posts should be linked to your brand and product - just not in-your-face advertising!
When you are putting together your promotional content, you will want to ensure that you include strong calls-to-action that encourage the user to click on the link to find out more about your new product. These CTAs should be more than simply ‘Click here to find out more’, and can take the form of images, or simply use more enticing language by explaining how following the link will help the user to solve their problem.
The CTA also needs to be clear to ensure the user is able to see easily exactly what they need to do next to, hopefully, purchase your new product.
If launching a new product to a large social media community, why not offer a sneak peak or early bird release to your fans and followers? This way they will feel valued as part as your online community and will be more likely to continue to look out for your latest news and updates on social media if they know there is a chance they will get something exclusive just for them.
Hashtags can be very beneficial to a brand’s launch plan if done correctly.
Firstly, ensure you have done some research into the hashtag you plan to use. It’s important that it hasn’t been used for something else that you wouldn’t want your brand to be associated with, or is simply not relevant.
Where possible, try to use a branded hashtag, this will help to make sure the only conversations around this hashtag will be about your product. However, if your company’s name or product name is very long this may not always be possible. You still want customers to use it so don’t make them too complicated.
The advantage of a hashtag when launching a product is that it will hopefully encourage more users to include it in their posts, which others can then see. As customers hopefully start to purchase or try your new product, they can then share their experience and reviews using the hashtag, so don’t forget to include your social media information on any other marketing materials you may use during the launch.
Investing in paid social media can be a great way to reach potential customers. For example, when launching a new product you may wish to install a Facebook or Twitter pixel on your website. Social media pixels allow you to retarget users who have previously visited your site with a social advert to promote the new product.
Paid social can also help to build your online following. A larger social fan base adds credibility to your brand, which in turn could make potential customers feel more confident when parting with their hard-earned cash.
If you have the time and budget, influencer outreach can open up a wide range of opportunities to get your new product in front of a completely new audience. An ‘influencer’ is someone who boasts a strong social media following (or popular blog) that is focused on your industry.
Depending on your product, you may wish to send influencers samples so that they can then test and review them on their channels. Third party reviews will always be seen as more credible than promotional content on your own website, so if your launch budget can cover the costs of the samples, and in some cases influencer fees, then it can definitively be worth the investment.
Whatever the product, find the best way to show it off through multi-media. From simple lifestyle pictures that demonstrate the product being used, to short videos that explain their features, social media users love to see something visual. The more information you can give them through images and videos the more engagement you’ll be likely to see.
However you decide to use social to enhance the launch of your product, the above should help to make sure you see a positive ROI on your time and money.