Launching a product on social media

Posted on 09 Jun 2016
Reader Question:

Dear Doctor Digital, I want to launch my new product on social media, can you give me some strategic tips?

Doctor Digital Says:

Product launches used to be all about the single venue, splashy media event. These days, the focus is on being able to put yourself in front of a many eyes as possible, and what better way to do that than by harnessing the power of the internet and its various social media channels. Social has the ability to boost brand exposure online and with the right tools, track your hashtags, audience interactions and overall product engagement through the launch. Launching a product or service takes time and plenty of preparation. Most product launches need to start at least two months ahead of the launch date, and strategically build hype and enthusiasm leading up to the launch.

The main goal is to get started as early as possible and think about how your social channels will work with the launch of your product or service. The worst thing you can do is wait until the last minute to incorporate social media in your campaign strategy. It’s important to know what the perfect product launch looks like in your mind. Planning in stages of impressions is a good place to start. Consider how social media can enhance your audience’s first, second and even third impression of your product.

Keeping your current and future customers attention is about giving them a compelling reason to keep coming back to your channels to see the next reveal. There is a lot of noise out there, and need to engage a clever strategy to have a point of difference in the market. Think about the best social media sites that work with your brand and how they could benefit your product awareness pre and post launch. If you already have an active business and brand and this is a new product within an existing customer base, you would initially target those brand friendly converts on the social media channels where you have the biggest following. For a completely new product, your brand needs to be active where similar products and your key demographic hangs out. In this case you would have a macro brand and social strategy to guide your campaign, and the product itself would be the central focus.

Here are some social media product launch strategies for each network so you know how to truly make an impression on your audience:

Instagram

  • Make images beautiful and shareable.
  • Write clever and captivating Instagram captions
  • Engage with @mentions and comments.
  • Use close ups and attractive product shots.


Facebook

  • Use Facebook advertising and boosted posts for higher outreach.
  • Post promotional and teaser content once or twice a day.
  • Share weekly behind the scenes video updates.
  • Ask some key influencers to share and post for you.


Twitter

  • Network with your biggest brand advocates.
  • Ensure your audience can get more information through links.
  • Consider what potential real-time campaigns could work.
  • Create hashtags to support your campaign


Social media posts have a brief lifecycle. So you have to give your audience a reason to engage with your content. That means each tweet, post or Instagram image needs to give people an incentive to respond, share or take whatever action you’ve set as your intention. When this works and connects with your audience, you will amplify the desire for the product or service even more. People tend to make the final purchasing decision when there’s a sense of urgency. To encourage your audience to take action on your posts, try one of these tactics:

  • Offer limited initial quantities.
  • Give first-time buyer discounts.
  • Use limited time discounts.
  • Update the amount of product remaining in stock as availability decreases.


As a social media marketer, accurate targeting during a product launch is absolutely essential. As the price of your marketing campaign increases, you need be sure you are hitting and connecting with your target demographic. Measure and monitor your campaign all the along, and don’t be scared to mix it up if you aren’t getting traction. Especially if this is a new brand launch, make sure you are using split campaign ads on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to check which ones are performing the best and use this knowledge to further inform your understanding of what resonates with your customers.  Most of all, make it feel exciting and bring the razzle dazzle of the big day launch to the small screen for everyone to experience and share.