Launching a new product can be both very exciting and stressful. Your brand has created something great. You are now responsible for the sales and its success. Your next challenge will be to find the best way to effectively build awareness and entice potential buyers to purchase. Social media can be a very useful platform to lead the launch of a new product and more brands are using it to do just that everyday.
Want to learn from some of the brands who have done it best? Here are five ways to launch a product via social media platforms:
1. Social Takeover
It is important to make sure all social media accounts are updated with assets related to the launch. Every time a user visits one of your social channels, they will be reminded of your new product seemingly wherever they travel across the web. When Taco Bell launched their new mobile app, they went on a social media blackout to make a statement and cut through the clutter. For consistency across all touch-points, each of their social pages used a black square as the profile picture. To turn things up a notch, they used tactics such as deleting their Twitter stream and posting multiple photos to the Taco Bell Instagram account to spell out a unified ominous message, creating a desolate social media presence with one clear objective: direct their fans to download their new app.
2. Create a Memorable Hashtag
Creating a unique hashtag makes it easier to categorize your product and helps users find more information. Hashtags are also helpful when you are asking users to share a picture or insight, and all that information can be found under one place. It is important for your hashtag to be unique and catchy, so it doesn’t get lost with similar hashtags that are not related to your product. To avoid confusion, make sure the hashtag isn’t currently being used by users organically, is relatively short, and easy to spell and remember. When Wendy’s launched their Pretzel Bacon Burger, they used the hashtag #PretzelLoveSongs. They asked fans to share comments about the new burger and what they thought about it. Wendy’s selected some of their favorite tweets from fans and had professional singers (including Boys II Men, Nick Lachey, and John Secada) sing the tweets and created videos.
Contests help build anticipation and create hype before your product launch. As I’m sure you’re well aware, fans get excited whenever there is an opportunity to win something. Most of the time they will be more likely to spread the word, especially if it increases their chances at winning. Earlier this year, Lay’s launched the “Do Us a Flavor” campaign for the second time. They were able to engage with fans by asking them to come up with a new and unique Lay’s chip flavor and compete for one million dollars. Once a winner was chosen, Lay’s produced the new fan-designed flavor of chips and they were available in stores for purchase.
These can be anything from a mini-ads series to behind the scenes videos leading up to your launch. Tell a story and get creative! Posts on your brand’s social media accounts with videos often encourage more user engagement than posts with text alone. Moe’s Southwest Grill introduced their new chili con queso in September 2014. They created a video on Vine and another short video on YouTube. Both videos were shared on their Twitter and Facebook pages when the product launched. The YouTube video showed the ingredients used in the new menu item in an entertaining manner and built awareness within their most passionate fans across each channel in a way that they were excited to share.
This is your way of telling consumers something exciting is coming without telling them what it actually is. Make sure you don’t give out too much information at a time, so it keeps consumers engaged and intrigued. Teaser campaigns should be done leading up to the actual product launch to build awareness from your fans. In February 2014, Renault launched a teaser campaign to unveil their new Twingo model in the market. In the first stage of the campaign, Renault gave their fans an idea that “something” was coming and introduced a new hashtag to capture the conversation. Once launched, the fans were activated and the more people tweeted about it, using the previously-teased hashtag #UNDRESSNEWTWINGO, the company would slowly unveil the new car.
Don’t overlook the power of social media when it comes to launching a new product. Have fun and be creative when you are developing your strategy to cut through the noise and make a splash online. Social media platforms are always evolving and have many features you can use to your advantage, so stay up to date and look for new opportunities that may align with your product’s specific offering.