Have you heard of the phrase, “Build it, and they will come”?
It was first spoken (in popular memory, at least) by Kevin Costner’s character in "Field of Dreams." While he means something else entirely, the phrase has taken on a life of its own in popular lingo.
Most noticeably, the phrase is used in software development to mean if you build a good product, the audience for it will show up. In other words, don’t start by worrying about the audience — build first.
And sure, this has worked in the past. It’s not the golden rule, but in the startup world, evidence of this being true does exist. However, things are always changing.
Even if you build it, they might not work these days. This is because it’s no longer just the product that determines success, but also the perception of the product among its target audience. You could build a search engine better than Google, but if you don’t market it to the right people with the right message, it will probably fade away into obscurity.
So, in order for you to find that guiding light that leads to greener pastures, today, we’ll be exploring ways to drive your product’s success by launching it the right way on a brand’s social media channels. Since perception is reality, especially in the age of tech addiction and digital everything, let’s discuss how you can curate social media content for a product launch that generates maximum visibility and positive customer sentiment.
Why promote your product on social media?
Before getting into the actual action steps, let’s take a moment to examine why you should invest in product launches on social media.
Cost-effective: It’s much cheaper to create top-notch social media content, than pay for digital advertising. Big ad tech eats massive chunks of most marketing budgets in the world, leaving little resources for other promotional activities.
Easily scalable: You don’t have to pay more to post more, or to post on newer social media sites. Just sign up, create a profile, create eye-catching content, post and you're done! Nothing scales quite as easily as social media content.
Infinite potential for creativity: No other marketing medium combines multimedia content with user reach and visibility as effectively as social media. When you post on Instragram, you already have the potential for massive reach because almost everyone is on Instagram. Sure, you have to optimize your content for your audience, but you’ve already got a massive advantage on your side.
Additionally, social media platforms allow you to be far more creative than other digital instruments. Sure, you can write witty web copy and create hilarious GIFs for your blog posts. But the best content won’t get as much reach as they would on social media. That is exactly where things go “viral.”
Also Read: Social media messaging: How to get it right?
How to plan a perfect product launch on social media
Step 1: Establish goals and KPIs
This point will be common in any marketing (or even non-marketing) strategy that has ever existed and will exist. Simply knowing what you want out of your social media posts isn’t enough. You also need to think of how you'll optimize them for maximum impact.
So, consider what will define a successful product launch for your brand:
An increase in brand awareness?
An improvement in brand perception?
Once you define what success is to you, you can set benchmarks with appropriate social media KPIs. These are the numbers that will establish your social media launch as a success or failure. You can also use these to look at actual engagement numbers, you can and tweak your social media marketing strategy, if needed, to hit your goal.
Step 2: Set up a timeline for your launch
You’ll have a lot to do to set up for your launch on social media. So, start by creating a timeline of what needs to be done and by when. You will miss important elements of your launch if you don't put it on paper.
Establish timelines for:
Pre-launch: This stage includes everything you need to do to build hype, anticipation and excitement around the new product.
Launch: Here, the new product is on social media — ready for the world to see and admire. You achieve this with posts, community engagement efforts and active interaction with audience responses.
Post-launch: This phase includes everything you do after the launch to keep up with your audience, like collecting feedback, optimizing your product according to said feedback and promoting the newer version.
Your launch timeline should let everyone on your team know the following:
What needs to be done, and by whom
By when should every single task be approved and completed
The absolute deadline for all tasks to be completed
Step 3: Pick the right social platforms for your launch
No, the answer is not “all of them.” Not every social platform attracts the audience for your product, so posting on all of them wastes time, effort and money. It’s also not a sustainable approach, since you’ll either need a large team (which costs money) or have to work yourself to the bone to keep up with all that social media.
It’s smarter to do the math, find out which platforms would actually drive results for your launch campaigns and choose your go-to platforms accordingly. Look at it from an ROI-first point of view.
For example, if your product is meant to appeal to Gen Z, you should be on TikTok. However, if you want more sales from an older generation, Facebook is ideal, as it generates the most sales from social media.
When choosing the right platform, go back to your social media goals. Ask what you want out of the launch and which platform would best help you accomplish that. Incorporate those channels into your marketing strategy and build content for each.
Step 4: Create memorable content that grabs attention
Now that you know which social platforms to use, it’s time to create memorable content and campaign assets. This should include a balanced mix of text, images, videos, graphics, infographics and other animated elements.
You’ll need pointed, interest-grabbing designs for teasers, sneak peeks, ads, countdown videos, feature demos and more.You should ideally have a library of this content that’s already been created and approved before even posting the first piece online.
All of your content should be in line with your pre-determined brand messaging and product story. This includes color schemes, style templates and even your font.
Also, don’t forget that the content has to be tweaked to meet the requirements of each platform as well as the demands of the audience of said platform. Folks on Twitter won’t really respond to Facebook-style content, will they?
Curate, prune, edit and shape content that meets the guidelines and trends of every platform. However, every tweaked post should continue to tell the central story you’ve built around the new product.
Oh, and remember not to bombard your target audience with content because you want to hit your goal numbers. Audience attention is limited. Demanding too much of it might backfire, and it often does.
If you do, however, have a lot of content you wish to post, use the “Stories” option on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. What you put in “Stories” disappears in 24 hours, so your audience won’t feel as overwhelmed as they would when they notice your brand going on overdrive in their news feed.
Step 5: Find the right influencers
We all get by with a little help from our friends. And, when it comes to social media product launches, the right influencers are your best friends.
When Reebok India wanted visibility for it’s brand story (#FitnessIsForEveryone), they reached out to Chetan Bhagat, a bestselling Indian author. Bhagat teamed up with Reebok for “Reboot 100” in which he followed a 100-day body transformation program created specifically for him by a trainer. He followed the routine, shared his progress with followers and shouted out Reebok every chance he got.
Yes, influencers help build trust between your audience and your product. If a beloved influencer uses and recommends your products, it will attract all their followers (which is often a significant number) toward your brand.
If you’re still not convinced, here are some stats:
61% of consumers trust influencers’ recommendations
Influencer marketing has grown to become a $13.8 billion industry
Businesses make $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, on average
Influencer marketing achieved 11X the ROI than banner ads
However, be sure to find an influencer who appeals to your brand audience, who has a significant number of active followers and one who can talk with some competence about your product. And of course, you’ll have to offer a brief that highlights what they need to emphasize in their branded posts.
In case, you are confused on how to approach this, here is a detailed guide on influencer marketing strategy.
Step 6: It’s launch day, so start posting
It’s time to put all that hard work to the test at this point.
Start posting in line with the routine you laid out in your social media content calendar. On launch day, you and your team should have no other tasks on your plate. All you should be doing is posting, monitoring engagement, answering user queries and interacting with the community at large.
Here are a few tips for launch-day posting:
Create a countdown to the launch. It adds to the excitement.
Change your bio on Twitter and Instagram to link to a landing page of the new product.
Save your beautifully crafted Instagram content to “Highlights” so that you don’t lose all that work.
Watch for user questions with a hawk’s eye. On the day of the launch, no question should go unanswered on any platform.
Try to host a live Q&A on the launch day to engage folks and drive the conversation.
Reshare user-generated content (UGC), like positive comments, interesting questions, etc.
Step 7: Track and monitor everything
You’ll need an appropriate tool, like Sprinklr Social, to keep track of which posts work and which don’t. Track every KPI that you’ve established beforehand.
Some posts will get you more visibility while others will actively drive engagement. So, you’ll have to figure out if you want to continue posting both kinds of content or if you can find ways to combine their best qualities in a single post.
Keeping track of likes, comments, click rates, signups, and traffic gives you insight into what your social media content needs and what it can do without. These are valuable metrics to guide you in modifying your social media strategies for better results.
Must Read: Social media reporting: An essential guide
Tips to create content for a product launch on social media
1. Create anticipation
What gets people’s attention? Anticipation!
Get folks curious just a little faster by teasing the idea of what your product offers. Build hype before raising the curtain.
Common examples of this would be:
“Coming soon” posts
2. Perform A/B testing, if possible
No matter how much you’ve planned or how skilled the creator, you’ll never know if your social media content appeals to your target audience unless you test it.
Run A/B tests with different sample posts to check what works. This is definitely more work, but if you have the time, it is highly recommended. Running a few rounds of A/B tests with different posts will help you know for sure what content your audience likes. Give them more of that, and you’ll practically guarantee a successful product launch.
3. Add offline elements
Even with your social media launch, you can throw in offline elements to amp up its impact.
For example, in 2021, Apple started the #ShotOniPhone hashtag, and 24 million people sent in the photos they shot of their worlds with their iPhones.
An offline element takes people into the real world and links it back to you. This is more intimate, and it builds greater customer connections. It also generates more anticipation and gets people more invested in your launch.
4. Try running a referral program
Once people are engaged with your top-notch content, incentivize them to bring more people to your content through a referral program.
Audiences love referral programs because it gives them solid rewards for their advocacy of your brand. Yes, you’ll have to spend money on this, but think about long-term brand credibility. With a one-time investment, you’re gaining a much larger customer base than you would have with said investment.
Here are some stats to back up that claim:
88% of Americans say they would like some sort of incentive for sharing products on social media
86% of B2B buyers say word-of-mouth is the most influential factor in making purchase decisions
B2B companies with referral programs are twice as likely to have effective sales efforts than those without
4 examples of awesome product-launch social media posts
Airbus Defence and Space – Shows the product being created
WWF Australia – Product teaser
Careerflow – Countdown to launch
Ugreen – Soliciting audience opinion
Monitor and engage with your audience on launch day with Sprinklr Social
Creating, posting and monitoring social media content on multiple channels is a lot of work, even if you have a big team around to help. Monitoring audience responses and engaging with them, especially on launch day, isn’t something you can do without breaking your back. At the very least, you have to collate up-to-date data from numerous platforms, place them in a single view and only then can you compare and analyze numbers to adjust your product launch strategies.
None of this is possible without the right social media management tool.
If you have to examine customer interactions consistently on every social channel, including websites, chat and messaging, you need help from technology. Constantly scanning social media to view post performance, updated numbers (likes, comments, shares, etc.) and brand name mentions and engaging with every comment and query is not something a team can manually do.
This is where a tool like Sprinklr Social can take over.
Sprinklr Social lets you scan and engage with audiences across every digital channel. You can view and interact with every channel from a single, unified dashboard.
Here are a few standout features of Sprinklr Social that can make all the difference to your brand strategy:
It allows you to interact with customers across 30+ social and messaging channels
It provides integrated listening to identify, study and participate in relevant conversations that don’t directly involve your brand, providing opportunities to show thought leadership
Its AI-driven automated inbound triaging allows you to categorize messages by intent, so you’ll know which conversation to prioritize for engagement
You can track branded content from development through deployment across all digital channels and enable cross-team collaboration and visibility every step of the way on a single platform
Its provides advanced account-level permissions and governance features so you have controls in place to prevent PR crises and the publication of content that violates brand hygiene
Its filters help you in implementing a global compliance framework for approvals, governance rules and moderation processes
So, how can Sprinklr Social help your brand? How can our state-of-the-art AI engine give you insights into your successes and failures? How can we help you make your audience happier (and help you improve your ROI in the process)?
Get in touch with us and find out.