The social revolution has opened many doors for the corporate world, not to mention its marketing managers. You now have an entire new platform to reach target groups in significantly shorter periods of time and moreover, you have multiple tools at your disposal. Social media has forced marketers to rethink their methods and implement numerous components into their strategies. One of the strategies that were affected was the product launch strategy. How do you use today’s digital dominance to create a solid and successful product launch strategy?

If you haven’t already established an online presence, this is your cue. It’s way easier for a business that already has a stable network to promote a new product than it is to build a community from scratch and get people to buy your product. Marketing just doesn’t work that way. It requires thorough market research and analyses and effective methods. The following are some questions that need to be answered prior to the development of strategy:

–          Who is your target group? You can’t target everyone everywhere, so specify your target group and research their behavior.

–          Which social networks do they use? You need to know which networks to focus on and prevent wasting time on networks they don’t use.

–          What is the user activity level on these networks? In some cases, people are leaning more towards Facebook than Twitter, or vice versa. You need to be equally active in order to keep up with your target group.

–          How have other brands used social media for their product launches? Your competitor analysis should include the data on this. You can learn from other brands’ successes and mistakes, so use this knowledge to create a strategy that suits your brand.

–          How can we create buzz prior to the launch? You can also use a more traditional form of buzz-creation, such as email lists. Informing your existing client base about an upcoming product that will be useful for them is just another way of providing information; however, if you add “like us to get a free trial,” you will have instantly created an incentive that could lead to more buzz.

Facebook
Many would agree that having a Facebook Fan Page should be on top of the priority list. It’s very easy to create and the new Timeline design offers more opportunities for brands. For example, you can now tell your story by adding information such as “Milestones” to your page. Also, don’t forget that buzz is easier spread on social media than it is using any other platform, so provide eye-catching content that will trigger consumers’ curiosity. And remember: people love coupons and free gifts! Meet this need and you’ll keep consumers returning to your page.

Twitter
Twitter has rolled out Brand Pages, but only major companies (e.g. Coca-Cola) are able to use it for now. This doesn’t mean you can’t use it for your product launch, in fact, due to the high activity of retweets, your product can get more exposure.

Final Tips
A successful product launch is based on the amount of publicity it gets. Apple did an amazing job preparing the world for the launch of the new iPad. Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely that consumers will wait for hours in line to get your product like they did for the new iPad. But these are some tips that might help you out:

–          Pre-launch period: Make sure you start creating buzz for your product and allow consumers to get familiar with it. Depending on your budget and resources, the pre-launch period’s standard lies around an average of three months.

–          Organize an event: As much as this event is about your product, it should be about your target group. Use this opportunity to interact with them and build relationships. Make sure the event is fun and exciting, and the attendees will not only check-in to your event, but will also share moments and thoughts in their networks—in other words, create more social appearance for your product.

–          Create contests: Everyone wants to be a winner! The important thing is that you make sure the prize is worth competing for.

Have you used social media for your product launch? If so, how did you use it?