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What does it take to launch a new product? Though a new product can expand the appeal of your brand and grow sales, it can also require a lot of effort. Fortunately, you can use social media to turbocharge your next product launch.

Step One: Write a Basic Plan for Social Media

What do you want to accomplish? Start your product launch by setting goals. Next, write down your plan using precise terms. Along with your objectives, you should also define how you will achieve your goals.

As part of the planning process, choose key performance indicators that can help you monitor your progress. For example, as you promote awareness of your product, you could track social media impressions, reach, and the cost of each impression.

Similarly, you could choose to monitor the number and type of engagements to determine if customers are considering your product. Furthermore, if you measure the number of clicks and their cost, you can determine how many people are in the decision-making stage of the customer journey.

Step Two: Survey the Landscape

Spend time familiarizing yourself with what other people are doing. Find innovators and influencers online and see how they promote their new products. Let other people inspire you to create a unique experience for your audience.

Also, find out what your product’s likely buyers are talking about as they interact with each other, brands, and events. Let these organic conversations set your tone for your product launch.

Pay close attention to the social media content that triggers a response from your target audience. Do they prefer educational or inspirational subject matter? Would they rather see a product demonstration or enjoy good humor?

Finally, learn which content formats captivate your audience and use the information to guide your content strategy.

Step Three: Choose Your Primary Network

Avoid spreading yourself too thin by focusing on a small number of social networks. Instead, choose one network to serve as your primary source of information and use it to anchor your product launch.

Next, choose at least three social networks that are popular with your target audience. Post unique content to each of your social profiles with links that lead to your primary network. This way, you only have to update information in one place when details of your product launch change.

Try to take advantage of the unique qualities of each social network. For example, on Instagram, you’ll want to focus on pictures and captions. Also, you can use mentions and comments to increase engagement.

Step Four: Make a Schedule

Create a schedule for your product launch. This should include a calendar of activities in which you will engage before, during and after the main event. Through careful planning, you can ensure that you have enough time to promote your new product.

A teaser campaign can stir excitement about your new product. For example, you could use virtual breadcrumbs to give people more information as they follow your hints and clues.

Provide just enough information to inspire curiosity and use images to intensify the intrigue. Prepare your content in advance to avoid delays.

Also, create a unique, memorable hashtag to use so that your audience can easily follow your product launch as it unfolds.

Step Five: Engage

In the immortal words of Star Trek’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard: “Engage.”

It’s up to you to make something happen. Use social media to get your product in front of your targeted audience and focus their attention on what it can do for them. Also, make sure to build a prototype before you proceed. A prototype can easily tell you whether there are any issues with your current product version.

Stimulate engagement by sharing the prototypes of your new product with customers. In exchange, have them give you feedback after they put your product to use in the real world. The information they provide can help you refine your product before its official release.

Similarly, you can share your prototypes with industry influencers. Again, you can benefit from the feedback that you provide. If they’re impressed, they can share the news of your upcoming launch with others.

Step Six: Improve Product

Act on the feedback that you receive. For instance, if a particular product feature seems confusing or unnecessary, spend time adjusting your product to address those concerns. You may also use this opportunity to update your product’s documentation for clarity.

In some cases, you may discover that your product fails to resonate with your audience. When this happens, you may need to cancel your product launch. You’re better off stopping now than you would be by following through on an embarrassing public flop.

After making changes to your product, share new prototypes with your audience. By repeating this process, your product will become more aligned with the needs and desires of your target market.

Step Seven: Launch

Avoid the temptation to keep your product in an endless cycle of revision – endless revisions lead to diminishing returns – no matter what you do. The time will come when your product looks good and functions well.

Now you’re ready to put it in the hands of the customers that are in your target market. Social media can help you make a big splash.

When the countdown to your product launch ends, celebrate. Provide introductory prices that give people an opportunity they can’t pass up. As you accumulate satisfied customers, they will share their experiences with your product and advocate for your brand.

In summary, social media can support every stage of your product launches. So, begin every project with a plan. By targeting the right audience, encouraging feedback, and promoting your new product, you can achieve amazing results.