Your Guide to Successful Product Launches on Facebook


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Your Guide to Successful Product Launches on Facebook

  1. 1. YOUR GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL PRODUCT LAUNCHES ON FACEBOOK © 2011 Buddy Media Inc. Proprietary and Confidential
  2. 2. Table of Contents I Introduction…Page 2 II Scenario One: A New Addition to an Existing Product Line…Page 3 III Scenario Two: Spreading the News About a Revolutionary New Product…Page 4 IV Scenario Three: A Maiden Voyage…Page 5 V Scenario Four: New Products Every Day…Page 6 VI Scenario Five: Revealing Models…Page 7 VII Scenario Six: Sustaining the Buzz…Page 8 VIII Scenario Seven: Supporting a New Charity…Page 9 IX Conclusion…Page 10 © 2011 Buddy Media Inc. Proprietary and Confidential 1
  3. 3. Introduction It’s no secret that Facebook has become one of the most important tools for brand marketing. As the social network’s popularity and growth continues to increase, more brands are coming up with innovative ways to refine and enhance their presence. A recent report conducted by Strata, a media buying firm, found that within digital advertising, 79% of agencies are interested in using Facebook as the dominant social media platform for their clients’ campaigns. Regardless of your company’s Facebook strategy, the social network can have a tremendous impact on everything from buzz to sales surrounding the launch of a new product or service. Imagine a company that is ready to launch a new product line. A well-known, household name, this brand has a significant following on Facebook with a decent history of fan engagement. Our imaginary brand decides to launch a campaign on Facebook to unveil a new product by announcing exclusive details to its fan base. Once the product is launched, however, the brand has a few things to consider. Aside from simply announcing the product on Facebook, the brand must determine ways to successfully spread the news across the social graph. Some questions many companies find themselves addressing include: What kind of content will get the most traction for them on Facebook? How will the brand use frequent and relevant Newsfeed content to support the content that lives on the various sections of its Facebook Page? And for that matter, what is the right frequency for posting content? How will the brand build excitement and buzz before, during and after the product release window? How will the brand encourage its fans to talk about the new product or service? And how will it get people to share information across the Facebook Newsfeed? In this white paper, we’ll review the answers to these questions, as well as some necessary tools and tactics for successfully launching a new product or service on Facebook. Specifically, we’ll address methods for providing supporting content on your Facebook Page(s), timing and roll out suggestions to build excitement and buzz for your launch, and strategies to get your fans talking about your new products and services. © 2011 Buddy Media Inc. Proprietary and Confidential 2
  4. 4. Scenario One: A New Addition to an Existing Product Line A Facebook Page is an excellent arena to promote new additions to an existing product line. Regardless of the size of your existing fan base, a product launch announcement pushed to the Facebook Newsfeed can generate significant traction and interactivity – especially if your brand is a household name. B&G Food’s Cream of Wheat brand recently revealed Cinnabon as its newest hot cereal flavor, and to add hype to the announcement, a new Cinnabon tab was launched on the brand’s Facebook Page. The tab incorporated a message promoting a Cream of Wheat sampling tour – including the local establishments where consumers would be able to test the newest flavor. In addition, the tab featured a coupon good for a discount on Cinnabon Cream of Wheat at any local grocery store. The brand added a social element to the campaign, which allowed fans to share the coupon with their friends through the Newsfeed. In addition, each event on the Sampling Tour calendar was shareable, so Facebook users could invite friends to a tasting. Cream of Wheat rounded out its social strategy by posting frequent promotional updates to its Facebook Wall touting the delicious taste of its newest flavor. This full-scale social media blitz successfully drove traffic to the Cream of Wheat Facebook Page, creating a loop of consumers interacting and engaging with Cinnabon content and messaging. © 2011 Buddy Media Inc. Proprietary and Confidential 3
  5. 5. Scenario Two: Spreading the News About a Revolutionary New Product For large, high-profile brands, introducing products or services can be aided with a new Facebook Page for the featured line. L’Oreal leveraged teaser messages on its established brand pages to drive traffic to the interactive experience for INOA - a new ammonia-free hair-coloring product. But, before style-istas could check out the content on each tab, they were asked to “like” the page, helping to ensure that INOA’s community would consist of people who were truly interested in learning about the new product. The INOA campaign was unique in that L’Oreal had two primary targets for its launch: professional stylists and everyday clients. Two distinct Facebook Page tabs were rolled out with the intent to reach these two different audiences. Each tab was loaded with informative content including videos, polls and images, all customized for the intended audience. Clients could explore the available hair colors and stylists could learn more about the technological innovation that drove the launch of the groundbreaking INOA product line. In addition, different content was published to the Newsfeed encouraging Facebook users to visit the tabs and interact with virtual gifts, pictures and story sharing. © 2011 Buddy Media Inc. Proprietary and Confidential 4
  6. 6. Scenario Three: A Maiden Voyage One of the best ways to draw attention to a new product or service announcement is by posting teaser content to the Facebook Newsfeed in the weeks leading up to the official unveiling. Building anticipation and excitement with Newsfeed posts will spur return visits to your page, as fans become more eager for updates, news and even incentives. Carnival Cruise Lines utilized the power of the Facebook Newsfeed in the weeks before its ship, the Carnival Magic, embarked on its maiden voyage. The cruise line posted upcoming itineraries, photos of the ship and links to blogs and other news sources directly on its Facebook Wall to spread exciting content to its fans. Most importantly, Carnival launched an entire tab dedicated to the new ship once it finally set sail, and published a message on its Wall to alert its fans to the new content. The new tab then did an excellent job of making its fans feel like insiders, as it posted a video asking users to suggest names for the Magic’s exclusive miniature golf course. Supporting television advertisements prompted Facebook users to visit the Carnival Cruise Lines Facebook Page to share their stories about the good times they had aboard their cruises. © 2011 Buddy Media Inc. Proprietary and Confidential 5
  7. 7. Scenario Four: New Products Every Day Some brands introduce new items every day. Launching major campaigns to reveal daily product announcements is not necessary since fans are already visiting the Facebook Page on a regular basis in the hunt for new content. In this scenario, it’s important to be sure that the content published to your Wall does not become too excessive and overwhelming for your fans. Don’t make it hard for people to find exactly what they are looking for on a day-to-day basis. Be sure that the content you post to the Newsfeed pertains to what your community is interested in. Fashion retailer Gilt Groupe introduces new sales to consumers each day, and utilizes its Facebook presence to promote the featured items that appear on its website. Gilt does an impressive job of publishing multiple posts to Facebook on a daily basis to highlight the new sale items that its fans are most interested in, such as upcoming fashion events and inside looks into the company’s operations. By announcing the upcoming sales on its Facebook Wall, Gilt Groupe is able to direct traffic to its website, where people browse through the newest featured items and can purchase them immediately. Fans don’t have to fish through messages they don’t need in order to find the content they are looking for. Gilt takes it upon itself to determine what is most important to its loyal Facebook fans so that they can help generate buzz for new and featured items. Gilt Groupe introduces new sales to consumers each day, and utilizes its Facebook presence to promote the featured items that appear on its website. © 2011 Buddy Media Inc. Proprietary and Confidential 6
  8. 8. Scenario Five: Revealing New Models Perhaps one of the most important ways to successfully launch a product or service on Facebook is to find creative ways to get your fans talking. When people post a comment on your Facebook Page, the content they provide on your Wall also shows up in their Newsfeeds for their friends to see. In many cases, brands find that when they post questions on their Walls, users are more likely to respond and add their two cents to the conversation. Land Rover did an excellent job when it launched Facebook-exclusive content for its newest models, the LR2 and the LR4. To supplement interactive tabs on its Facebook Page, the brand asked simple questions for users to share their thoughts on the new models. People were more than happy to share their sentiments with the brand and publish their comments on their own Newsfeeds to show their friends. The more conversations that are generated, the more opportunity there is to drive traffic to your brand’s engaging material on a custom Facebook tab or website. In addition to the interaction on its Wall, Land Rover utilized its Facebook Page tab space to show users the versatility of its new models. A few very popular features were implemented, including having users play with the customization options of the cars. First, Land Rover posted videos displaying what the LR2 does best and allowed users to share their favorite clips in the Newsfeed. Second, it encouraged people to build their own versions of the LR2, prompting them to engage with content that they might want to show to their friends. By implementing engaging content both on the Wall and the custom tab, Land Rover successfully generated buzz and conversation about its newest models. © 2011 Buddy Media Inc. Proprietary and Confidential 7
  9. 9. Scenario Six: Sustaining the Buzz In some cases, there are various phases needed to launch new products and services on a Facebook Page. Media brands, in particular, find this to be the case when they release movie content in stages. For instance, a company will have to generate hype for a movie trailer, then the film’s release on the big screen and finally when it is pushed to DVD. The issue then arises as to how to keep the content fresh and the momentum building each time a new phase is launched. It’s important to keep in mind that the same movie content is being introduced to some of the same fans, so in order to keep your Facebook community engaged, it’s helpful to offer incentives. Dreamworks has had quite a handful of success stories when it comes to releasing movie content on Facebook. For the upcoming release of “Kung Fu Panda 2,” Dreamworks provided its fans with not one, but two special movie trailers that they can share with their friends. By allowing their Facebook fans this exclusive view of the upcoming movie, more conversation was generated and moviegoers were more likely to develop an affinity for the upcoming release. In addition, engaging content was included on the custom tab accompanied by a call out on the Wall that prompted people to spread the word. © 2011 Buddy Media Inc. Proprietary and Confidential 8
  10. 10. Scenario Seven: Supporting a New Charity Implementing a Facebook strategy for charitable initiatives is a great way to spread the word about a good cause. While it’s not exactly launching a new product or service, it’s an ideal way to generate excitement leading up to a culminating event. Cycle for Survival is an indoor team cycling fundraiser that raises money for rare cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. The event happens just once a year, yet it utilizes a Facebook Page to announce fundraising milestones, post promotional videos and photos along with inspiring messages to lead up to the event. In addition, Cycle for Survival created a custom Facebook tab for each location where the event will take place. It provides a social space for users to learn more about the cause and get involved themselves. With its powerful Facebook presence, Cycle for Survival not only hosts successful events, but it has raised over $4.5 million for rare cancer research since 2007. © 2011 Buddy Media Inc. Proprietary and Confidential 9
  11. 11. Conclusion Forget flash mobs and guerilla marketing – Facebook is the place for brands to launch new products and services. With the right tools and strategies, brands can create buzz and word of mouth to drive the success of their product launch campaigns. Any business vertical can leverage the power of Facebook to support its brand. The one thing that’s important to remember is that Facebook is not a “one-and-done” marketing landscape. Launching a product with the support of Facebook requires vigilance and diligence. Brand managers must be committed to maintaining an ongoing conversation with consumers, while deflecting any negativity that crops up within their brand communities. As 2011 progresses, Facebook will become an even more integral piece of a brand’s advertising roadmap. Think beyond banners and rich media. Think beyond newspapers and TV commercials. 600 million users are just waiting for news about your newest products and services. Why not give them what they want? Have questions? Contact us at, or follow us on: © 2011 Buddy Media Inc. Proprietary and Confidential 10