Launching a product is akin to firing an arrow: hitting your target requires optimal positioning and the right amount of energy. Without a question, consumer data is similarly crucial in helping marketers hit their “mark” – that “mark” being a successful product launch with rave reviews and a high volume of sales.
Nowhere are customer opinions more real-time and honest than on social media. With networks like Twitter and Reddit becoming soapboxes for consumers to voice their opinions on different brands, companies can no longer afford to ignore these conversations in their product launch strategy.
Monitoring social media during and after a product launch helps you measure:
- How receptive consumers and key opinion leaders (ie. media and influencers) are toward your product,
- Reach and engagement earned by your brand, and
- How your product is faring against competitors’
Read on for four simple but effective ways collecting and analyzing data from social media can help create a winning product launch strategy!
Bonus: Find out how social media listening led ASUS to create and develop the ASUS ZenFone Zoom S at the end of this post!
1. Monitor Key Trends in Consumer Discussions
Prior to entering a new product segment, it is necessary to evaluate your key markets and any existing similar offerings, so you can better position your brand. Consumer discussions on social media are rife with such clues.
A consumer electronics company wanted to strategize their foray into the gaming world with new gaming technology. Using Digimind Social, they closely monitored online consumer discussions around it, to assess existing competitors’ key strengths and weaknesses. Based on insights obtained, the team then proposed targeted recommendations for the launch.
To better understand consumer concerns and demands with regards to specific aspects and uses of your product, use classifiers on your social media listening dashboard to organize data gathered into categories such as complementary products, experiences, and product features. By analyzing the share of voice of each feature, you can:
- Feed R&D teams with information they can use to develop a better product, and
- Identify the most important features to emphasize and entice customers in your launch campaign
2. Watch Your Competitors’ Moves
A brand’s social media activity often contains clues on what they have up their sleeve. Consumer brands, especially fast fashion, love to create hype among their followers prior to an upcoming launch, using phrases like “coming soon”, “launching” or “counting down” to drive curiosity and anticipation on social media.
Such information can be vital for timing your product launch to maximize your reach. Depending on your company’s strategy, you might want to launch your product before or after your competitors’ to avoid clashing and earning a potentially lower share of voice – or even at the same time if you are not afraid to face them head on!
3. Analyze Your Brand’s Earned Media
It’s D-Day and your product has finally been launched! But the work does not stop here.
One key objective of a product launch is to generate a maximum amount of publicity and interest for the brand. In other words, the more earned media, the better. This is where a social media listening platform can come in handy for marketers to keep up with how online discussions are evolving hour by hour, so they can fine tune their product launch strategy is necessary.
Here’s how marketers can optimize their brand or product’s online visibility, by interpreting signals on discussions on social media:
- Compare your brand’s share of voice against your competitors. Earned media is a valuable indicator of how actively consumers are discussing and engaging with your brand online. Is your product dominating discussions among your target audience?
- Which online platforms are consumers discussing your product most actively? Identify them and drive these conversations either by engaging with them directly, or pushing more messages and offers around your product.
- Assess whether influencers used are driving organic discussions effectively.
4. Gauge Consumer Sentiment on Social Media
But it’s not just about monitoring the quantity of earned media; it’s also about the quality. Ensuring consumers are receptive towards your product, is of utmost important to ensuring a successful product launch. After all lacklustre reviews shared on forums, or worse, industry influencers, can be detrimental to sales.
Getting a clear overview of consumer sentiment within the first few weeks of a product launch, can go a long way in helping marketers fine tune their product launch strategy to capitalize on key drivers of satisfaction in their messaging.
Use the sentiment analysis feature on your social media listening tool, to automatically identify discussions as positive or negative toward your product. You can further analyze each category of discussions by identifying key topics in favorable or unfavorable reviews.
How ASUS Harnessed Social Media Intelligence to Develop and Launch the ASUS Zenfone Zoom S.
After monitoring discussions on social media, ASUS established that professional camera functions and long-lasting batteries were key deciding factors for users when comparing and considering mobile phones to purchase. Using this information, the ASUS ZenFone Zoom S was developed to include a dual rear lens camera, and a 5000mAh battery. These features were also emphasized in the product’s launch campaign, which featured professional photographers endorsing the phone’s ability to capture high-quality pictures.
Monitoring social media discussions helps brands derive clues about what products and features consumers are most interested in. For marketers, these insights can be used to formulate the most optimal marketing strategy for product launches.
Want to see how you can unlock these insights for your next product launch strategy? Schedule a free one-on-one with our social listening experts!