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A fruitful way of looking at ecommerce is as an eco-system rather than simply a collection of marketplaces. This is because we cannot look at the marketplace as an isolated entity from the rest of the functioning bodies. Your profile on the marketplace is as much dependent on the logistics and transportation system that you utilise to deliver your products as it is on the nature and quality of the product itself. Similarly, it wouldn’t be wise to think about e-commerce without considering the phenomenon of social media. Loosely, social media is a collection of platforms that allow you to socialise on the internet. This includes everything from getting in touch with friends and family to business networking.

The rise of social media has in fact drastically blurred the lines between the personal and the public. There are office Whatsapp groups, your boss is probably your Facebook friend, and you might follow your client on Twitter. Think about how Donald Trump, or for that matter, the Indian government utilises Twitter as a means to connect with people and as a funnel of information. In a scenario like this, using social media to your advantage is something you must do to get ahead of the competition.

A great way to utilise social media in your business planning is to use it as a marketing tool. Marketing for ecommerce requires a slightly different thought process than traditional marketing. The reasons behind this are specifically to do with the nature of ecommerce and online retail. Think about the days of advertising a product on the newspaper, the TV or a billboard. You encounter these advertisements at your home or while driving, and then you have to visit a shop to actually buy the product. Now, imagine a system of advertising that opens like a portal to the shopping floor as soon as you click it or takes you to an in depth buying guide for the product. The power of instant gratification is what social media can provide to us.

But we see social media ads everywhere. And frankly, some of them are plain annoying. Services like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow you to advertise on their real estate. As a result, you may encounter a barrage of advertisements based on your recent Google searches every time you log on to these services. While the utility of such advertising tactics can be debated, in this article we are going to talk about something more specific. We are going to focus on the best practices to launch new products into the market using social media platforms. Here are some of our thoughts.

There is no Such Thing as Social Media

Rather, what we call social media is a loose collection of websites, apps and platforms that allow users to share information with each other and establish networks. While this basic principle remains more or less the same, it is in the specific architecture of how this information is being disseminated and how these networks are formed, that each social media platform differs from the other. For example,

For example, Reddit is a very different social media platform that prioritises anonymity and user interaction more than most others, which means that the overall structure of the way information travels through Reddit is much different as compared to Facebook or Twitter. Twitter relies on the system of hashtags which work as meta tags that can be used to categorise tweets and other data. While Facebook has also adopted the hashtag, it also depends heavily on its AI, which strives to provide relevant information to the user based on their interests and history.

All this can get extremely complicated extremely fast, and many sellers prefer to seek assistance from experts like social media managers to delegate the task. While this is your decision, it doesn’t hurt to know the basics of what exactly is going on under the hood. It will help you ask exactly what you want of your social media manager, and it will also help you gain some confidence if you are managing your own accounts.

Choosing the right social media platform for your company is important in this context. It is well known that millennials are gravitating towards newer platforms like Snapchat and Vine as compared to Facebook and Twitter. You need to look at your product, your company’s image and your target market before deciding on which social media platforms you want to engage with to launch new products.

How to Launch New Products on Social Media?

Regardless of the platform, there are certain things that must be necessarily included in your product launch copy. Certain platforms like Facebook offer you an unlimited word count, while Twitter restricts you to 140 characters. Instagram will only let you upload posts that contain images. While these specifics differ from platform to platform, the idea remains the same.

Value Proposition

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A value proposition is nothing but the part of the advertisement that tells you why you should buy the product. It is basically the part of the ad that tells you what is missing in your life, and what will make it more complete and fruitful. You might write a different copy, depending upon the platform you are writing it for. Some advertisers go for really aggressive value props, while others think that subtlety is the way to go. The bottomline is that there is no right and wrong – you have to decide what fits best with the tone of your ad and how the other aspects of the ad work.

Product Images

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A product image is really important in today’s times, not just on your marketplace page, but especially on social media. More often than not it is the images that really attract the customer, rather than the texts. It has been found that tweets with images receive 313% more engagement as compared to text-based tweets.

Instagram and Snapchat have already embraced unboxing videos as a norm. Now that Facebook allows the GIF format, possibilities of video based advertising have grown exponentially. Therefore, using gifs or video in your product launch ad is something that can really be executed well.

Call to Action

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A call to action or a CTA is the part of the ad when you basically ask the customer to make their move. You have told them how the product will change their life. You have also shown them really enticing images of the product. Now is the time for them to grab this opportunity and head over to buy this product. The CTA is often considered the most important part of the ad, because it expects for the first time in the ad, a response from the customer.

A big mistake is to think that the customer response must be to buy the product. That is not the aim of the CTA. That is too much responsibility on a small sentence! A CTA must be designed in a way that the customer is interested in having a conversation with you, in enquiring further. Here are some interesting ways that CTAs have been incorporated in ad copies.

Timing is Everything

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Perhaps that most important point about social media is that each platform has its own pace. Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to locate a particular post that you saw on your Facebook wall a few days ago, especially if you don’t remember who posted it or what exactly it was about? Social media platforms strive to keep their content relevant to the user, and it is very important for them to try and provide fresh content every time the user logs in. A social media manager studies the way your target market might use social media – what time are they likely to be online, when would they be up for reading long posts as opposed to shorter ones, etc. This is very important because even a well-crafted ad campaign can fail if it is not introduced in the right time window.

These points will hopefully help you think better about how to launch a new product in the market via social media. A final word of advice – try to keep the campaign fun and relevant by creatively using the tools at hand. To know more, get in touch with Browntape. We are India’s leading e-commerce experts, and we are always happy to help!

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