Tagged: social media tips

How to Use Facebook to Launch a New Product or Service

If you are launching a new product or service, you want to create some excitement with your customer base about what’s new.  Facebook is a great way not only let everyone know what’s new, but to generate excitement.

However, to be successful, you need to plan ahead and make good use of some of Facebook’s tools for business.  It’s not difficult, it just takes some planning.  Here are four steps to help you get started.

1: Pre-launch – PlanningFacebook Image tool

To be successful, you need to plan your strategy a couple of months prior to launch. Two or three months

should be sufficient.  This planning should include all of the materials you want to share on Facebook.  This includes the design of any ads you may want to purchase in addition to the images you will use in your posts.

Be sure to consider the sizes of your images.  You’ll need different sizes for ads as well as your posts.  Remember that Facebook only allows 20% of an ad to contain text.  Facebook has a handy tool to verify you do not violate this rule.  Visit the Facebook Grid Tool and upload your image.  The tool will place a 5-by-5 grid over the image.  Click the squares that contain text to see how much text you are using and if it is acceptable.  Watch this Facebook video for information about text in ads.  Also, check out our blog on optimum image sizes for different social media sites.

If you don’t have an ad agency, or know an artist who can design a print ad for you, consider using Fiverr.com.  This website offers services and products that range from graphics and design to online marketing. The freelancing marketing services include ad creation, infographic design, video animation, and much more. The price of services begins at $5.  The transparency of buyers’ reviews will help you to
choose the right seller.

2: Pre-Launch – Create Excitement

As a part of your pre-launch, consider if giveaways are appropriate for your new product or service.  Will there be a special sale or discount period when you launch?  If so, how will customers access the discount?  Is a contest appropriate for the new launch?  If appropriate, one lucky customer can win the free product or service free.  Perhaps allowing someone to be the first to use it is appropriate.

It’s also best to plan and write out the posts you will make on Facebook and other social media.  Writing these ahead of the launch will help insure you cover the important points you want your customers to know.  Each should reveal a little more about the new product or service.  Begin with teaser posts about two or three weeks before the launch.  A series of pre-launch teaser posts might be:
“Something big is coming to (Business Name) in July.”

“Watch this space for a big announcement on July 13.”

“Don’t miss out.  See what’s happening in July at (Business name).”

As the launch date approaches, build excitement by revealing a little more about the new product or service.  This would be the time to start mentioning customer benefits in your teasers.

product excitementA week before the launch, your post might be:  “Everything you know about Customer Service is about to change!  (Business Name) is taking it to a new level starting July 13.”

“The only way to experience (service) is to be here July 13 – see for yourself.”

If you are introducing a new product, perhaps a discount may be in order for the first few weeks.  One of your posts or an ad could be a coupon for customers to print.  Alternatively, you can post on Facebook a ‘secret phrase’ that customers can mention to get the discount price.

Don’t forget to use video!  Make a video of you or someone in your shop talking about how excited everyone at work is about the new product or service.  Post a few days before the launch.  If you are remodeling or expanding, post pictures of the construction work.  If you are adding new equipment, share pictures of the installation process.

Your launch plan should have the posts written out along with the date and time when each will appear.  Stagger the times from morning to early evening for maximum exposure.

3 – Launch – Keep Excitement Going

The launch phase will probably vary in length depending on the product or service.  As far as promotion is concerned, it will never truly be over.  However, you should have an end date for the largest promotional push.  At this point, you want to figure out what you can do to keep the excitement going.

This is the time to launch a Facebook Contest. After launching a new service, perhaps now is the time to have a naming contest.  If appropriate, let customers have a chance at naming the new service.  The winner gets a year of the service at no cost or a substantially price reduction. Consider what is most appropriate for the new product or service; then, maintain excitement by teasing the contest.

You may find it appropriate to shoot a video of the first day with the new product or service.  Include customer testimonials and reactions.  Other customers talking about your business and your services is a great way to introduce new customers to what you do.

If you decide to spend money on a Facebook ad campaign, focus most of your ad budget on the pre-launch phase.  If you have something to offer of value or a coupon, split your resources more evenly between the pre-launch and launch phases.  You may want to consider having a different budget for the coupon or special offer phase of the campaign.

4 – Post-Launch Thank You

After the launch period, you will want to thank your audience and customers.  Show your customers how much you appreciate them by thanking them for their support during the campaign.  Even if they did not make a purchase, let them know you appreciate their business over the years.

Also, use the post-launch thank you to tell your audience what is coming next.  More surprises?  Another contest?  Give your audience something to look forward to.

Most important, learn from your experience so you can improve the next one.  What worked?  What didn’t work?  What gave you the biggest bang?

Facebook can be a great place to let the world know about your new product or service.  However, don’t forget to promote your special product launch or new service on your website as well as your other social media, not just Facebook.

Respond to Positivity

In a previous post, we discussed negative comments and reviews posted to the internet about your business.  This time, we want to talk about responding to positive comments.

In our previous discussion about negative comments, we talked about common sense reasons about how and why you must respond.  So you may think it is not necessary to respond to positive comments and reviews online.  You may think of doing nothing, just let others see the glowing review.

Consider this:  an unsolicited positive comment from a customer means someone took the initiative to speak publicly about your business.  This person is far more motivated to respond to a question from you.  It’s an opportunity to get additional feedback about your business.

Positive comment

Plus, in the spirit of politeness, you should respond to positive comments. Why?  It’s not just about being polite.  It’s all about opportunity.  Not responding to a positive comment is a missed opportunity.

Here are some tips for responding to positive customer reviews.

 

  • First, say “thank you.” 

Your parents taught you to say “please” and “thank you.” However, this is more than just good manners. Your “thank you” shows appreciation for not only the compliment, but also the customer who took the time to share a positive experience with your business.

Your response should include a portion of the customer’s comment.  Such as,

“Thank you so much!!  We are pleased you had a good experience with our service department.”

 

  • Next, reinforce the positive.

thumbsup

If the customer specifically mentions what they liked best about their experience with your company – recognize it. Then confirm it again. This allows you to build buzz not only about your business; it also gives you a chance to let others know about a specific product or service you offer, or one of your outstanding employees.

You might say,

“Thank you so much!!  We are pleased you had a good experience with our service department.  Our technician who performed your service, Brian, has not only been employee of the month twice this year, but has been recognized for his outstanding service by the [certification organization].”

 

  • Finally, ask what you can do better.

If you are serious about increasing your business’s potential, you are probably already looking for opportunities to improve. As mentioned earlier, when a customer offers unsolicited positive comments, they are very likely to help you improve.  Just ask!

You should ask the customer what they think you can do to improve their experience.  Not only is this a great way to keep the feedback going, but to affirm and improve a positive experience.

The full response might be:

“Thank you so much!!  We are pleased you had a good experience with our service department.  Our technician who performed your service, Brian, has not only been employee of the month twice this year, but has been recognized for his outstanding service by the [certification organization].  Please let us know if there is anything else we could have done to improve the experience you had at our shop.”

It does not take a lot of work to do this.  The rewards are great.  You can take unsolicited positive comments and turn them into not only a simple marketing survey to improve but demonstrate to others you really care about your business and your customers.

Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”  Don’t just bask in the glow of a good comment online, returning the compliment can lead to more positive comments about your business.

If Mark Twain were alive today, he might say, “I can turn a positive comment into ten new customers.”

Using Google Plus for your Business

According to recent statistics, Google+ is the second most popular social media site in the United States behind Facebook.  Google+ has 343 million active users. That’s more than Twitter’s 200 million users.

If your business is not using Google+, now is the time to start your business page.  With a Google+ business profile, you can directly tie your website to your Google+ account.  In today’s blog, we have three tips to help expand your business influence and opportunities.Google plus

 

  •  First, install a badge!

Google+ allows you to install a ‘badge’ on your website to allow readers to communicate with you through this medium while remaining on your site.  With the Google+ badge in place, an active “Follow” widget appears next to your listing in search results.

This is good for two reasons:  First, your website visitors stay on your site.   Second, the code helps establish you as a blog publisher by tying it to your Google+ page.  By connecting your website to your Google+ page, your updates show up in search results.

 

  • Use #Hashtags!

You may be familiar with hashtags on other social media sites, and Google+ uses them as well.  Hashtags are useful because they provide added exposure to users beyond your followers.  The hashtags are connected to all your updates.

To help you, Google+ will sometimes come up with suggestions for which hashtags you should use.  If you use the suggestions Google offers, make sure to choose ones that are a good match for your topic.

 

Ranking up
  • Use Google+ as Your Business Page

Instead of your personal Google+ page, use your business page to increase followers and exposure for your business.  Now, instead of seeing your own profile when you connect with others on Google+ as your business, you will have your marketing message in front of more people.

Similar to “liking” or “commenting” on Facebook, you can use your Google+ account to +1 and comment on other people’s Google+ accounts.

Be sure to  use the Google+ account whenever you communicate with anyone in the Google+ network, both those who are following you and people who share public information, even if they’re not following you.

Like other social media sites, find the most active Google+ pages, public personal profiles and communities that match your business.  Then start interacting with them to gain more exposure for your Google+ page… and your business.

Post links and videos about your company on Google+. Google recognizes this effort and improves your search rankings, helping your SEO.

 

Be sure to get the most out of your business by getting the most out of Google+.