The Truth About How To Use Twitter in a Product Launch

by Rick Braddy on December 27, 2009

in Product Launch,Social Networking

The truth is, today Twitter only enables us to reach a tiny fraction of a typical market (unless it’s the Twitter market itself).  The reality is that Twitter is just one of many “canvassing tools” that should be used for launching a product, website, or company, as shown in the diagram below.

Here’s an excerpt from the New Rules of Launch, How to Launch a Product, Company or anything else via the Internet covering use of Twitter (and other social media like Facebook and the launch blog):

Twitter is a social networking tool that’s great at getting the word out about your launch and for attracting prospects to join and promote your launch.  However, Twitter is just one element of a proper launch strategy, as shown in the launch canvassing big picture here:

Twitter is one of the available social media venues for canvassing the market and targeting specific buyers.  It’s also a key part of staying in touch with your launch community throughout the pre-launch and launch stages.

At the time of this writing, I like to use Twellow.com to locate prospects in the target market. Twellow searches Twitter profile “bios”, which people use to describe themselves.  TweepSearch.com is another bio search tool (it’s in Beta currently and seems to be up and down right now).

The bio search is a great way to find people who describe themselves as in your target market; e.g., if you’re selling to CIO’s of IT shops, then search for “CIO”, or ”hiker” and “camper” if those activities are your target, or “VP Marketing” and “CMO” if you’re targeting upper management in marketing departments.

You then “Follow” each of the people in your target market using Twitter.  Be sure to make several useful, interesting Twitter posts before inviting people to follow you on Twitter.  Most people will “Follow” you back (if they’re active, valid Twitter prospects).  Then LISTEN to what your market and potential buyers have to say… and then engage in the conversation with them and LEARN…

Then you can invite people to your launch in the usual ways – by giving them useful, free content and offering them the opportunity to register for the launch on the launch landing page.

Remember that Twitter users are not always online following you, so you will need to repeat yourself once or twice a day (at most) to ensure maximum coverage.  Importantly, on Twitter, you need to attract lots of “ReTweets” to increase your exposure.  If enough people retweet your tweets, you can reach tens of thousands of people very quickly.

There are plenty of articles available on ways to get people to retweet. use Google to search “get more retweets” to learn more:  http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=getting+more+retweets&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

Also, Twitter is a great way to locate and develop a relationship with key influencers in your market, again using TweepSearch.  I also use Google to locate influential bloggers, then locate them on Twitter from there.  You will need to build rapport with these influencers and develop a basic relationship with these folks, before asking them to assist you.

If your launch and product are newsworthy and relevant, bloggers will likely want to break the news to their audience.  Be prepared to give them free access to your product so they can do an independent review.  These people are busy, so you should begin this process far enough in advance of your launch to provide yourself enough time.

Twitter and Facebook are good places to supplement email notifications throughout your pre-launch and launch sequences.  They are also great places to locate affiliates and other launch partners to support your launch.

Your blog is the “hub” of your launch content publishing and delivery strategy.  Your blog is where everyone can find the “table of contents” for your launch – the list of posts; i.e., all of your important launch content, including informational posts, videos, recorded teleconferences, articles, etc.  Importantly, it’s also where everyone can see direct social proof, in terms of tweet counts and comments made by those in your launch community.

You should be using a “Tweet” tool on your blog that displays the number of tweets and make it easy for others to tweet your blog entries to their followers.  You can see an example of this on my blog here (and most anyone’s blog who is in the know today).  This is an extremely powerful tool for creating visible social proof.

Of course, in order for people to want to share your blog entries with others by tweeting, it must be “tweet-worthy” (if that’s not a word, it should be).  Your blog entries generally must be passionate, relevant and stir an emotional response to get tweeted (or to get comments for that matter).

And to get read in the first place, your blog entries must begin with great headlines based on a “killer hook”.  This blog entry provides 14 ways to develop killer headlines and hooks:  http://www.winningware.com/killerhooks

Hopefully by now it’s clear why the Big Idea (discussed in the New Rules of Launch) underpinning your launch is so important.  If your big idea doesn’t resonate, it will not garner the attention required to get people to spread the word about it.  In order to make effective use of social media to spread the word about your launch, the big idea must be:

  • Remarkable – so that people want to share it with their friends and follows
  • Newsworthy – so that people want to be recognized for bringing the news to their friends and followers
  • Relevant – so that it’s worth everyone’s time and attention.

By now it should be crystal clear that unless you’re launching the next Apple iPhone or Harry Potter movie with major brand equity with an established market base, your big idea is what’s going to give your launch and message the weight required to carry it throughout the market.

If your big idea resonates, it will get repeated and spread.  If it falls flat, nobody will care, it won’t get repeated and your launch will be a dud.  It’s a simple as that, so make sure you get the big idea right (like we discussed in the New Rules of Launch, by testing and validating it early on).

So Twitter is a great launch tool, but just one arrow in your launch quiver.  Learn to aim and shoot this launch arrow well, and you’ll reach more influencers and buyers in your target market, providing lift and reach for your launch.

And that’s the truth about using Twitter in product launches today.

To read more about the New Rules of Launch and how these rules will enable you to launch anything via the Internet and achieve maximum results at the lowest cost, download the free e-book here.

So, what are your thoughts on and experience using Twitter for launches?

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