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Social media marketing tips for product launch.

We asked our panel of Launch Legends for some top social media marketing tips when incorporating this channel into your launch marketing strategy. The panel consisted of:

  • Mark Scott, Marketing Agency Director, The National Trust
  • Niall Cluely, Partner, Dragonfish
  • Lee Jury, VP Marketing, Walt Disney Studios EMEA & UK

We have transcribed the film above so that you are able to still get involved even if you do not have the ability to play audio!


Harnessing a community..

James Roles: Social media has come up a couple of times and actually it’s quite interesting that again in our marketing report, Marketing Director’s signal that social media is the single most important thing that they need to get right. Significantly above TV, probably because they know how to do that anyway. So a couple of questions for social media, now I know it’s an important topic, so I’m going to be quite focused. How do you harness communities and advocacy on social media to shape a launch?

Mark Scott: We’ve used it…probably best to try and give an example. Last year we ran a coastal campaign. So National Trust owns 775 miles of our coastline – that’s a plug! (laughter) We wanted to celebrate that so our campaign ran on TV but before that we launched two social channels and wanted people to share their love of the coast with us (#lovethecoast). That really galvanised our content for the rest of the campaign, by really getting people to share those emotional connections that people have with the coast. We got some brilliant things from ‘I used to go there as a kid’ to ‘this is the bench I sat on with my husband before he died’ and you just think ‘Wow! This is really powerful stuff!’. So using it to help get user-generated content helped us inform the rest of the campaign. It was really important.

Encouraging a conversation.

James Roles: How about Niall? Any social media marketing tips from you?

Niall Cluely: On the social side of things, I have taken a picture of Studland Bay and shared it! (directed at Mark). I think having a conversation on social media is the best thing. I think the Fitness industry is very good at it as well. It’s having a plan in mind and what outcome you are after. Starting with success in mind and what are the outcomes you are looking for and then determining what’s going to excite people and interest people to want them to join in, in terms of a conversation. What carrots are going to help get that started? When I’ve seen it done well, it’s been a very simple idea, a simple conversation that hasn’t been too contrived or too controlled. It’s just been let go in the right way.

Baking in a social media marketing strategy at concept.

James Roles: How about you Martin?

Martin Flavin: Well obviously social media is very important in a launch campaign. I think you need to bake it in at the concept stage. I’m sure everyone has seen the John Lewis Buster advert? Trying to make us cry this year as if we don’t already have enough to cry about anyway! (laughter) So you look at that campaign – it’s a TV ad. It’s also a Snap chat filter and it’s also a VR experience you can have in store. You can see a GIF of that dog jumping up and down and you absolutely get it. So that for me feels completely baked in. Do you remember the John Lewis advert a few years ago with the kid who you thought was being a selfish little git until you realise he can’t wait to give a gift to his parents? I don’t know how you make a VR experience out of that or a snap chat filter so I have to assume they wanted to make this interactive. It is a challenge for creatives. It used to be matching luggage. People now want to interact with it. They want to personalise it. They want to be able to contribute to it. They want to be able to experience it. And your idea needs to have all of that baked in from the very beginning because you can’t suddenly retrofit it in halfway through.

The easiest marketing job in the world right!?!

James Roles: Do you agree with those social media marketing tips Lee?

Lee Jury: Yes I do and it’s obvious that their ad is social first. Didn’t it premier on Youtube first before it hit anywhere else? On advocacy and building campaigns, Star Wars was an interesting one. It sounds like the easiest marketing job in the world right?! We hadn’t made a Star Wars movie for ten years so the challenge was to make it (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) the biggest movie of all time and by some margin so that it put distance between us and the competition. And to do that we had to engage with those audiences that were not Star Wars fans, that were not persuadable. We built a campaign by advocating fans to almost embarrass their friends into it. ‘I’m a Star Wars fan and you’re not!’. Tag them. So we built all of this content that you would tag your friend as your non-Star Wars friend and say something along the lines of ‘We’re going. Deal with it!’ and encourage them to send it to their friends. ‘Get tickets. You’re coming.’ So it was effective in terms of building more content around it, a community and making people feel part of a cultural moment. Whether or not they were Star Wars fans going in, it didn’t matter, we had to get them onboard.

Hear more from this panel in another episode where they discuss how they think we will launch new products in 5 years time.

By George Roberts

Let’s launch something together. Get in touch.