Social Media sites are very important marketing tools in the modern era. Many different types of consumer segments use social media sites on a daily basis. This makes Social Media sites a critical gathering point for companies to target. This makes a plan critical to achieving success.
For phone producers a critical marketing time is before and during the launch of a new device. The companies aim to create 'hype' before the release of a product in order to ensure that consumers will purchase the product at launch. As after the launch reviewers and word of mouth affect the demand of the product, the pre launch campaign is often prioritised. This is not to say that the phase after launch is not critical, however as time progresses marketing becomes less effective. The product loses its fresh new feel and consumers look towards and start speculating about the next release.
In this example we will examine how a large company like Samsung uses Social Media Marketing tools in a organised strategy to promote a new product. We will use sources and examples from the more recent flagship smartphone models (S6-S8). We will underline what tools they use and when in the strategy they choose to adopt these different tools. The plan we are creating will be for the Samsung Galaxy S9 series. We will strongly model it on Samsung's behaviour in the launching of its previous smartphone lines.
Samsung uses many different types of microblogging during the build up to the launch of a product. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others all are platforms in which Samsung reaches its audiences. They post texts, pictures, videos in order to inform, advertise and bring their message across to their followers .One major drawback in this tool is that the company only reaches users that already follow the Samsung account. These accounts work really well to inform the loyal fanbase but do little to recruit new users. One way Samsung can reach new audiences is by paying the sites to place adverts on the site in order to target new users. This makes the line between microblogging and plain advertising blurry however. Microblogging is one the main ways Samsung uses Social media to reach their audience. Our plan will feature extensive use of such.
FIRST STEPS After a lot of work behind the scenes the announcement of the upcoming device is made. The timing here is absolutely critical. It has be perfectly balanced. If started too quickly the current product line will come across as outdated and the result loss of value will hurt Samsung. The timing of launch is also critical as if done too soon, it can hurt sales due to consumers being hesitant to buy the phone if a newer model is released soon after anyways. If the time is too long after the previous release the company will lose out on potential revenue a new product would create. These general business precautions are also crucial for social media plans as in this modern age they are, alongside with the media, the main ways that a company like Samsung reaches its audience. In our plan we will factor the timing into our first 'teases' and the official announcement. Also critical will be the choice of how much to tease before the release. For this we will examine Samsung's choices in the last three flagship device social media plans.
A Typical Leak before Release (the earlier the leak, the less substantial)
LEAKS + RUMOURS A less obvious way to use social media is to allow a certain amount of 'leaks' to reach the enthusiastic target audience. While there is no direct that Samsung or other phone companies actually release these details to specific journalists. They do this to keep the hype around their product alive before the official launch. By not leaking the information themselves the products come across as more exclusive. Its a manipulation of the human psychology. By fuelling these rumours and getting the product talked about as much as possible they gain value. In the early stages of the S8 there was a rumour that Samsung would remove the headphone jack like Apple did for their Iphone 7. This caused debate and as a result many articles were produced about it. Then at launch the headphone jack was present. Whether this was just a rumour or an actual intended leak by Samsung is unimportant. It shows how rumours can help Samsung get its product publicity and reach even the non tech-news followers who are still included in their target segments. This is a very powerful tool that we would use early on in our plan for the S9. By carefully leaking the features we want leaked to certain tech journalists we can get people talking about our new product before the official teasing period starts. As literally all of these tech journalists reach their fans on twitter, this would create a type of proxy micro-blogging. This is a critical tool that many oversee
"Considering how often it happens, you might think the companies are breaking their own information embargoes on purpose." - Alexandra Chang, W.I.R.E.D Magazine, talking about leaks.
An official tease one month before launch
TEASE PERIOD Approximately one month before the official launch, we start the official teasing period. This will not include any images of the actual device. The leaks will have already fulfilled that want of the consumers. It uses slogans, imagery and other descriptive social media posts to build up hype before the release. This is mainly done on the popular social media platforms as that is where the most users reside. Videos are particularly useful, as marketing agencies can easily incorporate the already installed corporate identities and other marketing tools.
LAUNCH Then the big day comes. This date is often mentioned in the teasing period, as is done in the image above (03.29.17). Big companies like Samsung launch in a big show like presentation similar to Apple's Keynote. They often unveil other products before the flagship smartphone everyone is wanting to see. This year Samsung started with accompanying accessories such as the DeX and new Gear 360. The link to a live stream is shared over many different social media mediums and is an example of a further tool used by the company. We would similarly announce the launch on twitter and link the stream. Then following the announcement we will make official posts on all our social media platforms. Including a shortened highlight video of the whole keynote on the official youTube channel. Additionally through Folksonomy t
A new approach every flagship
OTHER WAYS TO ATTRACT CUSTOMERS While microblogging is the most common tool used by the major companies in such a context, there are many others that could and are adopted in the process of launching a flagship smartphone device. Samsung hosts large forums at community.samsung.com, they have regional versions. This allows users to engage in discussion with another and with samsung directly, should they have any queries. This is not used as a marketing tool but more as a tool to help communication with users and receive feedback. This is a very important part of the social media plan as it helps samsung design their next flagship. The aim after all is amongst other things to make a smartphone that improves on the previous edition.