I really don’t write much about ‘tips and tricks’ on this website, but the latest news from Chatroulette just got me thinking how new product launches could create a lot more social buzz if you executed it the right way.
Okay, if you are under a rock or something and did not know what Chatroulette’s all about; it’s a video chat service that hooks you up with random pervs from a random part of the world with whom you may chat or choose to click away to find another person. The website had recently shut their website down and had noted that their “Experiment #1” was over and that experiment #2 was on the way.
So let’s consider you have a relaunch coming up too. What would you typically do? Make an announcement on Twitter or Facebook that a new version is on, then launch the product and then make an announcement once again about the product having launched? Yes, if you have a good number of people following your site, it works. But you can do better the Chatroulette way.
Instead of making the announcement even while the old version is on, how about shutting down the service for sometime? The fact that the site is not available online creates a lot more viral buzz. The initial message on Chatroulette read (emphasis mine),
“The experiment #1 is over for now. Thanks for participating – Redesigned and updated version of the website will be launched tomorrow”
Not only did this message spread around the social web, but it also got people – even those who are not regulars – visiting frequently just to check if the site is back on. Now fast-forward a day ahead and the message now reads,
“The experiment #1 is over for now. Thanks for participating – Redesigned and updated version of the website will be launched shortly”
The web is now talking about the launch being postponed. Now assuming the new version launches tomorrow, expect a lot more virality to flow with people then speaking about the new version having launched finally.
What must have just been one news piece is now being told and retold several times over the week that gets a lot more social conversation going. This may not be a deliberate marketing attempt by Chatroulette (maybe their servers are stuck up and they are still fixing the issue) and agreed that this will not even work for all product launches – what if you have a business oriented website and even a day of downtime could mean catastrophe?. Nevertheless, this is one social marketing strategy that you could remember when you are doing a product relaunch.