Startups have adopted a number of strategies to launch a new product, we talked about Lean Startup in one of our earlier blogs, which for long has been one of the foundational blocks of a startups product launch strategy.
Most of these strategies have incorporated, developing a prototype, and taking it to the initial set of beta customers for feedback. Though cost-optimized in comparison to launching a product without testing the market just based on market research, it still might be not the most efficient product launch strategy.
The questions arise what other options are there to validate your thoughts and ideas whether it will work or not? It is important to realize that validating ideas should be done in the real world! It is imperative to have real and hands-on feedback on your ideas which helps you to make better business decisions.
Idea Validation has been used by the corporation for a long to evaluate a business name, product/service, or simply a tagline. It has elements of research and development followed by large corporations to test products and services before releasing it to the public.
As far as testing an idea is concerned, it can range from information gathering through market research, to landing pages on the web.
In between all these strategies one channel has often been missed. Social media can be an effective platform to test and validate an idea. It is one place where your ideas can be distributed widely across channels where your target audience is active. An important point to note while taking feedback for your products and services across online channels, that is to be short and crisp while putting your idea across online forums.
How to use Social Media to Validate your Ideas!
Platforms like Quora can be used to vet your ideas. All you need is to identify relevant channels, influencers, and topics to share your post explaining your idea/ question in a crisp manner and see how advice, solutions, and validations are received!
Social Platforms like Quora can also help understand the demand for the product even before a commercial product exists. A startup needs to keep testing its ideas and thought process for a while before launching a product and deducing the take away from the comments and advice on the post.
Let us see what we need to keep in mind when you plan to validate your thoughts!
Identify Social Communities
Every social platform has different communities and probably the target audience for your requirements is clustered in those communities. It is important to deep dive into these channels investigate various posts and comments, relevant to the topic, engage within those communities. It’s important to see what are the problems that the target audience is facing and what could be the possible solution. A B2B startup needs to personally identify with the work of its target audience and then in turn see how they are the ones who will champion your idea and give feedback on your product.
Don’t be repetitive
It is important to see if your question or idea has been floated by someone earlier too or not on the same group or community. People would initially answer to new queries and ideas but then eventually lose interest. Also, if you keep presenting your repetitive ideas, it will become monotonous and people will refrain from engaging with you.
It is crucial to understand that demand looks like a dynamic shift – from chasing people for their feedback to customers flooding you with feature requests even before the beta is released is something you need to keep in mind.
Don’t sell when ideating
Most of the people will say, a landing page should follow your question where people can engage with you in more detail. But a good way to involve people is to mention the kind of problem you are facing, issues with customer demands and not in terms of yourself or your company. Never try to sell your work at the first go. Ask questions like “Working on Y”, “How will this work?”, “Do you think this will help”, “In your opinion, is this useful?”, etc.
It is fundamental to refrain from self-promotion. Just throw your idea and see if your notion would help people or not. In case you see a response, then you know you are onto something.
Show the value of your Idea
You really do not need to have any product hands-on. You may just have a small workflow plan or some selenium script or a simple screenshot – does not matter. In the end, you should be able to show people that their problem could be solved without spending time and money. This is how you will build the future value of your product.
To Wrap Up
It is essential to see an example/idea working out well instead of launching the beta version and failing to attract people. The use of social media platforms is the best to generate interest of people and to get your ideas tested. Try and create true demand so that people have something to measure their market research, customer discovery, and hope of product-market fit against.
The possibilities are immense when it comes to leveraging social media for a product launch, what is needed is the right approach that incorporates, right messaging, channel, and persona to reach out to.
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