Cadbury has again turned to social media to launch a new product called Bitsa Wispa.

Last week the chocolate brand ran a competition to find its ultimate Wispa fan, and the winner was invited to announce the launch on Facebook.

In January Cadbury launched a new Dairy Milk Bubbly bar on Google+ for the first time before also revealing the new product on Facebook and Twitter.

The Wispa bar was discontinued in 2003 as part of a relaunch of the Dairy Milk brand but was brought back in 2007 following a Facebook campaign.

It now has 1.8m Facebook fans and Cadbury is trying to utilise this community to promote the Bitsa Wispa launch.

By selecting ‘Ultimate Wispa fan’ Kate Mead to launch the product, Cadbury is tapping into the same fan-focused sentiment that saw the bar brought back in 2007.

This differentiates it from the traditional product launches consumers are used to seeing, and encourages Wispa fans to share the news with their Facebook friends.

The photo of Mead holding the new product has attracted more than 1,500 ‘likes’ and 278 comments, meaning the launch will have also shown up in their friends’ news feeds.

Cadbury is a good example of a brand utilising social effectively to generate buzz around its products and give the impression that its fans have some ownership over the brand.

This is a cost effective way to leverage the brand’s passionate customer base, establishing a market for a new product before it starts to appear in shops.

Heinz ran a similar campaign in November around the release of a new ‘Tomato Ketchup blended with Balsamic Vinegar’. Facebook fans were offered the chance to buy the new product a month before it was released in shops.

As brands continue to search for ways of converting their social media following into sales, product launches appear to be a simple way of gaining some tangible results from all those thousands of Facebook ‘likes’.