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richbass939
Senior Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 1215
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, August 10, 2013 - 8:02 am:   Edit Post

My wife and I are in the process of starting a company that retails a product from our website. Our primary means of marketing the product will be on the various social media, mainly Facebook at first. We don't know a lot about the social media, especially marketing on them.
Can any of you direct us to a good book or some online instruction that teaches the marketing basics? We want to learn about strategy, how to effectively target our market segment, generate and respond to social media conversations about the product, avoid common pitfalls, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Rich
oddmetersam
Advanced Member
Username: oddmetersam

Post Number: 319
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Saturday, August 10, 2013 - 1:28 pm:   Edit Post

Hey, Rich!
You didn't mention the type of product you will be marketing, so the following is in general terms from my own experience (of course, your mileage may vary).

I do fine art photography and T-shirt design, with a presence on a business facebook page, a personal website, Fine Art America, Talenthouse, Pinterest, Sunny Bump, Stumbleupon, Google+ and Redbubble. Until recently, I was also on Dudepins (tech difficulties finally made me drop them).

For branding across all these, I use the same avatar to tie them all together. Again, since I don't know what your product is, I will assume it is more a physical gadget or design as opposed to artwork. In that case, I would suggest at least creating a "board" on Pinterest that you can post pics of your product from your website. Dudepins is for this purpose, also. In both cases, the pics will link to your parent site. By accumulating followers (and of followers of followers, etc.), you can expand your presence very effectively -- especially if you have something unique or off the beaten path.

Talenthouse is the opposite of Kickstarter and other crowd-funding sites in that instead of soliciting small donations from a large number of people, famous and wannabe famous folk solicit projects/designs/fashion entries, etc. from the non-famous. For example, this year Austin City Limits wanted a new logo for their promotional stuff (banners, t-shirts, hats). U2 and other famous bands have sought creative stuff on Talenthouse, as well, including song remixes (you upload raw tracks and submit your own mix), dance choreography, etc. Not every project is artistically oriented, though. Aside from monetary rewards on two separate levels (people's choice and the client's choice), you can get great exposure -- frequently on an international level. In this and in most other organizations I've mentioned, the networking possibilities are also endless.

You can also create a YouTube video of your product.

As you are undoubtedly aware, there are countless pieces of advice floating around. If there is any one thing that I'm convinced has helped my sales it would be having a presence on Pinterest (yeah, I know it's supposedly mostly for women, but that's not a bad thing. Both sexes still use this as a resource.).

And I forgot to mention, joining any or all of these sites is totally free! There are paid services that claim to optimize your product coming up on the top few entries during a Google search (SEO - Search Engine Optimization) or to drive more traffic to your site in other ways, but I'm too poor to bother with those. They may be worthwhile in your case, though. You can also check out what your successful competitors do. I've found many folks in the same field who are willing to share strategies and trade secrets because of confidence in their own products. After all, even if you deconstructed an Alembic (good luck on that one!) and tried to build a facsimile, would it really be the same? Some things aren't quantifiable, no matter what.

Anyway, good luck to you and your wife with your product!!!
-Sam
richbass939
Senior Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 1216
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 11, 2013 - 7:39 pm:   Edit Post

Sam, thanks for the comments. We appreciate the help.
Our product is an invention. It is a guitar strap alternative that takes all of the guitarís weight off of the upper body and places it on the waist and hips. You can see it on our website www.hoverharness.com .
We want our business to be promoted correctly from the start. We would rather go into the marketing phase slowly and deliberately than to dive right in and have to clean up huge messes made by earlier errors. We are especially wary of social media missteps that may be irreversible.
The main challenge of marketing an invention is that the market doesnít know it exists and nobody is looking for it. There are several facets to our marketing strategy with the social media as the main focus right now. Our hope is that people will talk about the product in the social media and the exposure will generate more interest and sales.
Right now our time is limited. We donít want to ignore any important social media but donít have time to work in very many. We need to pick the ones that would give us the most bang for our buck/time.
I will look into the media you mentioned. They all sound interesting, especially Talenthouse. I am also interested in learning how one manages, for instance, a Facebook presence so that interest is generated without being overbearing.
Again, thanks you for the tips, Sam.
Rich

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