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Spreading the word, part 2

I’m trying to figure out ways to spread the word about my jewelry shop, Kickin’ Wiccan. Reminder: This is a shop on Shapeways, a 3D printing service; when you order an item, you choose the material, ring size, etc., I customize the 3D model per your request, and Shapeways prints it and ships it. Here’s an example of what I can do:

Kickin' Wiccan banner

In a previous post, I ruminated over how I could let folks know about the shop. If you look at that post, you’ll see a discussion between me and karmawings about selling on Etsy. After thinking about it some more, I’ve decided not to try an Etsy shop right now. The main reason is that I don’t know the “unwritten rules” of Etsy: the social etiquette of the site, the particular way one markets an Etsy page, how one deals with Etsy customers. I’m not pursuing the idea of marketing via Instagram for the same reason.

Shapeways has a forum for their shop owners to discuss these issue. In one of these discussions, the owner of the FabMeJewelery shop made a great suggestion: run a contest on Facebook. (As an aside, click on that link to see the FabMeJewelry shop; he’s a great designer!)

Now that I know how to do! I can follow the example set by Gipsy Dharma. This seems like a good place to start, since I see a few of my friends participate in their clothing giveaways. I’d follow a similar model: I'd run the giveaway via posts on the Kickin' Wiccan Facebook page. The contest would be to give away one item from my jewelry shop, made from semi-precious metal or stainless steel; if the first promotion were extraordinarily successful, I’d consider adding silver to the list.

Unlike Gipsy Dharma, I’d have to put some limits for any item shipped outside the US. I’ll pay up to 10% sales tax, and up to $10 shipping. Beyond that the recipient has to be responsible for the costs. Again, this is something that I might be able to relax if the promotion were successful. I don’t like putting in these kinds of limits, but my marketing budget is limited.

I anticipate one of three outcomes:

- This is pure social-media marketing: My Facebook friends may choose to participate, and their friends may see the shared post and join in, and so on. Or they may not. Perhaps there won’t be enough enthusiasm for my designs or the idea of 3D printing for the idea to spread.

- The word may spread and I may get lots and lots of shares, but that doesn’t translate into enough sales to pay for the shop and the giveaway.

- I get enough sales for the shop to finally make a small profit on the whole thing.

I’d run two giveaways, one in mid-September (for the winner to get their choice in time for Samhain) and one in mid-November (for the winner to get their reward in time for Yule). I can afford that much. After that, we’ll see.

There’s one potential negative aspect to the idea of a Facebook contest: Facebook doesn’t like them. What Facebook wants you to do is pay money for your page to show up in news feed ads. I’m a strong believer in TANSTAAFL, and I’d be willing to pay Facebook instead of attempting viral marketing on my own.

The problem is that, based on Facebook’s own statements of potential results, they charge far more than I’m able or willing to pay. For the same amount it will cost me to run the two giveaways, assuming the winners pick the most expensive items on my site, Facebook estimates I’d get a about 200 visitors to my Kickin’ Wiccan shop on Shapeways. Gipsy Dharma gets thousands of shares each time they run their contest. I almost certainly won’t get that many, but at the end of the process there’ll be at least two more pieces of my jewelry out there in the world.

My next blog post, which I’ll probably put up in the next few days, will contain the full rules for the giveaway; it will be the “information page” to which I’ll direct folks when the contest begins.

Remember, when the contest starts, I’ll be counting on you to help spread the word. You might even get a new ring or pendant from it!

Originally published at Argothald. You can comment here or there.

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