[Background] This is for a start up business I have in the works. I do not have much experience in IM myself, so I expect this project to be very trial & error. I'd love to get some feedback from experienced IMers on my methods and planned concepts here, especially if they have done something similar in the past. I'm also very open to adding your ideas to this campaign as well. I hope to develop this project into an internet marketing system that can be used for multiple businesses. I'll be posting the progress and results on this threads. The business is projected to be publicly launched in 1 month. So much of what's written here for now will be pre-launch strategies. [The Business] An e-commerce t-shirt shop aimed at a market niche. Market niche I plan to sell to will be locals in my city (population aprox. 1-5 mil) as well as anyone from this city or that supports it. The city is well known and quite unique, has a NFL team, NBA team, and a very dominant collegiate team nearby. The T-Shirts will contain designs that will be inspired from the city itself and surrounding areas and of course the sports aspect mentioned above. The website is built on Magneto with very clean sorting and navigation, enabling a wide selection of products to be hosted without cluttering the site. The site will be a bit unique to any other sites currently in this niche as we plan to sell more than just our own brand/designs, but also brands/outside designs that align with our concepts (we hope to achieve cooperative marketing results from this.) We have the equipment and expertise necessary to offer & print a large variety of designs with out too much overhead. We will handle all shipping and handling ourselves, using USPS for small orders and UPS for large orders. [Initial Internet Marketing Thoughts] We'd like our site to be able to reach a good amount of the market (10k+) on launch. We will optimize the site for SEO and work on improving seo once the site is launched. We see tons of potential in social media marketing such as twitter, pinterest, and especially facebook. I'm in charge of marketing and I'd like to devote as little money as possible (100-500$ a month) to the business till sales come in. Once sales come in or the site is launched, adwords, blog articles, facebook ads, etc will be included. One particular competitor in this niche has grown tremendously since it's launch in 09 by getting covered in news stories and connecting PR with social media, facebook in particular. I also know the most about facebook and think its one of the best choices for an e-commerce site due to variety in methods you can post content and build users. That being said, facebook will be the first part of the campaign to be focused on. [Facebook] [Page for the business] Having run several businesses pages before, the biggest hurdle always seems to be initial exposure to the page. Those first 100-500 likes can be a killer to obtain if you don't have a large number of friends that are interested in the business or in helping get the word out. I also believe a low number of likes reflects very poorly on a new business and decreases the chance someone who lands on the page will go any further with it, including liking it. For these purposes, I plan to offer an engaging facebook landing page with a sampling of our best designs and necessity/strongly drawing attention to of liking our page to the rest of the content. I will also use addmefast and similar sites to build to pad/fake the number of likes the page actually has to make it look healthier and more attractive (500 to 3k likes range). Will develop how the page engages its users once the website is launched. [Fake Profiles] This is the only free way I see of gaining a large initial exposure to the market on facebook without spending loads of money on facebook ads. I plan on creating a minimum of 5 all the way up to 50 fake profiles, majority being attractive, believable female profiles age 19-24, local last names, 15+ minimum pictures, realistic page and interest liking, college students of different colleges nearby and in the city itself, with focus on their hometown being the city. I believe some initial friends on each of these profiles will help the initial ratio of friend requests to accepted friend requests. For this I'm considering having each profile add the others as friends or using addmefast to get 50-100 friends for each before blind requesting to people. It's very important to keep the ratio of friend requests to accepted friend requests as high as possible and the amount of friends added each day low enough to draw no flags from facebook. For this I plan on sending 10-30 requests a profile a day. Ideal friends to request would be males around same age with no girl in the profile pic and the more friends they have the better. Adding bartenders, waitresses, and other people who come in contact with a large amount of people a day also tend to have good request conversion results. I have a month to build up as many profiles as I can, as well as to keep building them after the launch. That should leave me with anywhere from 3000 to 30000 facebook friends in my market off the bat to get the page out to. Methods in reaching them with the page to be discussed on launch. Hopefully none of these profiles will get flagged, I do plan on using Tor to login to all of them to leave no trace back to my real profile or business page. I'm hoping Tor won't negatively affect the profiles at such low friend request levels. Maybe someone has already done this and can comment? [Fan Pages] I have never created one of these before, but I think it can become great way to reach customers as well. Building some revolving around local big news stories or the NFL team and trying to promote that with my real profile and fake profiles may work. Need some advise! TO BE CONTINUED.