There are many ways to promote viral style designs, but the trick with anything viral is always social media!
Here’s where it’s important to remain on trend, back when the iPhone game Flappy Bird was taken off the App Store, I was running my own T-Shirt shop on eBay. I made a T-Shirt that said “R.I.P Flappy Bird” with a little gravestone and a sad 8 bit bird and posted it to Facebook groups about flappy bird and the demise of it. You can read how I got the idea for that in the Finding viral designs section.
Now, the important thing here is that you’re acting as yourself rather than acting as your business. Be informal, write something along the lines of “Hey guys, i’ve just launched a new line of tees and thought someone here would appreciate it :) Link is here – http://www.yoursite.com/your-tee – Thanks a lot!”
Under that, make sure you include a picture of the T-Shirt, which you can easily get by uploading your design to our designer and clicking the 3 dots in the top right corner, you’ll see a button that says “Download image”, when you click on that your browser will save a picture of your product.
The only other thing you have to do is to make sure you stay active on the post, try to leave an hour or so between commenting on it because every time anyone does it will be moved back to the top of the group, but always answer any questions on your post.
You should have already made your business it’s own Facebook fan page.
First, you’ll need to make an advertising image. Don’t worry if you don’t have the skills in Photoshop, these can just be done with text and shapes, you can even just use a picture of the product in most cases!
Make sure you encourage people to tag their friends with a relevant interest. If your T-shirts are going to be be bought mostly by people who like cars you could write “Tag every petrol head you know!”.
Don’t forget to include a Bit.ly link in your ad and preferably make it the very first thing and tag the biggest relevant Facebook page too within the text.
This will work wonders on it’s own, and if you start by tagging your friends in comments (though only tag friends who are relevant to the tee – in this case that would be Liverpool FC fans) that should really get the ball rolling.
But if you want to go big, once you’ve posted that to your page you’ll want to boost the post, start by clicking the boost post button just underneath the image.
This is where your store will really come into it's own, but it will take some money and patience to see a decent ROI. It must be said though, that this is without doubt the best method out there for making a ton of money with your store.
You start by 'finding a passion'. This is simpler than it sounds, think of pride or love. Some people love sports teams, some people are proud of their job. Some people love their kids, some people are proud of their City. The example i'm going to use is one i helped a beta tester with back in PrintPit version 1, however obviously i can't show details of the campaign/site as this would give away his entire audience & products.
In a nutshell, we sat and brainstormed 'pride'. We thought of times we'd seen the word. We thought 'what makes people proud?' and we decided to follow the market of people who are proud of their children. Using the basic facebook pages method as above, we would've simply designed a T-shirt about being proud of your kids and posted it to his website's facebook page. However, with the advanced method we did things a little differently.
We created a page with absolutely nothing to do with his store, simply for people to like if they were proud of their kids. We set a budget of £5.00 per day for ads and made a 1200x627 image with a call-to-action phrase encouraging people who were proud of their kids to like the page. We searched Pinterest for 'kids proud' and saved around 50 images of quotes relating to people being proud of their kids and posted 20 of them straight to the page. We made a cover photo and a profile photo and put that straight on the page too. We then posted one quote image to the page at 8pm every day for the next 30 days whilst our ad was running. It's worth noting here that we saw the best response from women aged between 30-40.
By the end of the 30 days we had spent £150 on advertising and the page had just under 50,000 likes. We thought that would be a good time to test the waters with a product.
We went back to pinterest and got another quote from the same place as before, only instead of posting it to the page we incorporated it into a T-shirt design, put that on his website and placed a link on his new facebook page. We set an advert off with a lifetime budget of £50 targeting only people who liked the page and their friends. The £50 had been spent within 7 days and we had sold 749 T-shirts. This generated a turnover of around £11,000 with a profit of roughly £4500. Not only was that a 22.5x ROI, we also still had the page which we could market new related products to for life.
A little bit of brainstorming, a little bit of investment and a little bit of patience had generated thousands in profit and a near perfect targeting group. This method is easy to replicate in many many niches, and the beta tester in question still uses it to this day with new pages and products.
Again, this part assumes you have made a twitter account for your business.
So you’ve got your design and you know twitter is full of people who would buy it, but it’s not so easy to find them right? WRONG. Tweets have this tendency to spread like wildfire, make sure you include your Bit.ly link and a picture and a reason to RT and you’ll be fine.
But first, you need to find people who care about your product, let’s use this Game of Thrones tee as an example:
So, you can see the closest possible targeting we can get is fans of the featured character “Jon Snow” (and no that’s not the channel 4 anchorman). First, we’ll see if we can find a twitter account linked with that character, if not we’ll go a little broader and see if we can find a Twitter account linked with the GoT crows (or the nights watch), if that fails, we’ll go for a general game of thrones account. You can also in cases like this one use the account of the actor who plays them (Kit Harington).
As it happens, we were able to find an account linked to the actual character (@LordSnow). Now, it’s as simple as going onto that accounts followers list and following them yourself, not many will follow back but that’s not important, some of them will. I usually do around 500 and I’d suggest not going any higher than that. Wait around 24 hours to make sure all the ones who will follow you back have done so and then send a tweet a little something like this:
Not only will this generate sales for your new design, but the retweets will make your audience grow naturally so that similar products in future will receive a better and better response each time they're launched.