Social Media Marketing – the Social Revolution in Small Business

Because social media marketing is so inexpensive and social media has been so widely adopted (Facebook now boasts 1.2 Billion users), marketers across all types and sizes of business have embraced it. Traditional media is costly while social is inexpensive. Traditional media is a one-way information push but social media creates opportunities for authentic community exchange. Social media is uniquely measurable; every click gets counted. Traditional media can measure the size of the exposed audience but exposure doesn’t mean attention.

Social media marketing is about facilitating conversations among target customers and increasing brand and product or service advocacy (net promoter scores). Since these needs span most industries, social media is effective in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets.

A well-developed social media program will be multi-faceted. There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea. Google’s algorithms reward marketers who leverage multiple techniques with higher website rankings. Also, since people are becoming more dependent on the internet, different digital platforms provide a greater number of consumer touch-points. These different facets can include online press releases, e-blast campaigns, digital display ads (banner ads etc.), podcasts, webinars, blogs and more.

If you’re thinking about selecting a third-party SMM promotion consultant, make sure you find one that can give your brand an air of authority when they write on your behalf. This is especially true for small businesses where what’s really being communicated is a personal brand.

A good partner will share your sense of urgency to respond to customer inquiries. This builds your credibility in the eyes of your customers. Also, partner with someone who can give your brand a ‘thought leader’ perspective.

Patenting: Getting Started With An Idea

How do you initiate a patent?

There is not really a follow through process to getting a patent, however you should first know what your market it, and the latest in technology related to the product. You should ask yourself the following questions and research the answers.

  • How does the process or product work and will it work efficiently enough to replace the currently used ideas or products?
  • Who will use the product and how much will they be willing to pay for the product?
  • How difficult will it be to manufacture the item?
  • What will the manufacturing cost be?
  • What will be the marketing plan be? How much of a markup will marketing take?
  • Will it be copied? Is this product worth patenting?

Answering just one of these questions and assuming that all is well with the rest is not the right thing to do. Its best to answer them generally, but answer them all then go back and get more detailed information received from thorough market research later.

All of these questions need to be thoroughly investigated, and assuming you have the answer may cause you some severe future financial loss. Most inventors believe their item is the best and that everyone will want it, but that cannot really be determined unless it is thoroughly investigated. Market research of this nature can be expensive, however not doing the proper research can result in even more expense and an ultimate failure, so it is highly recommended to hire professional help from a experienced company such as InventHelp.

There are rarely any ideas that are totally unknown. Most patents are improvements on old ideas, or it is a solution to a well known problem. You can start your market research by asking questions about the product in current use and what are the problems it has and what solutions people have given to it.

There are also other steps you can take while keeping the new invention secret. In fact, a totally new invention can bring a whole set of issues you may have never given thought to, and creating a need for such an unknown product may be so difficult that it is impossible, and terribly expensive.

Most inventors believe in their product and believe that everyone will be as enthusiastic about the product as they are, however this may not be enough for a successful invention. If there has never been a similar product, then there has not been a market for it either. This means people don’t know they need it and may not be willing to try the product right off the bat. Now, if its a product that everyone wants then there may be another issue – people only want things they know about, so it may not be patentable as described in the article on too.

People that invent tools, machinery, or an industrial product usually can do a market research project easier. They know what the new invention is going to do and what it is going to do for people. They also have a better idea of manufacturing cost and benefits.

Basic Facts About Patents

Patents – What are They?

Patents have been around for hundred of years, and there is a basic overview of patents at the US Patent and Trademark office (

Patents have been around since the early 1600’s and were implemented as a part of a law that prevented a monopoly from occurring. At the time there was an exception which was called a monopoly grant. Such a grant was given under special circumstances for a period of 20 years. This grant only pertained to new products introduced and to people who would take the business risk in marketing these new products. Of course, certain restrictions applied, and the source of the product had to be disclosed to the competition, so others could market as soon as this 20 year patent disappeared.

This basic concept of the Patent is very similar today. A US utility patent functions the same way it did over three hundred and fifty years ago. The patent disallows anyone else from practicing an invention for a period of 21 years, and afterward anyone can use the invention. Even today, Patents are not renewable. In exchange for the patent the inventor has to give out the information on the invention, so that anyone else can use the idea (after the 21 year period). However, if the inventor cannot or has not developed the needed ‘how to’ instructions, then the product cannot be patented as explained here –

Do I Have to Have the Patent?

You can still sell your product and you are not required to have a patent to sell it, however the patent is a form of ‘protection.’ It keeps other people from making it, selling it, or using it without your giving your explicit permission. For instance, if you create an improvement on an existing product, you may have to get permission from the earlier inventor before being permitted to market your new product.

What Items are Patentable?

A utility patent is given to a new process, item that is manufactured or made, or machine. In the United States, anyone can solicit an application for this type of patent, or even an application for a plant or design patent, however most people refer to a utility patent when speaking of patents.

What types of items and how innovative do they have to be to be patentable?

There are actually two ways to patent a new idea. The first requires that the product be new, but this definition is new and in a very narrow category. If the invention is new and there are no earlier patents, or references to the invention, then it can be patented.

The second type of patent requires that if a product is patented that the invention be significantly improved. This requires that the invention be considered as a whole and that the original invention also be considered. This revision is often not obvious to a person that has ordinary technical skill. What ever your choice, it is best to hire professional company such as InventHelp to assist you in the process.