Categorized | Shoestring Startup

Talking Startup with Talking Finger

Talking Finger Talks StartupJust over two years ago, Erik Granato and William DeRosa launched Talking Finger (www.talkingfinger.com), an industry-leading leading full service social media marketing company specializing in social media strategy, profile creation and development, graphic design, and media integration.Their focus is on connecting businesses with consumers and with each other to leverage the growing influence of social media.

Their creative suite of services includes developing custom Facebook pages and apps, branding across all social media platforms, creating content, managing social reputation, and educating clients. Talking Finger provides strategic consulting on social media platforms including: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Yelp, Foursquare, Pinterest, Google+, blogs, and much more. Clients vary from non-profits to medium corporations to political figures and the occasional rap star.

With an initial investment of just over $1,200 and a business plan that was drafted in DeRosa’s cabana on a giant poster board with Scooby-doo scented markers that were bought at the local Ocean State Job Lot, they set out to create a business that was virtually non-existent at the time. Within 60 days, they recouped their personal investment and have been self-funded ever since. Now managing over 150 different Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, LinkedIn and Pinterest pages, Talking Finger has become a recognized leader in the social media sphere and employees a staff of four.

The Talking Finger business plan stemmed from a posting on (where else but)Facebook.

“I posted on Facebook that I was tired of working for someone else,” DeRosa said. “A mutual friend saw the posting and his friend Erik, started to think of ideas.”

From their initial discussions, they surmised that there was great potential for a social media marketing company. With their combined 40+ year history in traditional marketing and sales and their knowledge of social media platforms, they launched Talking Finger in October 2010.

As with any transition, there were challenges in leaving the corporate world and transitioning to the role of “entrepreneur.” Granato felt that being a business partner was a welcome challenge. “I took a chance and left my comfort zone in corporate America and never looked back.”

According to Granato, the best advice he NEVER received was that, “Failure is an option.” He notes that they are guinea pigs for their clients. “We will post on social media platforms at odd hours or on what would generally be thought of as an unpopular day in order to collect analytics to better understand the pitfalls or problems with a social media strategy as well as to see the potential positive effects.”

DeRosa noted that client interaction focuses heavily on educating the client. “For many small businesses, we build the platform and teach the client how to use the platform and engage their customers.”

Talking Finger plans to expand by adding a bricks and mortar space and employing additional staff. Also, as they grow, they seek to gain Fortune-level clientele.

“Our long-term plan is to continue to run Talking Finger ourselves with intentions of acquiring other agencies,” DeRosa said.

To promote their company, Talking Finger consistently and effectively uses the varied social media platforms. Also, they still turn to traditional media, utilizing a public relations firm that engages Talking Finger in a media relations strategy.

Talking Finger Talks Startup

Bill DeRosa

A bit more about William:

Leveraging his 22 years of advertising and marketing experience, William pairs traditional marketing with strategic social media to assist customers in generating a stronger bottom line. Rather than just understand social media trends, he has become a trendsetter while engaging and educating clients about this fundamental shift in how we communicate, build relationships, and increase brand awareness.

Prior to founding Talking Finger, William was Vice President and Social Media Marketing Developer and Strategist at Corporate Display Specialties. During his 18 year tenure, he oversaw all aspects of marketing from the infancy of pay per click advertising and the design of the company’s first website to developing and launching the first social media marketing strategy. William traces his marketing roots to his first business, Unique Designs Landscaping. Through his marketing and grassroots social media efforts, he grew his small business to a respected landscape design and maintenance company that he then sold to a larger company.

Talking Finger Talks Startup

Erik Granato

A bit more about Erik:

Erik empowers businesses to harness the power of social media; connecting the millions of users to the business to drive brand awareness and foster brand loyalty.

Through his 20 years of advertising and marketing experience, Erik has held the roles of Business Development Manager and Account Executive in the information technology industry. While successfully employed at Morse Watchman, he exponentially exceeded set sales goals by 67%. He also streamlined training processes, enabling the organization to achieve greater market penetration while utilizing fewer internal resources.

Erik’s partners his experience utilizing direct mail, print campaigns, and web marketing with strategic social media initiatives. He feels that when deployed correctly there is an ideal synergy between traditional media and social media.

A bit more about Talking Finger:

And of course, the social media gurus use just about every social media platform to grow and promote their business. Follow and learn more about them:

Talking Finger “commercial”

Talking Finger “who we are”

facebook.com/talkingfinger | twitter.com/talkingfinger | thetalkingfinger.blogspot.com | talkingfinger.com | YouTube.com/0talkingfinger0 | pinterest.com/talkingfinger| linkedin.com/in/erikgranato | linkedin.com/in/williamderosa |

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