Have you ever asked yourself:
What if I could get to the front page of Reddit? Imgur? Funnyjunk? etc.
If so, you've come to the right place!
Since our launch on May 19th, we've been on the front page of Reddit an amazing 4 times, Imgur once, Funnyjunk twice, Hackernews once, and many more. I'd like to take a moment and thank everyone for sharing our website! These results have changed how I look at social media as a whole and the results have been both great in some ways and others need improvement. Let's just cut to the chase for now and I'll recap after with statistical analysis and lessons learned below.
Right off the bat we can see that one community driving traffic influences all social media networks and has a decaying benefit of reposts. A frontpage submission to Reddit can lead to a frontpage Imgur, and so on. We've been on many of the popular social communities and they all have varying conversion rates and user engagement. One really great result has been the comment sections. They come up with really great one-liners (like that's pants on shirt stupid) and the positivity has been unbelievable.
Our goal as a user-submitted apparel platform has been to increase sales and user engagement, alternatively I have taken time away from shipping orders to try and inform other entreprenreurs and wantrepreneurs to encourage them to fulfill their dreams. This is one of those posts.
Reddit has had the lowest conversion rate for us (0.3%). This is because hitting the frontpage really broadens your viewership and our previous front-end designs have been poverty. Many individuals still will share your website on their social media, so the spidering effects of one of these posts is clearly beneficial but hard to directly interpret.
Our biggest post on Reddit was submitted to /r/internetisbeautiful which led to an immediate fresh post on /r/4chan (my home, thank you so much guys). That hit the frontpage of /r/all as well and directly boosted our subreddit's subscription rate:
This was an important step for us because all of our shirt designs are submitted to /r/shirtwascash for a chance to become real shirts.
After the initial burst in traffic from Reddit (which was our 2nd time on the front) we saw users posting similar pictures and messages all over the internet. Our unique product and format appears to have made the majority of these posts really popular. That alone is a key takeaway.
Make sure your product is interesting (obviously) but also that the format is easily shareable. Often times you will hear enabling social sharing through common Like or Tweet buttons, but really it begins with visualization. I don't really have those buttons and the few I do have no results (probably an optimization problem).
Here is an example of the imgur post that went viral:
Catchy title and funny / risque picture taken by Super Kev.
(one of our licensed photographers)
From there, more users saw the potential to gain sweet, sweet internet posts and shared it across the internet. Imgur has a remarkable community which spans the internet just as much as Reddit and their users are more likely to pass on sharing the image. The reasons behind this are:
1. Imgur hosts images in a more shareable format
2. Reddit users tend to stick to homebase and not venture to the rest of the internet
This cycle of viral sharing has boosted our company from the "How I Made $40k Within Shopify's Trial Period" and beyond to our new total revenue which I'm going to withold for future posts.
This has been such an amazing experience and I am dedicated to not only my immediate customer service replies and 24/7 no-sleep work ethic but also to continue to share this information and help others. People have asked, "How have you done this much in two months?" and this writing is my response.
I'm 26 and sitting in my room late at night putting the time in and doing what I love while my friends are outside having fun. After this, I'm shipping to make more people happy. You can start your dream company today with no capital upfront just like I did (another shoutout for the Golden Shopify + Shipstation combo - you need dis).
Just pick something you feel you can sell better than others and execute on it.
Currently we are having our 2nd user-submission contest to pick the next designs. We have had hundreds of shirt submissions and I can't wait to see the results. This is just one step, a couple months after launch, that moves us forward towards our goal to be a Threadless-like platform that focuses on simplified anything-goes content creation and the community over professional designers with large vetting processes.
I'm excited to see people loving the concept and trying it in their own communities although I have a strong dedication and respect for where this all originated - 4chan. 4chan is infamous for their genius original content and shirt mockups is another chapter in that story, much like how I Can Haz Cheezburger started.
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