How Facebook became the #1 Driver for my Ecommerce Startup

A year ago a product I launched, Fly Pedals, had just finished a very successful Kickstarter campaign. Coupled with the sales from our Shopify store, we sold over $60,000 in pre-orders in the first 30 days of launching.

I had built the business in my spare time with only a computer and the free online tools available to any aspiring entrepreneur. Facebook in particular was the driving force that made our product instantly visible to our target market.

Is “going viral” a real strategy?

The fast growth of Fly Pedals was mostly credited to a video that was designed for social media shareability. During the initial surge of traffic to our Shopify store (where we were only offering pre-orders at the time) we noticed that almost every visitor that made a purchase had watched our video. So, we set out to find affordable ways to bring our video to potential customers.

We soon realized the best way to attract more views on our video was through the sharing of our embedded link on Facebook. Embedded Links enable you to pull in external web content (i.e. video and photos) and present it within sites. This is similar to a Facebook sponsored advertisement, but much more powerful when shared by someone within your network. It is important to adjust the website settings so the desired media will always come up when the website is mentioned on Facebook. We changed our settings to display our video using an embedded link customization tool, and saw a dramatic increase in sales.

^Example of optimized embedded vs non-optimized embedded links: Which post are you more likely to engage?

Maximizing Social Media Referrals through Rewards

Although it was great to have a boost in sales, I wanted to take this marketing strategy even further. After doing some research I found out that customers are seven times more likely to buy a product when their friend shares an embedded link.

In order to incentivize our customers to share our new product through an embedded link; we offered various rewards for sharing on social media. We experimented with including different photos and videos through our embedded link and finally found one that helped us bring in an additional $17 in net profit from these referral sales.

Now all I had to do was figure out a way to incentivize more customers to share their product and it came down to developing a simple Shopify app that rewarded our customers with $5 off to share our link. The app requires no extra time on my part, as it simply offers customers the rewards for sharing your embedded media link at checkout. This increased our traffic dramatically and turned out to be a really easy solution to increasing the #1 channel for our ecommerce business.

Most merchants know that word of mouth is the #1 driver for most businesses, but figuring out new ways to scale and measure this is a struggle for most companies. Are you maximizing the referral traffic for your business?

Would love to hear what has worked and what hasn’t for you in the comments below or drop me a line at