It’s about time. You know that your brand needs an online presence on different social media platforms if it has to reach greater heights.
You go through the usual suspects. Your Facebook page is all set. Your LinkedIn profile is complete. You’ve been posting little snippets of information on Twitter. Even your Instagram game is on point.
Before you pat yourself on the back for a job well done, take a minute and consider the road not taken. Specifically, the one that you feel is too rocky for your brand to survive.
The road that goes through Reddit.
Yes, it’s a bumpy road, filled with trolls and gatekeepers, ready to boot you out at a moment’s notice. Yet, it also offers huge benefits to your brand if done right.
What’s so great about Reddit?
For most marketers, a marketing solution that works effectively most of the time is more valuable than all the gold in the world. Advertising on a certain social media platform that guarantees returns is a much more stable investment than something new that may or may not work out.
That’s why most brands stick to the big players in the social media game like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Instagram. They know that when they invest a certain amount of time, money, and effort in these platforms, they are more likely to get the results that they want.
However, it is precisely for this reason that most of these social media networks are saturated with brands – constantly marketing their services and advertising their offers to users. To the point where most people tend to ignore your brand unless they’re doing something that’s incredibly different or “out there”.
So, the question is, are you going to stick to what every other marketer is doing on social media or take the road less traveled?
Reddit for marketing is certainly an unconventional choice. It’s seen as a place where people come together to talk about cat videos and crowdsource niche fan fiction. There’s no denying this.
However, the one thing that marketers fail to notice is that the incredibly targeted audience they are looking for on other social media channels is actually clustered in helpful categories within Reddit. If your brand is aimed at men between the ages of 25 and 35 who love paragliding and reading self-help books, there is probably a subreddit or two already dedicated to it on the website.
It’s a great reason to make Reddit a part of your marketing strategy.
If that doesn’t change your mind, maybe a few of these statistics will.
- Reddit is the 8th most visited website in 2020 in the USA
- Users spend an average of 9 minutes and 29 seconds on the site during every visit
- As of 2019, Reddit hosts more than 430 million users every month
Reddit is an under-utilized gold mine when it comes to social media marketing, but it can be a slippery slope unless it’s handled with care.
Here’s the ultimate guide you’ll need for marketing on #Reddit via @socialanimal_io
Reddit refers to itself as the front page of the Internet and this is true most of the time. At its core, Reddit is a place where pretty much anything that’s new and trending on the Internet shows up for discussion and debate.
Most of its users view it as a social forum, where they come together to meet like-minded people, post original content and have lively debates with each other on things of varying importance.
The whole point of Reddit is for users to submit content, which then gets upvoted or downvoted, depending on how the rest of the base feels about this information. It’s basically a popularity contest, where the most interesting content takes up the top spots.
Reddit is made up of many individual communities called subreddits. These communities are usually formed around certain topics and users who are interested in them can follow them so that these posts show up on their feed.
For instance, take the subreddit – r/blackcats. This subreddit was created just to share pictures and videos of black cats. Post a picture of a white cat or a black dog and you’ll find yourself downvoted to the bottom of the thread or just removed from the community. Or the subreddit r/mildlyinteresting, where your titles must be plain and concise. Any creative wordplay that doesn’t describe exactly what’s going on in the picture will get your post booted out.
The front page of Reddit changes from person to person. For a new user, the feed will show the most popular content on Reddit at that point. Once you start joining subreddits, your feed is curated to show the best content from these communities.
As a member, you can either be a passive observer on your subreddits, occasionally upvoting or downvoting content as you fit. Or you could be an active poster, who comments on other people’s posts and kickstarts discussions regarding different topics. Reddit leaves the choice to you.
The biggest advantage that Reddit has in its favor when it comes to social media marketing is that people choose to follow communities. This is completely different from other social media networks where users tend to follow accounts of interest.
For a marketer, following communities makes it easier to locate your ideal user-base because they’re already in a specific subreddit, discussing the things that probably make up your own content marketing strategy.
Looking for people interested in vintage fashion? There’s a subreddit for that – r/VintageFashion, among many other niche topics.
As you start following your subreddits of choice, the front page of your account will also start showing you recommendations for other similar communities that you may want to join. It’s a great way to identify different niches to whom you would like to market your product.
However, when you use Reddit, it’s easy to understand the fearsome reputation that it has among others online, especially brand marketers. Redditors are proud of their highly curated space, which is nothing like Facebook and its constant barrage of advertisements and impersonal marketing tactics. Post a piece of content on a subreddit that doesn’t follow all the rules of the community and you could find yourself kicked out unceremoniously.
Marketers need to understand the importance of keeping a clean and focused space on Reddit. It’s what Redditors value and if you don’t respect it, then your Reddit marketing plan will have failed before it even begins.
The basic principles of Reddit marketing
In order to use Reddit and successfully maintain a social media brand presence that doesn’t get you kicked out, there are a few do’s and don’ts that you must keep in mind:
Be a part of it
We’ve all seen those strange accounts for businesses on Facebook and Instagram – the ones with a few followers and a single brand-related post. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see a profile like this? Lazy? Untrustworthy? Scam?
That’s exactly what it looks like when brands create impersonal accounts on Reddit for the sole purpose of social media marketing. Instead of fostering trust and goodwill among Redditors, what your business will get is crickets.
Your first step towards creating a great Reddit marketing plan is becoming a member, in every sense of the word. You can join Reddit without an email address, but it’s better for you to create an account with one so that it can be verified.
Create a Reddit account that doesn’t feel like it’s been made for nothing more than marketing. Follow the subreddits that contain your audience but take the time to read through their rules. Understand what the community is all about – their quirks, their inside jokes, their likes, and dislikes. This is an important step when it comes to building your customized Reddit marketing plan.
You’ll soon start to discern a pattern and you may even understand what types of promotions the group tends to let in. You may even notice that posts in certain formats tend to perform a lot better than others. Some subreddits may prefer a caption that includes a heading in bold while others may expect the text to be written out with a lot of slang. Make note of these little things and incorporate them in the content that you post on the website.
Here’s an example of a marketing failure that can happen if you fail to be a part of the community.
Normally, AMA sessions (Ask Me Anything) tend to be open-ended and everything is open to discussion. But when Woody Harrelson tried to impose a condition that only questions about the film would be open to discussion, Redditors found him out of order.
The next step to Reddit marketing success is simple – participate in the discussions. When you comment and post content on Reddit, you build up karma. It basically shows your ranking in the community or subreddit based on the sort of content that you put up. Better karma means more respect from fellow Redditors (most of the time).
Most subreddits ask you to put aside 80% of your time on group activities in the community, like posting content and adding your bit to a discussion, while you can use the remainder for self-promotion.
But a lot of this depends on the type of subreddits that you subscribe to and the target audience that you are trying to reach through your marketing. For instance, a subreddit that focuses on finding good deals for vintage video games may be open to related self-promotion but a thread that only entertains pictures of vintage games with discussions and comments related to that may not tolerate any marketing.
As you take part in your subreddit of choice, you’ll find it easier to understand where your marketing is truly welcome.
When it comes to Reddit marketing, authenticity can take you a lot further than sheer quantity. The best way to create a truly unique Reddit presence is by posting original content that is in tune with what the subreddit demands.
Many businesses tend to repurpose their social media content and simply change its dimensions to fit different site requirements. While this does tend to make things a little easier for your company, it may be costing you in terms of traffic and exposure.
Make sure that your marketing team or person understands the Reddit user experience before they begin posting on it. Reddit is usually the frontline for anything that goes on across the Internet, which means that they are up-to-date on everything that happens. Posting a week-old meme may end up getting you more downvotes than actual engagement.
This may not work on #Reddit.
Make sure your marketing team understands Reddit before they begin posting. via @socialanimal_io
Create content that is authentic and engaging. Share posts that fit the scope of the community. Communities are a lot more open to content that comes across as an actual value-add to the thread. If they begin to view your account as one that contributes meaningfully to the subreddit and therefore, the website, they’re likely to be a lot more open to the product you’re selling.
Don’t be “that marketer”
Reddit has created one of the few spaces on the Internet that is free of most mainstream marketing influences. There are very few examples of brands that have actually thrived on the website without being shut down or kicked out.
This is a conscious effort made by Redditors who have been the unofficial gatekeepers of the website and its communities. They don’t want Reddit to become another site saturated with a million brands marketing themselves with little concern for the audience they are attempting to reach.
Subreddits are quick to remove outsiders who show little concern for the topic being discussed and constantly post content and comments on their page with impersonal marketing statements.
In order to truly utilize Reddit successfully as a marketing channel for your company, it is vital that you remember the do’s and don’ts mentioned above while you create content and engage with the site.
Here’s another marketing fail that should highlight how redditors may react if brands don’t pay attention to that subreddit’s rules.
The Reddit marketing guide for social media marketers
Once you understand what you need to keep in mind for a successful Reddit marketing plan, the next phase is the actual execution of your strategy.
Here’s your easy step-by-step guide to using Reddit for successfully marketing your company:
Create an account
Becoming a Reddit member is your first step to marketing on the site. It is important that you put some thought into creating a username.
Choose one that incorporates a keyword that is closely related to your business and the name of the person who will be running the Reddit page. Most people will be more willing to accept a more personalized account, rather than one with an impersonal brand name.
Customize your front page
On Reddit, new members are usually greeted with the default front page. This is normally filled with content like breaking news, popular articles and memes, and anything else that the Reddit community has, as a whole, upvoted for its interest levels.
Your first task is to begin personalizing your feed so that you can share your product with the right audiences. Start combing through Reddit for subreddits that are related to your business. You can start this process by entering keywords that are most commonly used by people when referring to your brand.
Once you have identified a few key communities in which you would like to participate, your feed will also show you thread recommendations. This could be a community that’s related to your keyword indirectly or just other combinations to which you haven’t given much thought. You may even find threads focused on different parts of the world.
For instance, a thread on vintage fashion could offer wildly different things when compared to another community that uploads images of vintage fashion in Japan.
Make sure that you go through these recommendations frequently and subscribe only to the ones to which you can add value.
You can also do a search on any search engine with keywords of interest and the word “Reddit” at the end of the term. You will find a lot of subreddits showing up here, too.
Lurk and observe
In other situations, lurking may be frowned upon but in this case, it may actually work in your favor.
Think of this as the intelligence gathering stage. Keep an eye on the different discussions going on in your subreddits of choice. Take note of the posts that show up and the types of comments that encourage healthy and lively discussions. There could also be a specific time when the group is most active and traffic is at its highest.
This is the best way to start planning out your content for when you begin posting on Reddit. Understand what the community likes so that when the time comes, you’ll know exactly what type of content to post to get the attention of your fellow Redditors.
Test the waters
No, it’s not time to post yet. This is the moment when you start contributing a little more meaningfully to your Reddit communities.
Start upvoting content that works for your subreddits and make sure that you do this only for the ones that add value. Start posting comments on different types of content. Participate in healthy discussions that can help you build better relationships.
The goal of this step is to become a familiar face in your communities. This way, when you post later, you don’t just look like a business that’s trying to jump on the Reddit bandwagon but a brand that truly cares for its audience.
Time to post
It’s time for your business to begin posting content on Reddit. Remember to create unique content specifically for Reddit. Something that works on another social media network may not do as well on Reddit. Keep your content calendars separate and you’ll be on your way.
And this is where you’ll need all the help you can get. Try Social Animal’s popular search for any keyword and sort based on Reddit engagements. You’ll now know,
- What kind of posts get top engagement on Reddit.
- Headlines and sentiments that get top shares on Reddit.
- Analyze when posts have had top engagements.
- See the kind of content that works best on Reddit and a lot more
However, it’s important to keep your expectations a little realistic. The fact of the matter is that Reddit is home to millions who may not even see your post in their communities. You may end up getting very little traffic to your post, so maybe posting content that goes viral is not a great goal for your first few days here.
Your first post may get a few upvotes and if you’re lucky, a comment or two. This is not a bad thing. A positive reaction, however minimal, is something that you can always use.
One size doesn’t fit all.
Find data for YOUR keywords on Reddit.
Create a strategy tailored to fit your needs.
Consistency is key
In order to improve engagement and traffic for your business, it is important that you keep going. Stay consistent and upload content that is unique and interesting on a regular basis.
Make sure that you keep contributing to the Reddit communities through comments and upvotes. Continue fostering relationships with fellow Redditors.
The longer you keep at it, the more likely you are to create valuable space on Reddit for your business that doesn’t step on the toes of the site itself.
Try to figure out what frequency works for you. There’s no tried and tested rule for your business to follow when it comes to posting on Reddit. It could change even among different communities.
Types of content for Reddit
While you can put up any type of content on Reddit, your lurking phase would have shown you that there are certain formats that work best. Here are a few options that you could use to set up a content calendar specifically for Reddit:
From cats playing with their tails to stunts gone bad, GIFs have taken over social media and Reddit was no exception. They’re short, fast, and repetitive – the ideal content for people on the Internet. You can post GIFs in response to other content or even just a reaction GIF for something focused on your business as a more fun marketing tactic.
Videos are also great options for visual content. However, they can load slowly and links to other video sharing platforms may actually bring down traffic. If you must upload a video, try to find key sections that you can convert to a GIF for better engagement.
While images are great for quick loading, the bar for an image to be interesting is pretty high. You’ll find that business images are usually beaten out by pictures of cuddly puppies and kittens. Ensure you have something engaging to share.
While this format may not work on other platforms, Redditors thrive on long, philosophical discussions on Reddit. Many subreddits were created for the sole purpose of sharing and discussing ideas in the form of a text post. This is a great format to add to your Reddit content calendar.
Even though Redditors love long text posts, a lot of them seem to dislike content from blogs. If you must put up an article or a blog post, consider doing so in the form of text.
AMAs or Ask Me Anything opens the floor to other Redditors to ask the person hosting it any question they want. AMAs are usually hosted by famous people or experts in their field, so if you have a unique story to share or want to answer questions as a brand, it could be successful. Most AMAs happen on r/IAmA but you can also see them taking place in communities that focus on certain interests. For instance, a video game developer may conduct an AMA on r/videogames.
This is a good time to remember that you may encounter trolls and it’s wise to go in with an open mind and a thick skin.
Reddit is a fantastic place for breaking news. If you are in a community that needs timely updates like politics or movies, your brand could become a hit if it shares new and accurate information regularly.
While Reddit does have an ad platform, it’s been tinkered with so often that it can be hard to figure out what could work here or even ad spend results when compared to other advertising platforms online. One tip to remember is that targeting ads based on community work best on Reddit.
Reddit has a lot to offer your business. However, you will only be able to reap the rewards if you put your effort into truly understanding what makes Reddit an incredible space for its users.
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