How Can Marketers Use Reddit
WHAT IS REDDIT?
You would have had to be living under a rock for the last ten years to not know all about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Even if you don’t use these sites, most of your friends and associates surely do!
However, there is one site that gets a lot less buzz but has great untapped potential…Reddit.
I have to confess, I had no idea what Reddit was about until recently. But once I began to learn about it, I realized that it may be social media’s best-kept secret.
Reddit proclaims itself to be “The Front Page of the Internet,” and that’s actually a very accurate description. It offers a potpourri of interesting news, commentary, and helpful links.
Unlike Facebook and most other social media sites, your standing on Reddit has nothing to do with who your friends are, and everything to do with the quality of the things you share.
Although Reddit may not have the surging popularity of some other sites, it is quietly rising to prominence with 234 million users worldwide and 8.9 billion monthly page views.
With social media marketing rapidly taking over the world of business in 2016, Reddit is poised to become very powerful and influential.
But just like any social media tool, Reddit has its own unique features, and you will need to understand these if you want to use it effectively as part of a marketing strategy.
Here are a few basic rules to keep in mind to leverage the real power of Reddit.
BE A REDDITOR…NOT A MARKETER!
As contradictory as this may seem, the most effective way to market on Reddit is…not to market!
Why? Because Redditors deeply hate marketing or self-promotion of any kind. They are also very savvy to anything that even closely resembles marketing, and they will not hesitate to downvote anything that seems suspicious, or even try to ban you.
So how do you actually use Reddit for marketing? Here are a few strategies that can help.
Reddit's help page outlines the basic rules for participating in this community. These are pretty straightforward and predictable: don’t post excessively sexual or violent content, don’t give out personal information, don’t spam, etc.
In addition to these rules, there are some guidelines for proper "reddiquette" which will help you participate in a more meaningful way. Some of these guidelines are great rules to keep in mind for social interaction in general, on the web or anywhere else.
The reminder to “remember the human” during online communication is just great advice in general. In the spirit of free and open sharing of ideas, it’s also proper “reddiquette” to keep posts opinion-free, using the comments to express your personal thoughts instead of expressing them in the post itself.
One rule of “reddiquette” that applies especially to marketers is the request to “post your own content within reason.” When doing so, Redditors are well advised to use the 9:1 rule: only one link to your own content for every ten posts.
Some additional marketing guidelines can be found on the Reddit wiki. For example, don’t begin right away posting only your own content to Reddit. Make sure that you post from a variety of sources, instead of just one. Join some “subreddits” and contribute regularly to community discussions.
Remember that it’s against the Reddit rules to offer any kind of compensation to someone for sharing or promoting your content. Allow Redditors to find and share your content on their own.
And remember not to engage in any activity that resembles “spamming,” such as asking others to vote for your posts, especially via private messages. This kind of activity is frowned upon and can get you banned.
HOW TO USE REDDIT FOR MARKETING PURPOSES
1. How to Begin
Especially in the early stages of using Reddit, you must make an effort to think like a “Redditor”…not a marketer.
Start by researching your Reddit audience to find out what posts are most popular. Then make sure that anything you post is relevant to their interests. “Subreddits” are a great way to hone in on more specific topics to appeal to a niche market.
Also, make sure that you only post thoughtful, high-value content. Otherwise, you may get downvoted, which adversely affects your “karma” (reputation points).
Remember that high-quality content meets the following criteria:
- It’s surprising
- It evokes intense emotions
- It’s positive
- It’s interesting
- It’s helpful or actionable
If your posts consistently meet as many of these criteria as possible, you will increase the likelihood of boosting your “karma.”
Most importantly, keep it fun in the early stages. Interact with other Redditors on topics that interest you. Comment on posts that you find helpful or funny.
2. How to Post Your Own Content
Once you have been using Reddit this way for a while, you can begin to cautiously post some of your own content, but keep a few things in mind.
First of all, a link to your own content should never be the first or second thing you post. Do not post your own content until you have been posting on other topics for a while.
You can actually avoid problems and misunderstandings by addressing concerns before they come up. Tie your post to something else controversial happening recently in a particular subreddit, and directly address it in your post.
Emphasize that your purpose is to follow the rules of good etiquette and to add value to the community.
Avoid over-promotion! If you post content from the same domain too often, your post will be flagged by spam filters. It doesn’t matter if you are posting these to different subreddits. Moderators and other Redditors can look at your activity on the site as a whole.
You can boost your marketing efficiency on Reddit by sharing your posts to friends and followers on other platforms. And always make sure that you reply to any comments on your posts. Keeping the conversation going will make other Redditors more likely to view and click on it.
Also, take the time to make sure that your content is truly worthy of sharing to the community. If your website is confusing, visually unattractive, or difficult to navigate, then visitors will dislike it and they won’t thank you for posting it. It’s worth investing some time to keep your website engaging.
Above all, keep your tone humble. Remain open to criticism and to learning new things from other Redditors.
While it can be challenging and time-consuming to use Reddit effectively as a marketing tool, it’s definitely worth the effort to utilize this sneakily successful strategy. And in doing so, you gain the added benefit of learning interesting things about others too.