By Sara Martin, on 27 April 2020
When you think about which channels to use in your marketing strategy, you probably don't immediately think about Reddit. However, this social network has a lot of active users and a limitless number of niches and topics.
So how can marketers harness Reddit’s potential? Let’s explore the key ways your brand can use Reddit.
What is Reddit?
Reddit is a social network that is based on sharing news and content within a certain group surrounding a particular topic (called a subreddit). Users can comment on the posts and share their opinions with people who are interested in the same topic. It is similar to an online forum, but with the added feature of users being able to give negative and positive votes to the post and the posts’ comments. This allows the most relevant content and contributions to be more visible for longer.
Subreddits can widely vary based on topics, from pet photos to financial advice to even thoughts people have in the shower. Any user can start a subreddit or join an existing one.
Two other important concepts within this social network are karma (reward received for contributing to the community) and Reddit gold (a kind of premium member program that unlocks new features).
It is also interesting to note that although Reddit's majority language is in English, there are communities in many other languages.
3 Ways to Include Reddit in Your Marketing Strategy
It is important to understand that Reddit works very differently from most other social media platforms. It is most comparable to the way Facebook Groups work.
That's to say, organic marketing (meaning non-sponsored or paid ads) on Reddit is often not too common and the rules around spam or promotion tend to be strict within the groups. That doesn’t mean it's impossible to use Reddit in your marketing strategy. Here are 3 ways you can incorporate this platform in your marketing plan.
1. To Generate Traffic
Reddit can be a great source to generate traffic by publishing your own content, but be very careful as the rules around spam in most subreddits are very strict.
In general, the focus on Reddit should always be based on collaborating with the community and providing value. Only join and contribute to a subreddit if it makes sense for your brand, or a representative from your brand, to have a presence in that subreddit. Investigate in depth which communities where your content might fit and how best to share them.
Another very important rule is that you cannot just talk about yourself. You must collaborate actively in the community, comment on other user’s posts, and share interesting content from other sources, not just your own links. Above all focus on being a valuable member or the subreddit, and only contribute your links or content when absolutely necessary.
A good example of this is the CEO of Scott’s Cheap Flights doing a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) in which he answered people’s travel questions and directed them to his brand’s website when necessary. This example serves as a great guide on how a brand can be active on Reddit while also providing a real value, thus enhancing the value of the brand.
Under Armour also hosted an AMA as a way to connect with the user who already exsisted in their own Under Armour subreddit. This is a great example of meeting your users where they are at.
2. For Content Creation
Because Reddit has such niche communities surrounding various topics, there are sure to be one or more that fit the interests of your brand. You can use these to keep up to date on what's happening in your industry and get ideas for your own articles.
You can also position your brand as an industry leader on the platform. Similarly to how you would write blog articles about relevant topics, you can contribute your knowledge in subreddits surrounding topics of interest to your brand. Not only will this establish you as a leader within the topic, but it will build trust and add a human element to your brand.
3. For Market Research and Social Listening
Reddit is one of the best places to stay in touch with users and understand them better. Because Reddit users can remain mostly anonymous (at least more so than on traditional social media websites) more users are vocal about their opinions uncensored.
Therefore, even if you decide to not actively post on Reddit, I recommend that your brand has some sort of presence (even if it is anonymous) to look for what is being said about your brand and your competition. It will help you detect opportunities that you never thought of and craft a much more accurate buyer personas.