When it comes to Social Media marketing, there is an unexpected and often overlooked platform … Reddit Marketing. I recently did an Alexa ranking on the website Reddit and discovered that it was the 6th most trafficked site in the US behind Google, YouTube, Amazon, Facebook, and Yahoo. For the record, Instagram was ranked 20th, Twitter came in at 23rd and Pinterest was a distant 89th.

Reddit Basics

So, what is Reddit? Reddit is a social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website.

To explore a topic or business niche, you can enter a keyword into the search bar. Reddit will return a list of what are known as subreddits that deal with your topic, as well as posts that include your keyword.

When you find what looks like an interesting subreddit community, you can join it. Posts in that subreddit will then appear on your home screen so you can follow topics that are of interest to you.

Some subreddits will provide you with other related subreddits that you may also want to explore.

What gives you authority on Reddit is getting Up-Votes on posts and comments that you make, known as your Karma score. You earn Post Karma when you make a post and get an Up-Vote, and Comment Karma when you make a comment that gets an Up-Vote. Based on your Karma score, you open up things that you can do. For example, you may be limited from posting in a subreddit unless you have been on Reddit for 100 days and have more than 100 Karma points.

Most marketers create an account on Reddit thinking they can start spamming their content in various subreddits, only to discover that they do not have enough Karma points or that their account has not aged long enough. This makes marketers frustrated and they move on to another platform. Therefore, Reddit uses Karma as one way to keep spammers out.

When writing a Reddit post, your goal is to get it to go from “New”, to “Rising”, to “Hot” to get your message seen by more people. This is done by getting lots of Up-Votes on your comment or post.

The threshold to move from new to hot is based on the specific subreddit. One subreddit with two Up-Votes may qualify as a hot topic, while it may take twenty or more Up-Votes for another subreddit to be considered a hot topic. It will likely take several thousands of Up-Votes to make it to the front page of Reddit and be considered a hot topic.

Reddit does not allow you to ask for or incentivize others to Up-Vote your posts. Up-Votes need to be organic.

A strategy some Reddit marketers use to get more Up-Votes is to leverage their contacts. They reach out to their Social Media and email contacts telling them that they have a post and that they would appreciate it if they would look at it and give them an Up-Vote. The strategy only works when the people that give you Up-Votes have enough Karma points and have aged accounts.

Therefore, if you want to follow this strategy you will need to create a team of people that are active Reddit users that have been on the platform for a while, and have accumulated enough Karma points seniority to make their votes count.

When writing a post, headline rules apply. The best headlines need to be emotional, create a desire to clock the link, use initial caps to make it easier to read, etc.

To open your own subreddit, your account must be 30 days old and you must have accumulated some positive Karma points, generally 100 or more.

To find which subreddits have the most activity, subscribers, and are growing the fastest there is a Reddit List website you can use. Commenting on active subreddits with lots of readers and trending posts is a great way to earn Karma points and get your name in front of lots of people.

Many subreddit have rules for posting, so you need to check the individual rules of each subreddit. For example, some may not let you include an outbound link or your promoted content. For instance, in the subreddit r/yardsale you can sell only personal items. If you create a post that has a link to eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, etc., the post will be deleted. Worse, other subscribers may Down-Vote your post if you break the subreddits rules. Down-Votes subtract points from your Karma score. Some subreddits have a day a week where they relax some of the rules, such as for selling or promoting your business or its products.

A post and its related comments make up a discussion. Discussions get their own score. With a sufficient number of Up-Votes, the discussion can make the trending or hot topic list that gets lots of traffic. When you are part of a Reddit discussion, you can Up-Vote comments and each Up-Vote by you and others contributes to the discussion score. In the example above, the discussion in r/Entrepreneurs has a discussion score of 462.

Freelancer Reddit Marketing

A subreddit of particular interest for freelancers is the r/forhire subreddit. r/forhire is a subreddit where you can simply post your services or job for others to see.

For instance, if your business was in need of a User Experience (UX) designer, you could enter “UX Designer” into the search box. Reddit will return both people who offer UX Design services as well as other companies looking to hire a UX Designer.

Organic Reddit Marketing

A process Reddit marketers use to market their product or service is to look for a discussion that is trending or popular. Then they recreate a post with a similar topic because they have evidence that the topic is popular. It is likely that if the last post was popular, a new post will too.

If the content is a video, they will add a call to action in the video description and/or in the video itself to encourage viewers to visit their webpage.

Another technique I personally use is related to post comments. I search for terms such as “how to”, “struggling with”, or “looking for”, in the subreddits I have joined. When I find a post or comment that I know that I have a post that addresses the person’s concerns I’ll include a short answer to a post or to another person’s comments and include a link to a blog post saying “Here is a link for some more information” and include the URL of a post that discusses the issue in more detail. By providing a short answer in the comment body I don’t come across as trying to spam the discussion.

NOTE: Backlinks from Reddit are no-follow links so your site does not get link juice from Reddit. The value a link produces is more indirect and gained through increased traffic, or from a reader seeing a link and following it to your page.

The content you add in posts and comments must be natural and not promotional or you may get Down-Voted, which will hurt your Karma score or get your post or comment removed.

Reddit has the ability for paid marketing with ads. However, about every source on the internet that has used Reddit marketing with paid ads, and wrote or produced a video about their experiences has said that paid Reddit marketing has a low Return On Investment (ROI)

How can you use Reddit to market your business?

Read more: Do The Rules Of Reddiquette Protect Pedophiles?