This article talks about the oddities and power of Reddit for the layman and gives a step by step on how to use Reddit for marketing to start gaining leads and website traffic.
What is Reddit?
Reddit is an aggregate site that operates like a forum with a massive community made up of sub-communities called subreddits. It is a social media site but with a definitive twist.
A better description would be that Reddit is a software solution that allows you to create your own social community by creating a subreddit. It is more like WordPress than it is like Facebook or Twitter in many respects.
A subreddit doesn’t have any requirements from Reddit as to how it should run its community as long as they are not breaking any government laws. The rules of each subreddit are located on the right-hand side of your screen when you are in a subreddit. Anyone can start a subreddit.
Starting a subreddit would make you the moderator of that subreddit. The founder of the subreddit can add new moderators to help enforce the rules of their subreddit. When you break the rules of the subreddit, you will get banned from posting any further content in that subreddit.
These subreddits can get a bit wacky sometimes. There is a subreddit where the rules are that you can say nothing but cat. The title of any post has to be cat. The description has to be cat. If you post any media or pictures, it has to be a cat or about cats. Straying from these rules will get you banned in this subreddit.
Is it possible to use Reddit as a marketing and lead generation platform for my business?
Excerpt from the interview with Brent:
If you approach it properly, you can absolutely sell products and increase your brand. A lot of people miss the chance to really create influences and to get really really good feedback from people who are not going to sit there and say, “Oh we love your product, we want it…” They are going to say, “This is what we don’t like, this is what you should do.
People on Reddit are looking for the weird, wacky, and interesting. There are definitely people that are interested in B2B sales. There are a lot of B2B subreddits like the marketing subreddit, but you have to post your content in a very creative, super unspammy way to get any traction.
The majority of Reddit users are tech savvy guys that like to make fun of anything spammy. Any spam and sometimes even well-meaning authentic content that can be mistaken for spam will be downvoted into oblivion so that it never gets any significant reach or traction.
On the upside though if you can get something through that gets traction Reddit can be an excellent source of traffic. It has an average of 174 million unique monthly views. So it is definitely worth it to experiment until you can make it work.
Approach it as a community. It is excellent for getting critical feedback. Try not to take anything too personal. The predominant number of users on Reddit won’t lie if they don’t like your product or idea. But isn’t honest feedback something we all need?
If there is a problem, we need to be able to fix it. False positive feedback is much worse than negative feedback because you will never realize there is a problem.
If your content gets a lot of bad feedback on Reddit, just shrug it off and realize that these particular Reddit users might not be your target market or just accept that your product might suck. No, just kidding!
But the point we are trying to make is that you have to be willing to experiment with Reddit a little more than with the average social media platform to get it down.
- Do it with a light-hearted attitude.
- Be willing to start over and try again.
- Where you would spend a day or two to be able to master Facebook or Twitter, Reddit might take a week to start getting a hang of it if you are diligent.
Here are some case studies of people that have successfully used Reddit for marketing. You will see the words they use when communicating on Reddit doesn’t sound like sales copy or promotion at all. It is all real people that are asking for real advice or saying something funny or witty. Then if the opportunity presents itself, they pounce on it to get some traffic or sales.
Aggressive Anti-spam Approach
Reddit is designed in an almost paranoid way in regards to spam. The Reddit algorithm will not make your post show up in the “new” feed if you are a new member with no participation level. If you made a post and it is not showing up in the new section of the subreddit, it means your participation level in that subreddit is not up to par. (You should be logged out to see if your new post is showing up; if it shows up when you are logged in that doesn’t mean that everybody can necessarily see it).
Comment and participate in the discussions before you start making posts. This interaction will boost your comment karma. You gain comment karma by your participation in the community; it cannot be acquired by self-posts.
Another good idea if your posts are not showing up can be to message the moderator of that subreddit. Give reasons for why you thought that the particular content that you posted would be applicable and helpful to that subreddit. The moderator can then release your content to start showing up on the new feed.
Sometimes the content that you post can show up right away if the domain from which it originates was proven to be authoritative. Follow this advice from the Reddit frequently asked questions wiki if you want your posts to get noticed: “…choose your title carefully – make it useful, provide context and be descriptive.” I would add that you could try to be witty but that might blow up in your face so try at own risk.
A step by step to getting started on Reddit
- Get a Reddit account. You don’t even need an email to register. Just choose a username and password.
- Edit the subreddits that you would like to be subscribed to. Use the search bar on the front page to find those that pique your interest. You can manage the dashboard by clicking on the edit button in the top right hand corner on the homepage when you are logged in to your account. Redditlist.com catalogues the most popular subreddits and their statistics. You can use it to find the subreddits with the highest engagement.
- Start reading and commenting on other people’s self posts first before you start posting and starting discussions.
- Immerse yourself in the community for a while before expecting results. Here are some acronyms that Redditors use in posts that will help you understand what the hell is going on. It does take some getting used to but it is not nearly as difficult or mysterious as some people make it sound.