Reddit—it’s uncharted territory for most businesses. And who could blame them? The site is full of people just looking to rain on someone’s parade. The “Redditors” (as they like to be called) are notorious for their cynical, glass-half-empty attitudes and are ready, willing, and able to call out any BS that blips on their radar. It’s enough for the most seasoned PR pro to shake his head and walk away.
However, that being said, there’s no arguing that the potential for some pretty awesome brand awareness is there. After all, they do call the site “the front page of the Internet.” It’s a site built on user interaction. And with approximately 400 billion unique visitors in 2012 alone, well, it’s enough to make any marketer drool.
So is it worth looking into? Knowing that your PR efforts could get you mauled by the pretentious users, does the potential upside outweigh the risks?
There’s no easy answer. It’s something you’re going to have to answer for yourself. However, if you do decide that you want to attempt to use Reddit for PR, I have a few tips for you.
How to Make Reddit Work for Your PR Objectives
1. Choose the correct sub-Reddit. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years using the site, it’s that users have no patience for out of place posts. The users are well-educated and expect the same of all others. In their opinion, you need to respect the rules of Reddit. It’s like basic common courtesy and respect. Which leads me to number two.
2. Make sure you follow the rules. Many Redditors take their site very seriously. It’s like their home away from home. That said, they expect you to show respect and follow the rules. That means you need to do your homework before you ever post. Spend some time combing through the site. Read what people post. Read how people react. Learn what makes people up vote a post and what makes someone down vote.
3. Get involved on a non-business level. If you just jump right in and immediately begin promoting yourself, you’re going to get eaten alive. There is little patience for it. First, you need to get involved. You need to gain some respect and forge some online friendships. Once you’ve done that, you might get the opportunity to do some positive PR.
4. Do an AMA. AMA (which stands for Ask Me Anything) is one of the most popular sub-Reddits. And it’s perfect for you to get your name out there. Basically, you sign up to put yourself out there for a virtual press conference. Anything goes. It’s a chance to get known and answer real questions from real people who may be interested in what you have to offer. Just make sure you are ready for anything! And don’t use the “plead the fifth” method. Nothing will irk the Redditors more. Be willing to answer pretty much anything…with real answers. Which then leads to number 5…
5. Be real. If there is any BS, the Reddit users are going to sniff it out. Be real in all your interactions. Never push your product unless it can genuinely help a situation that comes up. Otherwise, be ready to get slaughtered.
Have you tried Reddit for PR purposes? Tell us how it went for you!