How to Use Reddit for Marketing

Despite being the sixth-largest social media website in the US, Reddit is one of the most underexplored and underutilized marketing platforms. Even top businesses such as REI and Skiplagged have failed miserably there. And, those who have enjoyed a bit of success, have lengthy struggle stories. It is not easy to understand the need of this community-driven aggregator of content and adhere to its etiquettes, which is why it remains a mystery for most brands. 

Reddit is definitely one of the trickiest platforms to crack. But, it is one of the most powerful platforms for marketing your business. It has millions of subreddits and communities, each dedicated to a specific topic. The community members are genuinely interested in that topic. They want to stay updated with the latest trend on that topic. They love to share and know personal experiences and opinions. They are looking for content that makes sense to them, unlike Facebook where people come to catch up with their family and friends. On Reddit, you have more chances of finding and engaging with your target audience than on any other social media platform. If you target just a few subreddits that are most relevant to your business, you could be reaching out to thousands of your prospects. 

Reddit is an ocean of opportunity for marketers but tapping it requires a lot of brainstorming. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, you can’t post self-promotional content about your latest product or service. Redditors hate all forms of blatant marketing. 

If you want to use their space for promoting your content, you have to behave like a Redditor; not a marketer, which means you need to add value to the community. 

You may indirectly market your brand but you have to make sure every post of yours is in the interest of the community and its redditors. If you post something that doesn’t interest the redditors, they will downvote it and Reddit’s algorithm will move it down. Similarly, if something is exceptionally good, it will get upvoted and continue to stay at the top.  

Facebook and Twitter are much easier to target but Reddit requires a lot of dedication, hard work, and brainstorming. You have to be really creative there. In this blog, we will share some useful tips and tricks for successful Reddit marketing. We can’t claim these tricks will provide you immense success there within a short period but they will definitely help you gain significant benefit in the long run. 

Create an account name that is human and reputable

The suggestion of creating an account sounds too obvious but most businesses create an account using their brand’s name as their username. This is fine with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where people expect promotional content from you. But, Redditors are less tolerant of brands. They want to be involved in a discussion with real people. But, this doesn’t mean you have to market your brand indirectly. You can choose a username that has a human name as well as brand name (such as Jenny_walmart). 

Choose the right subreddits  

This sounds obvious too but spend 5 minutes on Reddit and you will understand why we have focused on this aspect. There are more than 2.2 million subreddits and more than 130,000 active communities. It is almost impossible for you to find out every subreddit and community relevant to your business. It could take months for you to figure out at least a few of them where you could get maximum benefit. No wonder why marketers claim that Reddit marketing is 95% research and 5% action

Obviously, no business can afford to hire a huge team of people whose sole objective is to scan Reddit communities 27 X 7 and identify the ones relevant for your business. 

This is why businesses prefer to use Reddit monitoring tools such as Notifier.

These tools can alert you when keywords relevant to your businesses are used on Reddit.

You can then track down those communities and subreddits where they are frequently used and then, you can select the ones that can help you gain maximum visibility among your target audience. Tools such as Notifier are a lifesaver. They can also help you track the mention of your brands, so you can quickly jump into those conversations and engage with the Redditors talking about you. 

While choosing relevant subreddits keep these things in mind: 

  • Make sure you choose subreddits that have enough viewers so your posts get good visibility. But it shouldn’t be too crowded or too active or else your post may get lost quickly among lots of other posts posted too quickly. In simple terms, do not choose subreddits that do not have enough submissions to get too many submissions
  • Try to choose niche subreddits first and broader subreddit later when you have understood the concept of Reddit well. For example; if you are into bookkeeping, the most obvious subreddit for you would be r/bookkeeperwanted, r/smallbusinesses, r/taxhelp, etc. Here, you will find the most relevant audience but not all. Almost every business requires a bookkeeper. So, you can promote yourself in almost all of the subreddits. But, you still have to stay relevant. So, maybe you can join a community on memes and regularly post a finance-related meme. See this image below. It’s a generic meme that almost anyone can relate to and can be posted on almost any subreddit where people are looking for some fun and entertainment. But, finding such ideas isn’t going to be easy. Initially, target your niche community, and then, as and when you start getting creative ideas, you can choose broader communities

Know your subreddits and Redditors well 

The most common mistake that marketers make on Reddit is that they join a relevant subreddit and start posting on it immediately. That’s a wrong approach. You must know your audience and their taste. Just because the specific community is on bookkeeping doesn’t mean you can post a finance meme there. Maybe the members are a serious bunch of people looking for help. Maybe they are only there to ask for and get help. If you post a meme there, it may not be well-received. They may downvote your post. 

Every subreddit and its community has its own culture and etiquettes. We don’t intend to scare you but that’s how it is. Redditors are on this massive platform for a purpose and you have to adhere to it. Once you have joined the communities and subreddits, just observe them for a few days or weeks. Find out what type of content is getting posted there. Track which ones or which types get the most upvotes and which ones get downvoted. You will have to spend some time observing them but within a few weeks, you will understand the requirements of all of them. 

Build your karma 

Karma is Reddit’s voting system. It reflects the ‘goodwill’ that you have received from other Redditors for your contribution to the community. When your posts or comments get upvoted, you earn karma points (post karma or comment karma). This means the users liked whatever you posted and also indicates that you are a genuine Redditor who wants to be involved in the genuine interest of the community. Here is how your Karma shows up on your profile page. 

Karma, the imaginary points: 

  • Cannot help you boost your comments or posts higher
  • Cannot be transferred to any new account you create 
  • Cannot be exchanged for money or discount 

And yet, you must focus on building your karma before starting self-promotion. Your karma indicates your reputation and credibility. So, if you have lots of karma points, people are more likely to trust your advice or recommendations. Say, someone asked for ‘recommendations for a bookkeeper’ and you recommended yourself indirectly. Now, if you have low or no karma points, people aren’t going to trust you so easily. But, if you have a credible profile, they will take your recommendation seriously. 

Here are some tips that can help you gain more karma points: 

  • Do not start self-promoting right from your first post. You don’t want to be downvoted right at the beginning. An original meme, a fact relevant to your industry that very few people know, a significant latest happening, etc. should be good to start with. 
  • Keep it relevant. Only post content that you believe will be appreciated by other users. Think from their perspective. This shouldn’t be difficult if you have studied the specific subreddit thoroughly.  
  • Post only quality content. Do not repost something that has already been shared there or at least shared recently. You have to provide something worthy to the Redditors. A personal heartwarming story, some challenges that you have recently overcome, how your client reacted to your work, how you overcame some odds at work, etc. are usually appreciated (provided they do not sound like self-promotion). 
  • Instead of directly marketing your products or services, create posts that revolve around Q&A, suggestions, facts, etc. Such posts generate more conversations. See the image below. Someone just asked what to have for lunch during tax season and it received 47 comments and 97% upvotes in just 12 hours! That’s because it’s actually an interesting question for tax professionals who often do not get time to have lunch during peak season. You can participate in these discussions and narrate how you manage your lunches. What do you order? Do you prepare your lunches in advance, maybe during the weekend? Some handy but nutritious food ideas so they don’t stay hungry? 
  • Try using more images, GIFs, and memes in your posts. They are catchy plus no one likes to read lengthy text-based posts. You can even hire a meme designer to come up with unique memes as frequently as possible. 
  • Even though you are self-promoting, make sure only 20% of your content is promotional. Over-promoting can get you marked as spam. 
  • Host AMA i.e. Ask Me Anything. It is hosted live and it allows Redditors to ask you anything until your AMA is active. If you use it correctly, it can help you build a positive brand image and even generate some leads.  

Opt for paid marketing

Well, the objective of this article is to help you use Reddit to generate organic traffic to your website, online store, blog, etc. But, this is easier said than done. If you cannot spare enough time and resources for this or do not have patience (because it could take months to create a credible account and start self-promotion), you may go for paid marketing. A lot of brands have started using paid Reddit advertising services and they have confirmed that it is a worthy investment. Reddit ads blend well with the forums, so people would hardly realize that it’s a paid post. They do have a ‘promoted’ tag at the top though. See this image below: 

If you choose to go with paid advertisement, make sure you choose those subreddits and communities that are most relevant for your business. You can use Notifier to help you track those subreddits where your keywords are used the most. This tool will eliminate any guesswork and help you get maximum ROI. 

Wrap up

Reddit’s hostility towards self-promotion and marketing content is well-known. Probably that’s the reason why it has still maintained its position as ‘the front page of the internet’. Other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been over-exploited by marketers to an extent that they have become a nuisance for users

Reddit may be difficult to crack but it has tremendous potential to benefit your business in all possible ways. The tips we listed above should help you get started correctly. 

If you are already on Reddit and have enjoyed some success, please share your ideas with us. We would love to incorporate them in this article so other readers too can get benefitted. Do not hesitate to share your experience even if you have failed. After all, we learn from our failures too!

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