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All about Reddit: Front page of the Internet

reddit social media

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This week we begin a series on the social media channels most organizations don’t or won’t consider – Reddit, Medium, and LinkedIn.

If you’re already using Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, it could be that you’re too busy to look at other channels, or have already ruled them out.

Your channel choices must integrate into your marketing strategy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t test out a channel for a month or so and see if it feels right for your brand values, content, or conversational style.

All about Reddit

Let’s join our guest writer, Kim Scaravelli, owner of Trust Communications, Halifax, Nova Scotia, explore this social media channel.

By Kim Scaravelli

So what is Reddit?

It’s is a social sharing platform. Users submit text, photos, and links. Other users “upvote” content they like. This simple system works because popular (upvoted) content rises and the rest sinks.

When you first look at Reddit, you’ll probably be confused. It’s a long of hot – upvoted – posts that are as diverse as users themselves. Don’t let this put you off. Take time to get into your own communities.

Users join “sub-reddits”. These are mini-communities made up of users with interest in a similar topic. Each sub has its own theme, rules, and moderators.

If you contribute spam in the platform, you get downvoted by users, and the Reddit Gods punish you by limiting how often you can submit content to the site. This system makes it VERY hard – i.e. pretty much impossible – to directly market through its platform.

Do you market on Reddit?

I don’t use Reddit for marketing. That said, there are lots of articles offering advice on “how to market on Reddit” and some of the strategies may work – at least for a while.

But tactics like infiltrating sub-reddits with branded content, or setting up your own Reddit community are time-consuming. And the risk of having the platform shut you out is high.

Reddit users are smart. They are blood-hounds when it comes to sniffing out advertising and promotion. And they quickly annihilate “marketers” with down-votes.

There are easier – friendlier – social media sites out there.

So what’s the point of Reddit? Is it of any use to brands?

As a brand, your objective on the platform shouldn’t be generating leads, making sales, or pushing people to your website. None of that will work!

So stop trying to market and focus more on market RESEARCH. Reddit offers the “gift of knowledge”. It is a FANTASTIC place to get to know your ideal customer.

With 50,000 sub-reddits and 250 million unique monthly visitors, I guarantee your customers are in there somewhere. And they’re talking about products, services, and brands.

Are you ready for Reddit?

If you aren’t sure who your target audience is, you aren’t ready for Reddit. Truthfully, you aren’t ready for any sort of marketing because successful marketing is all about knowing your customer.

That said, once you know your ideal client, it is worthwhile. Join applicable sub-reddits and start engaging with Reddit users. Don’t try to sell them anything! Just LISTEN.

Let them tell you about their problems, their likes, and their pet-peeves. Upvote. Downvote. Be an active member of your sub-reddits. And inhale all the amazing customer insights Reddit has to offer!

In particular, pay attention to:

  • The language, terms (jargon, slang, etc.) and tone of users in your sub-reddits. (This will help you create brand content that is authentic and engaging to your audience
  • Unaddressed needs? What are they looking for, but not able to find? That may be your great opportunity – FIX the problem.

Next week, we’ll have some actionable tips on how to use Reddit for PR and marketing. If you want to share your tips before then, add a comment or send it to us via the contact form. Thank you!

Digital Strategist Kim Scaravelli

is a content designer, speaker, writer, and entrepreneur. She helps clients grow and prosper by thinking strategically about everything they do online. Kim’s instructional and marketing content appears on more than 300 public and corporate websites across Canada and the U.S. She has an impressive client list that includes highly respected brands like Sport for Life Canada, The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, PCL Construction, and more. Find Kim on LinkedIn and Twitter

Sheelagh Caygill

Sheelagh Caygill is an award-winning writer, journalist, podcaster, and poet based in Toronto, Canada.

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