Ten Things you should know about Reddit
Jan 30, 2013, by SMSS
I've spoken about Reddit before, and I still maintain that it's a severely underrated platform where marketing is concerned - and incredibly powerful for those marketers who know how to adequately leverage it. The site isn't called "The Front Page of the Internet" without reason, after all. Unfortunately, that's where things get a little complicated - leveraging Reddit isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world for an advertiser. As such, it's something of an intimidating platform to approach - but there are some huge rewards in store for you if you approach it in the correct fashion.
Today, we'll go over a bit of information on the site which should make the approach just a touch simpler to pull off.
It wields a lot of influence
This one's pretty obvious, but I'm going to reiterate here: Reddit is, by and large, one of the most influential social networks on the Internet. Almost every piece of news worth reading finds its way to the front page (or one of the site's many sub-reddits), it's a huge hub of conversation and information, it generates a massive collection of ideas, and a staggering array of experts and influential celebrities have found there way to its pages.
In short, it's kind of a big deal.
Don't talk or act like a Salesman
As I've said, most users on Reddit despise advertising, and a great many of them use ad blockers as a result. The surest way to polarize everybody against you is by making it clear you're only interested in the site and its users for promotional purposes. Woody Harrelson did it, and look how well that little venture turned out. The advice I've been repeating in many of my posts doubly applies on Reddit: be genuine, honest, and helpful. Don't act like you're only interested in people's wallets or try to push a product on them. You'll only drive them away, and possibly even cause damage to your brand in the process.
Eschew traditional ads; utilize sponsored links
I'll be blunt: traditional advertising (banner ads and the like) simply does not work on Reddit. Instead, if you're interested in promoting yourself through the site, consider using Reddit's sponsored links feature. As I stated in my previous post, The Oatmeal says it better than I can. Again, though, be cautious: if you come across as too salesy or dishonest, or simply don't have anything of value in your sponsored post, then you might as well just be tossing your money into the wind.
Participation is key
Don't just share a few promotional ads and leave it at that. Devote the time to participate. Become a redditor. Make Reddit your hobby. Share things you feel are relevant to your interests, talk to other users, and offer genuinely helpful advice. Make yourself known in the community, and people are a lot more likely to take you seriously, so long as your reputation is a good one. As an added bonus, participating will help you better understand how the whole website functions, and how your demographic thinks.
The open nature of Reddit could quite possibly make it one of the best places for carrying out a properly designed viral campaign. If you've already established yourself on the site, something as simple as a post like "my girlfriend brought this home today. Not sure what it is." and a picture of a product of some kind could easily explode and hit the front page. Again, content sharing isn't easy, but it's both valuable and rewarding - well worth the effort.
Karma can be a measure of success
To that end, keep an eye on your karma - both for links and for comments(you receive positive karma when someone 'up-votes' something, saying they like it, and negative when they down-vote something). It's a measure of success; a benchmark for determining how well you're doing on the site and working out whether or not people like what you're posting and saying. If your karma is ridiculously low - if it ever drops into the negatives - take a step back and re-evaluate what you're doing, and how you're approaching the site, because it's clear people aren't liking what you're doing.
Content should be your concern
You shouldn't concern yourself with karma, though - instead, focus more on providing valuable, insightful, and helpful content to your fellow users. If you're genuinely participating only when you've got something valuable to contribute, you should gain karma as a result - obsession with getting up-votes will very likely cause you to develop a sort of tunnel vision. The quality of your submissions will suffer, and so too will your image and your campaign. Whatever you're trying to accomplish on Reddit shouldn't solely revolve around upvotes.
Use Subreddits to select your Demographic
Reddit has a positively colossal array of different sub-reddits - basically, subcategories of the site - to choose from. If you're in the technology industry, consider going to subreddits such as /r/hardware or /r/buildapc. If you're a mobile developer, reddits such as /r/Android or /r/AndroidQuestions could be a good choice for you. The key here is to look around: do a bit of digging. With any luck, you'll find a subreddit or two that's applicable to your brand - and hopefully your interests - in short order.
Monitoring Reddit is a good idea.
Even if you're not on reddit, it's still a good idea to keep an eye on the site for any mention of your brand. If you're savvy enough, you could very well turn a brand disaster around on its head, improving everybody's opinion of your organization. Of course, you could also turn another organization's disaster into a success for yourself. The important thing is that you keep your eyes open.
Don't Forget the Apps
Last, but certainly not least, if you're on reddit, don't forget to nab yourself a suite of social management apps. The Reddit Enhancement Suite is virtually integral to the smooth operation of your campaign, and Mostly Harmless will inform you if a website you're currently looking at has been submitted to any sections of Reddit. Other apps exist, too - shop around a bit to see if you find a platform that suits you.