Per Backlink, Reddit sees over 400 million users a month and 52 million a day. As the sixth most popular social network in the world, it’s something of a social media juggernaut. Its slogan, the front page of the Internet, is well-earned. We certainly enjoy interacting on the official cPanel Reddit; join us there if you haven’t already!
If you understand how to leverage Reddit, it can be incredibly valuable, improving your brand’s reputation and potentially drawing in a ton of qualified leads. The trouble is, most businesses simply don’t understand how it works. Reddit is a unique platform, even amongst social networks.
Read on for everything you need to know about marketing on Reddit.
What Is Reddit, and How Does It Work?
Reddit is predicated on a simple promise — that visitors will always have an ear to the ground about the latest and most important events. In this way, the user-driven website serves as a glimpse into what is trending as much as it’s a trendsetter, almost like a selfie taken by the Internet.
The Front Page
The front page is the thing everyone sees when they first land on the site. In a sense, it’s sort of like Google’s Search Engine Results Page, in that content that makes it here is seen by everyone, regardless of where it originated. That said, the front page does look a bit different for users who are logged in, as Reddit allows you to curate your experience by subscribing to specific Subreddits (described below).
Karma is essentially a direct measurement of positive engagement. If a user likes a post or comment, they upvote it, increasing its karma. Consequently, if they dislike or disagree with a post or comment, they downvote it.
Post karma and comment karma are tracked separately. There’s no outward benefit to having high karma on your Reddit account. It’s purely there for bragging rights.
That said, posts with an extremely high volume of upvotes can be featured on Reddit’s general frontpage; in that way, high post karma is an indication that your brand is good at generating engagement.
Subreddits are the core framework of Reddit, self-contained communities formed around specific topics, interests, or hobbies. It’s often joked that if it exists, there’s probably a sub for it. But it’s honestly true — a subreddit exists for virtually every sort of interest, topic, profession, and fandom.
For instance, on r/marketing, industry professionals discuss challenges, trends, and triumphs encountered in their careers while also helping curious business owners grow their brand. A subreddit like r/memes, on the other hand, exists solely for entertainment’s sake. And on a sub like r/leagueoflegends, people band together mostly to exchange salt posts (basically, complaints) about the video game of the same name.
Most subreddits take a very dim view of self-promotion, as traditionally there’s been no shortage of businesses hamfistedly ruining thriving communities with shamelessly sales-focused content.
How Businesses Grow Their Reddit Community
Generally speaking, a business or brand increases its presence on Reddit not by relentlessly pushing branded content but by becoming an active participant in the subreddits frequented by your target audience. Per marketing agency Hubspot, paid promotion and ad placement can also help a great deal. Ideally, you’ll want to strike a balance between the two, with your focus being on interacting with your audience rather than generating sales.
Branded Content on Reddit
For branded content, you have two options. The first is to create a Reddit profile to represent your company directly. Alternatively, if your brand is tied closely to the personas of its leadership, you could have each member of your executive team maintain their own Reddit profile.
If you plan to spring for paid promotion as opposed to organic content, you’ll want to take the former route. You should also set up a Reddit advertising account and do a bit of research on the subreddits you plan to target. Make sure you exclusively select active subreddits; the more users a sub has, the better.
Advertising on Reddit generally goes one of two ways. If you understand the platform and target your ads effectively, they can bring in a ton of traffic. On the other hand, if you lack an understanding of the platform and its users, you’re essentially tossing money into a bonfire.
The most important thing to understand about targeted ads is that each subreddit has its own unique culture. As such, your ads should be tweaked to specifically appeal to each community in which they appear. There’s also one trait that every subreddit shares — they value authenticity.
Questions, Answers, and Advice
A very popular and unique subreddit, r/AMA (“Ask Me Anything”), basically allows verified users to host a live question-and-answer session. It provides a unique means by which a company spokesperson or celebrity can engage with potential buyers and fans. You can take a look at the most popular AMAs to determine how yours should be structured, and look at the poorly-received ones to give you an idea of what to avoid.
Before you post on AMA, you need to make sure you can actually offer something of value to the community. A unique perspective. An expert opinion or interesting experience. Niche insights that have yet to be covered by anyone else.
We’d also strongly recommend keeping an eye on r/AskReddit. It can provide you with a wealth of valuable insights into how the Reddit community feels about certain topics. If you’re lucky, you might even see people discussing your brand (hopefully in a positive light).
Our Top Tips for Effective Reddit Branding
We’ve already established the importance of understanding what makes Reddit unique. Beyond that, here are our five top tips for marketing success on Reddit.
- Don’t be a spammer. Don’t incessantly promote sales-focused content, and avoid asking questions or posting content that’s already been covered. Be honest and authentic. Just as Reddit looks down on sales-focused content, it also looks down on dodginess and shady behavior.
- Consider your audience. Who do you want to reach, and what can you offer them? What trends are likeliest to catch their attention? And what topics and language should you avoid?
- Be active. Start things off slowly by commenting on a few posts and sharing some third-party content here and there. Pay attention to how people interact and how sentiment shifts over time. Most importantly, engage with your audience by responding to comments and answering questions with as much authenticity as possible.
- Find your niche and let loose. Don’t be afraid to roll with the punches. In most cases, people tend to love it when a brand engages in playful banter or doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you want to see examples of this in practice, just look at Wendy’s on Twitter or Denny’s on Tumblr.
- Respect, quality, originality. Bring something unique to the table with each post and content. Treat your customers with dignity and respect, and make sure to proofread and edit your content thoroughly before posting.
Reddit doesn’t have much in the way of competition, owing largely to how unique it is. That said, there are a few communities that share common traits with the platform. These include:
- Tumblr, which takes a similar approach to user-driven content without providing an organized framework of subreddits.
- Hacker News, which often has just as much of a handle on emerging news as Reddit, albeit focused almost entirely on technology and business.
- Voat. This is essentially a Reddit clone with much more lenient moderation policies. Users can post just about anything that isn’t illegal, and there’s also a paid partner program.
As always, if you have any feedback or comments, please let us know. We are here to help in the best ways we can. You’ll find us on Discord, the cPanel forums, and (of course!) Reddit. Be sure to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.