6 Do’s and Don’ts of Reddit for Marketers

What if I told you there was a thriving social community on the web that had more than 114 million unique users last month?

What if I told you that this community is made up of highly engaged young users who regularly make content go viral?

What if I told you this platform is so hot,
 even the President’s communications team has experimented with it?

And, what if I told you this social network is by and large not utilized by marketers?

I bet you’d be ready to head to this untapped website right away, and start promoting your business there, right?

Not so fast.

This website isn’t like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

This is Reddit, a completely user-driven website that calls itself “The Front Page of The Internet.” Users submit links from across the web, and what makes it to the front page is 100% decided by community “up votes.”

We expect to see businesses on Facebook and Twitter, and those websites encourage marketers to use their platform. But Reddit users, or “Redditors,” are wary of marketing and seriously savvy. If you submit a link that reeks of self-promotion, it will likely be down voted into oblivion!

But don’t go running for the hills quite yet. There are amazing moments taking place within this vibrant community everyday, and more and more folks are paying attention. You can definitely use Reddit for marketing. Just pay attention to these do’s and don’ts.

Reddit Marketing Do’s

Do learn about how Reddit works.
This online community is so entirely different than other social channels you might be familiar with, like Facebook.
 PR Daily has a great primer that explains exactly how to use Reddit.
 And be sure to
 check out this excellent “Beginner’s Guide to Reddit” infographic that spells it all out.

Do try it out personally!
We always encourage folks to test out any tool personally before they attempt using it for marketing your business. Jump in and start posting links that you find interesting or helpful. Just don’t share your own content, at least just yet.

Do optimize your content for sharing.
The most authentic and successful way to get website traffic from Reddit is for it to be posted by someone other than you who simply found it worth sharing! But how exactly does that happen? Create awesome content! A great example is a law firm client of ours. One of their blog posts made it onto Reddit and their website visits skyrocketed as a result. It wasn’t a Reddit strategy that got them those page views though – it was a solid content strategy.

Do host an AMA (Ask Me Anything).
Once you’ve learned the ropes and have shared some links that have gotten upvoted, you might consider doing an AMA if your job is intriguing. Your AMA may not be as exciting as the President’s, but
 even gourmet cupcakery managers can get it on the fun. Taco Bell is a great example of a brand hopping on the AMA bandwagon to promote a new launch. Just be prepared for off the wall questions! Reddit frowns on folks who avoid answering anything tough.

Reddit Marketing Don’ts

Don’t post links to your website if you aren’t a true Redditor.
If you truly become ingrained the Reddit community, you can post links to your own blog or website sparingly. In order to avoid being seen as a spammer, keep a 10 to 1 ratio of links from others to your own links. But Reddit is not for everyone. If you don’t find yourself using it personally, don’t attempt to take advantage of it for your business. The community will see right through you!

Don’t post and leave.
If you do share your own links on Reddit, it is essential that you respond to comments. The #1 hallmark of a spammer on Reddit is just posting links and never returning to engage in the conversation.

So how do you know Reddit is right for you?

We’ll be the first to tell you that you shouldn’t get distracted by every shiny new object on the social web. Reddit may be a great network for you to try out, but make sure that it’s a right fit first.

Here are a couple of questions you can ask yourself to see if it makes sense:

Is your target market young, male, liberal, and techie? Reddit uses are largely college educated men, 18-34, that lean socially liberal and are early adopters of technology. If this is your target audience, Reddit could be a worthwhile investment of your time. But if you’re marketing to conservative female retirees, you should probably pass.

Are you, or a member of your team, an early adopter yourself? If you only desire to add another outlet to your marketing checklist, this channel is probably not for you. You need to devote the time and effort to really learning how to be a Redditor before you can use it for your business. On the other hand, if you, or one of your employees, are always trying out new things and are intrigued by Reddit, we hope you’ll test it out.

Are you a Redditor? If not, do you think you might give it a try?

Image credit: Luke Roberts

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Laura Click

Laura Click is brand strategist, speaker, podcaster and the founder of Blue Kite. Learn more about Laura and her work at Blue Kite.

7 replies on “6 Do’s and Don’ts of Reddit for Marketers”

Typo in the Title!!! woot
good basic look, but I doubt most small businesses will get it… however, for business to business… virtually ANY topic is covered and folks should look to connect on their as part of their strategy before just pushing themselves… sounds like any other social network… with weird norms

D’oh… i can’t read…
all good! hahaha but probably had you looking huh
I’ve toyed around on Reddit and do find it to be a good source of info for sure

Scared me for a second there, Todd! 🙂

I’m with you that you should always make sure that a new channel fits in your overall strategy before jumping on to the new thing! I do really believe that folks still should explore new platforms personally, even though they won’t always be a fit for their business. Sometimes testing it out is the only way to answer that question for sure. I definitely need to practice what I preach more often, too!

definitely explore… one thing i found yesterday all the niche directory listing sites that specific small business could be part of…

That’s awesome, Todd – good find! There’s cool opportunities for folks to create their own subreddits too if they are in an interesting niche.

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