Reddit is a big, scary place for Businesses. Users on this platform are known to start petitions against businesses. However, if you are willing to put the time and effort into understanding Reddit and how to effectively use it for marketing purposes, it one of the most influential sources of traffic. It’s a hard nut to crack, but once you understand Reddit you’ll learn to love it.
The first thing you need to do if you want Reddit to work for your business is to sit down, create a profile and start using it. Trust me, once you start you’ll find it pretty hard to stop – Reddit is full of amazing content, and is where most of the interesting things on platforms like Facebook and Twitter originate from.
Start by finding communities that interest you (called ‘subreddits’) and leave comments where appropriate. You’ll quickly learn whether or not you’re getting the hang of it – Reddit users have the option to either upvote or downvote comments and Submissions, with more upvotes meaning more visibility for your comment or submission.
Upvotes and downvotes contribute to your ‘karma’, which is essentially a record of how many upvotes or downvotes you’ve received. Your karma can be seen by any other member on the platform, as well as your entire post and comment history. So, if you plan on using an account for business and personal purposes, keep an eye on what you’re posting (luckily you can go back and delete any submissions or comments that you don’t want associated with your business).
Users take their karma very seriously, and generally the more karma you have, the more trustworthy you are as a user. So before you start posting content, it can be a good idea to build up your comment karma by leaving lots of good comments and getting lots of upvotes.
Find other businesses using Reddit
Remember, this is all research! It might be fun but we’re on Reddit to promote our business content, not to waste time. While you’re checking out the content on Reddit, see if you can spot examples of businesses promoting their content and getting lots of upvotes.
You’ll have to do a bit of detective work here, because it won’t be immediately obvious that a business is promoting content on Reddit, but it happens all the time (even if the users don’t realize it).
Just look at the front page of Reddit and find any post that mentions a business. Here is an example that appeared on /r/todayIlearned, a subreddit for submitting interesting facts – https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/5wq9zm/til_that_anyone_can_earn_the_official_title_of/
The post has been well received, and has probably driven thousands of visitors to the Highland Titles page (https://www.highlandtitles.com/how-to-become-a-lord-laird-lady) that was submitted.
Looking at the post history of the user, they don’t seem to have any affiliation with the business. But this was almost certainly posted by someone who is affiliated with the business in some way, purely because there is no other reason why they would submit this post.
Once you start noticing these submissions which have clearly been submitted by someone within the business, they’ll start to stick out like a sore thumb. The submissions which are really popular are the ones that you’ll want to pay attention to, as if you want to succeed on the platform then you’ll need to approach your submissions in a similar way.
Don’t be a business
If you’ve been reading this carefully then you probably see where I’m going with this – the businesses that use Reddit successfully don’t tend to even mention that they’re affiliated with the business, and if you want to replicate their success then you’re probably best to follow suit.
Create an account with a variety of different comments and submissions, then occasionally include the odd submission related to your business. Name your profile something generic and avoid being too biased towards your business in your comments. For example, if you submit a recent blog post from your business and it is immediately met with a pretty cold reception (trust us, it happens), then resist the urge to reply to every snarky comment with an even snarkier reply.
Just consider it as valuable feedback that you can use to make your next post even better. One of our more successful posts was about how redheads can be models, and we submitted a few examples of models who were redheads to Reddit. We did submit our own image, but we also submitted a few other images that weren’t ours so it wasn’t overly promotional.
The more time you spend on Reddit, the better you’ll understand what type of content works best and how you should present it. However, you should never just post a piece of content and cross your fingers that it works.
As soon as you click submit, start submitting the link to your Reddit submission on other relevant subreddits to drive even more traffic to your submission (which should hopefully result in more upvotes). You’ll want to use a different account for this (or get somebody else in the company to do it), and avoid bias in your post.
Other ways you can improve the visibility of your post include upvoting all comments on the post and responding where appropriate. You could even gild a user if they post something funny, as this can often spark massive amounts of conversation and will help to get more eyeballs on your post. For example, one of our posts about ‘ugly tartans’ sparked a huge amount of debate about whether any tartans could truly be called ‘ugly’. We made sure to share this submission in other subreddits like /r/Scotland to get even more people involved in the debate.
As you can see, the best way to master Reddit is to simply start using it as much as possible and to find other examples of businesses using the platform successfully.
Although there are examples of businesses using Reddit very openly (for example holding ‘AMA’ (Ask Me Anything) sessions where they invite questions from users), businesses who go undercover and submit the odd piece of content from unbranded accounts seem to have the most success on the platform.
[Authored by Max Robinson, Marketing Manager for Scotland Shop]
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