Is Reddit Right For Your Small Business?

Is Reddit Right For Your Small Business?

By now, you’ve probably gotten a lot more business savvy with social media. You post plenty of brand-specific content that engages and motivates your target audience, and a reasonable percentage of this audience is buying products or services from your company. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, it’s your brand personality that takes the lead in your marketing strategy. But if you’re thinking about expanding your social media reach into Reddit, you’ll find a whole new ballgame waiting for you. While the rules are different and the platform is intimidating to a newbie, the payoff can be pretty amazing.

Reddit: Where Content (Not the Sell) Matters

Launched in June 2005, Reddit is an open-source website that is built on popular information and links. Empowered by a voting system, the community determines which stories are hot and which are not. Reddit is open to anyone, welcoming visitors to create independent communities called “subreddits” comprised of people that are passionate about a specific topic and moderated by a team of volunteers. This online news source is also fed by comments, with thousands upon thousands of users enriching the story through their own content, analysis, and humor.

As of July 16, 2014, Reddit had 114,540,040 unique visitors in the past month alone. Digital Marketing Ramblings also provides some interesting stats, reporting that there were over 3 million redditors creating 40 million posts in 2013 alone.

When you enter the world of Reddit, you are there to learn and to contribute useful information that the audience needs to know. As a redditor, you will mold your content into the preferences of the subreddit communities of which you become a part. Whether a subreddit is about financial planning, travel, or trees, redditors are hungry seekers and avid contributors of useful topic-relevant information. This is why you’ll need to do your homework before you join the Reddit community. If a brand attempts a strict marketing play, it runs the risk of getting banned or blacklisted in this community. Content is truly king here. That’s why your first step is to flip your switch from a marketer to valuable content provider.

How to use Reddit for your brand

When you join Reddit, your brand name will be your username. With your account finalized, it’s time to get started.

Find relevant subreddits to join

Based on your brand’s strengths and values, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding some relevant subreddits that you should join. With each subreddit, the right sidebar will display a description, community statistics, and rules that you’ll need to follow. Once you have found the right subreddit, discover what content and conversations resonate the most with this group. The best way to do this is to explore the most active posts, easily sorted by Top and All Time filters.

To better narrow down the subreddits, Social Media Examiner suggests you create a spreadsheet with the following columns and information:

Subreddit link Average Active: Number of average active members Best topics: Top rated content Value (1-10): Assign a value that this subreddit holds to your brand (i.e. hot discussion topics, traffic-generator, etc).

 

Content options: Include topics/information that you can provide within this community

After this is complete, it will become very clear where your brand should be, and where it would be wasting its time.

Keep active in the conversation with a multireddit

How can you keep track of all the subreddits you are part of? A multireddit. Simple to set up through Reddit, you can easily monitor and search conversations within this custom list of your subreddits, giving you quick access to the discussions that matter most to you.

Get engaged

With your multireddit in place, run keyword searches on multiple subreddits in one single step. This will highlight the conversations that you need to join. This doesn’t need to be a time-consuming exercise; take about 10 minutes a day to run these searches for your most important keywords. Once you’re in the right spot, take some time to act on these opportunities by providing content, valuable answers, questions, and dialogue with your online peers. This social media platform is certainly not the place to lurk and watch; you need to jump into the conversation.

Consider sponsored headlines for lead generation

After you’ve become a fully engaged member of the Reddit community, you’ll have pretty powerful insight into effective advertisement placement. If, and only if, your advertisement is relevant and useful to the community, create a Reddit-sponsored headline campaign. If it’s done correctly, it should help generate leads and drive traffic to your website.

Ford Motor Company is just one example of a business that leveraged Reddit for an innovative campaign. Last year, working with the Reddit team, the automotive company created the /r/FordPiDayChallenge to run on Pi Day this past March 14th. Ford posted a math question (each with a reference to a Ford vehicle) to their subreddit every 3 minutes and 14 seconds.

A brand investment that stands the test of time

Reddit takes some work and requires a unique capacity. However, this dynamic platform shouldn’t be considered a chore, but rather an exceptional way to showcase your brand knowledge and expertise without the hard sell. Not only can you generate leads and boost company awareness along the way, but you’ll also have an opportunity to extend your brand into something more powerful. Consumers will engage and rely on your brand in an incredibly meaningful way, using your information to help shape their own decision-making process. Perhaps best of all, in this information-powerhouse community, you might also learn a thing or two.

 

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References:

Aaron, Jesse. “How to Use Reddit to Generate Leads.” Social Media Examiner. March 3, 2014. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/reddit-leads

http://www.reddit.com/about

http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/reddit-stats/#.U-jDZVbYaJ4

 

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