Sahail Ashraf posted on 6 July 2022
Reddit is becoming more powerful by the year. But marketers might be hesitant to sink time and budget into it. In this post we gauge whether or not that hesitancy is justified.
Reddit has delivered for marketers over the years. The good news is that it continues to grow, with the opportunities for effective marketing still very much alive and real benefits to be had. Tapping into that does require an understanding of how to use the platform as a marketer though.
Reddit has a number of pitfalls that it can be very easy to fall foul of. Take a look at the following points before you jump in with a huge budget and a ton of work.
Like many social media platforms and sites at the moment, Reddit is becoming tired of having people just turning up and selling there. It has become such a problem, in fact, that the whole platform is very much ‘anti-business’. At least, it is on the surface.
Before marketers despair and think that it really isn’t worth using the platform, it is worth remembering where Reddit came from and what it stands for. This will help you understand why it has taken such a stance against commercial content.
Reddit has always been a place where a community can thrive. It started off really as a space for gamers and tech types to meet up and share ideas and complaints. Then it became popular with all kinds of communities.
Therefore, if a marketer turns up and begins to aggressively sell their products and services, it doesn’t fit right with the Reddit community as a whole. In fact, it sticks out like a sore thumb.
So if you, as a marketer, decide it might be a good idea to drop a few links in there right from the outset, prepare for a backlash. And Reddit itself might get involved, not just its users. Reddit has made it very clear what it thinks of marketers and companies that self-promote, stating most famously:
“It’s perfectly fine to be a Redditor with a website, it’s not okay to be a website with a Reddit account.”
And that is the approach you need to take. You need to become what is called a ‘Redditor’. In other words, someone who is genuinely part of the Reddit community and acts and talks like they belong there.
Build a relationship or two on Reddit and focus on giving as much value as possible to the community, and you will have a much more pleasant experience. It’s important to remember that core Reddit value of being part of a wider community. Ignore that and there really is no point in even getting involved.
Having said that…
There are many big brands on Reddit that do not use the platform for making sales. In fact, they use it for another part of the marketing engine: customer service.
Like Twitter, people on Reddit have a voice and they are not afraid to use it. This means it is an excellent customer service tool, as well as a great place to carry out market research on what customers think about your competitors. This kind of social listening is a fantastic tool, and a big part of marketing. You can use the information you glean from Reddit to inform marketing campaigns, answering the questions and dealing with the frustrations that your prospects and customers present with.
This is an aspect of Reddit that really cannot be ignored. If you can understand and follow the key conversations your customers have, you can use that information to create marketing campaigns that present your brand as a solution to their pain points.
In a way, that means it is indirectly about sales. However, it is important to grasp the idea that you are there to understand the people that matter and what they are looking for.
Reddit is divided up into ‘subreddits’. Here, you can create dedicated channels to help your customers with, by offering a place where they can come and talk directly with you. Many companies are now branching into the AMA (Ask Me Anything) space, encouraging people to simply ask questions and inform brands as to what their problems are.
Again, this can lead to progress towards any customer service goals you may have. Being able to have your finger on the pulse of what is going on in your space means you can easily preempt issues, improve service and support customers.
While it may be tempting to jump in and blast posts with comments (not to mention easy) it is not advisable. Reddit users expect comments to be meaningful. You can’t just drop in and say what you like (well you can, but it has to be relevant), you have to add something to the conversation.
Share in any jokes you find. Make comments that actually prompt responses and thoughts, and generally focus on taking your time so that you develop a good height of a few comments a day. If those few comments are relevant and actually add something to the conversation, you are adding value to your marketing.
Then focus on being consistent. Nothing annoys Redditors more than someone who comes in, spends a few days adding value and then leaves. It shows a complete lack of commitment to the community. Build up your presence via comments but keep it regular.
To answer the question in the title, yes it is important to be on Reddit if you are a marketer. but don’t see it as a quick fix. It’s a long game and requires you to adopt the Redditor way of life.
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