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3 Ways Your Brand Can Take Advantage of the Popularity of Reddit

Jacob Runia

Are you feeling a little adventurous with your social marketing? You should think about going beyond the usual Facebook and Instagram strategies and look into Reddit. However, Reddit isn’t for the safe, vanilla brand. Reddit users take a liking to humorous, bizarre, thought-provoking or simply cute content. It’s not for every brand, and not all can successfully make the leap. However, if you're genuinely willing to assimilate into the Reddit community, you might just find success.

Learning from where other brands failed, here are a few things to keep in mind.

First, Some Terminology

First, here's some basic terminology you should know before your first foray onto Reddit.

  • Redditors—the people who use Reddit
  • Subreddits—the various sections on Reddit dedicated to particular topics, such as a TV series
  • Front page—the homepage of Reddit.com, featuring the most popular content across the entire site
  • Karma—the absolute sum of upvotes and downvotes, with upvotes counting as positive and downvotes counting as negative
  • AMA—a Q&A session on Reddit ("ask me anything")
  • OP—"original poster"

For more terminology and abbreviations check out this Reddit glossary.

1. Interact with Redditors

If you’re going to fit in with Reddit, your brand will need to take an active role in the community. Post cool photos and videos, upvote comments you like and comment on other users' posts. The more a post gets upvoted, the more likely it will be seen by others. If a post really racks up the upvotes, it could even make it on the front page.

Staying current on pop culture will help you understand and engage with Redditors. Before you start interacting with the community, get a feel for Reddit. Spend some serious time browsing, and you're sure to find a subreddit about something that appeals to the interests of your brand's biggest advocates. Once you have a feel for the culture, dive in.

2. Don't Self-Promote

The most important piece of advice for any brand—don’t be a salesman. Redditors value an authentic voice and don't like feeling like they are being sold something. Don’t sell yourself or your business. Self-promotion will only invite potential backlash on Reddit, and in some cases, may get you banned. If what you’re posting isn’t providing anything of interest to the community, then don’t post it—no matter how much your sales team might say it’s a good idea.

Whatever you post, make it useful or entertaining to the people browsing that subreddit.  Lead with items of interest that relate to your brand but not necessarily a particular product and its specs. Develop a rapport with the Reddit community, and your brand can gain respect and admiration with potential future engagers or buyers. To help you out, here are some content types that tend to do well on Reddit. (Although this barely skims the surface of what you might find on the platform.)

  • Heartwarming stories or stories about overcoming the odds, challenges and survival
  • Content regarding unusual or unique facts about history, movements, technology
  • Eye-catching photography and art
  • Video games
  • Technology
  • Science
  • Food
  • Fitness

3. Use a Paid Approach

Interested in skipping the line? You can get yourself a spot in front of organic content by utilizing Reddit advertising. You can have your ads show throughout all of Reddit or just the subreddits you select. (However, as of now, only about 5,000 of the most popular subreddits are eligible for this sort of advertisement, due to traffic requirements.)  You can also target by interest, device, location and time of day.

Like other digital ad platforms, there are various ad types and requirements. Here's the essential information:

Text posts

  • Goal: Generate discussion and feedback directly from Reddit users
  • Copy: 300 characters in the headline only, and unlimited in the body
  • Function: Clicks through to text post with comments thread—can include unlimited hyperlinks within ad text copy

Link Posts

  • Goal: Drive traffic to your landing page and showcase a large card image
  • Copy: 300 characters in the headline only
  • Function: Clicks to provided external link

Video posts

  • Goal: Drive traffic to your landing page while promoting brand/product with native video
  • Copy: 300 characters in the headline only
  • Function: Clicks to provided external link

Once again, even though you are advertising, don't make it a hard sales pitch. Be transparent and not salesy. Don't make claims that your product is the "best thing on the market" or that it's "life-changing." You'll only invite negative feedback. Be casual and honest in your copy. Authenticity is your best friend.

For everything else you need to know about advertising on Reddit, check out its advertising center.

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