For the uninitiated, Reddit’s front page looks like a mess of memes, self-posts and cat pictures. Figuring out how Reddit can contribute to your business is even more confusing than figuring out who scumbag Steve is and how he became so famous. Despite the initial confusion, though, Reddit is a great site to promote your business and gain valuable information.
Don’t get lost in the tsunami of information on the self-proclaimed front page of the Internet.
Like the Internet, the key to Reddit is targeting a specific audience. Clawing your way to the front page is a long process, and one that is difficult for the beginner redditor. With the help of these nine steps, however, you will go from Reddit novice to pro.
Step 1: Understand How Reddit Works
Reddit is different from other social networking sites. Facebook and Twitter encourage business promotion, and users actively seek out companies on these sites to establish business relationships. Reddit users are more wary of business promotions. In fact, most subreddits discourage direct promotion altogether. Reddit is a community project more interested in promoting great ideas and articles than the next Whirlpool washer/dryer combo.
That doesn’t mean Reddit can’t help your business, though. In fact, Reddit is a great community for businesses to take part in. Companies who want to utilize Reddit need to focus on providing users with creative, innovative content rather than straight sales. A solid understanding of what the community wants and how your business can address the needs of the community is imperative to using Reddit.
Step 2: Create a Username
Reddit is a community, and like any community it requires a name and a profile. Picking an effective username is the first step to creating a solid account. Choose a username that is easy to remember. Don’t shy away from funny or interesting names,and avoid choosing dry and boring usernames.
Step 3: Read Up On Reddiquette
Reddiquette, or Reddit etiquette, refers to the basic rules that the Reddit community believes promote a thriving community. Before posting anything, read through the reddiquette page to gain a better understanding of the basic rules. While companies may worry about being banned on other social network sites, the bigger threat on Reddit is being heavily downvoted by the community. Users that do not abide by basic reddiquette do not get their content promoted to the front page.
Step 4: Find Your Audience
One of the most impressive features of Reddit is how it manages to bring users with so many varied interests onto a single site. One of the reasons this is possible is the setup of the website. While Reddit’s homepage contains an assortment of topics or subreddits, the site is actually made up of thousands of subreddits, ranging from broad subjects like history to obscure ones like Shaquille O’Neal holding things. Find and subscribe to subreddits that pertain to your business. Run basic searches of hot topics within your industry and note what subreddits they come from to branch out to different user groups. Get a good mix of subreddits to browse and contribute content.
Step 5: Create A Subreddit
Once you’ve created a rich Reddit front page filled with pertinent subreddits, it’s time to create your own community. Any user can create a subreddit, and creating a subreddit allows you to target specific users who will benefit from your message and give you a platform to provide information. Cross promote other subreddits within your own and provide quality content so other subreddits will refer readers back to you. Remember, never sell.Instead, provide informative content to enrich the Reddit community.
Step 6: Post Helpful, Informative And Hilarious Content
Once you’ve established a subreddit, it’s time to contribute to the community through articles, pictures and videos. Reddiquette allows for cross-posting content to multiple subreddits, but be sure to add a disclaimer informing the community the content has been cross-posted. Funny headlines and articles are the most heavily upvoted content on Reddit, but informative content comes in a close second. Create content that is enjoyable to read and provides readers with new information. Memes are a fantastic way to incorporate your information into the Reddit community. Be creative with your information and articles, and incorporate popular topics and pictures into your source material to spread your message and increase your subscribers.
Step 7: Be An Active User
At the end of the day, Reddit is an online community. Like any community, members need to build relationships and trust. Logging on to Reddit solely to push your product will only result in community members shunning your attempts and rebuffing any future relationship. Posting information and material isn’t enough; you also need to read what fellow redditors post and comment on articles with your own expertise and information. Join fellow posters in discussions and arguments. Get involved.
Step 8: Participate In An AMA
One of the most popular subreddits on the site is Ask Me Anything (AMA). Everyone from President Barack Obama to Ken Jennings have participated in the free-for-all question and answer sessions on the AMA subreddit. A successful AMA has to be brutally honest and compelling. AMAs are a great way to generate interest in your business and provide necessary information to the community. Once you’ve established a solid reputation, posting an AMA is a great way to further marketing and information efforts.
Step 9: Avoid Paid Advertisements
At some point, you will begin to notice promoted posts on Reddit. While you may be tempted to promote your posts through this method, it is far better to post great content that is naturally upvoted by users. Remember, Reddit users are slightly savvier than users on other social networking sites. They come to Reddit to avoid intrusive sponsored content and will reject outward attempts to market on the site. Quality content will be upvoted, regardless of advertisements.
Reddit is a quirky community in the social media world, and a difficult medium to use for most businesses. Users can’t simply log on and start promoting. Reddit takes dedication and a commitment to becoming part of the community. It is also a fierce ally to properly promoted businesses on the site. Take the time to set up a solid account that provides quality information.