Part 1: What is Reddit?
Reddit is an immensely popular platform, divided by interests, where users engage constantly. With that in mind, it seems like the perfect platform for brands to market their products and services. Think again! It’s very difficult for a brand to be accepted by Redditors and even more difficult to do it successfully. However, many companies have had a lot of success with different techniques. Let’s take a closer look at how they thrived where so many others have failed.
Part 1 – What is Reddit?
Reddit: The Front Page of the Internet
The front page of the Internet, Reddit is one of the most visited websites in Canada (#5 actually!) and yet, it remains a mystery for so many people.
It is a social media platform divided into forums. These forums (subreddits) represent different interests like spicy food (r/spicy), jokes about the Star Wars prequels (r/prequelmemes) or your favourite hockey team (r/habs). Every submitted post is either upvoted or downvoted by the registered users. Redditors upvote posts that they think are important and, if the posts get enough upvotes, they end up on r/all. r/all is where all viral posts can be found. When something goes viral on Reddit, it’s only a matter of days or weeks before other social media follow the trend.
As you can see, there lies a real opportunity for marketers to catch a trend or even create one. The only catch is Redditors are great at sniffing out undisclosed marketing efforts and they hate it.
Redditors: Trend Makers
Who are Redditors?
Mostly men, between 18 and 40 years old, Redditors are an educated community who are not afraid to speak their mind. They are self proclaimed nerds that like anything ranging from cute animals to very specific models of cars.
Above all, they like original, funny and honest content. Unlike Facebook, Twitter and other social media, Reddit values quality over quantity. And they really, really hate when links are being reposted.
Moderators & Their Advantages
If you want more information about who a specific audience of a subreddit is and that subreddit is closely related to your brand, you can always try to become a moderator.
Becoming a moderator can be very easy for smaller communities. You would simply have to request the status from another moderator. For larger subreddits, you might need to apply, send your resume and go through a thorough selection process.
Once you have the moderator status, you’ll have access to tons of exclusive features. Amongst others, moderators are able to see traffic statistics from their subreddit with graphs that might look like this, taken from r/Quebec.
We can see that r/Quebec receives 25,000 unique visitors per month. On April 2nd, the subreddit got a very unusual amount of page views and subscribers.
You can also see a more detailed view of these statistics (also from r/Quebec)
After looking over the numbers, you’ll have a better idea on when your subreddit is the most active.
You can take a look at all the advantages of moderation on Reddit’s wiki page on the subject.
Subreddits: One for everything
How to discover subreddits?
As previously stated, subreddits are Reddit’s pages and are divided by interest. There is a subreddit for every subject imaginable and, in the unlikely event that the subreddit you are looking for does not exist, you can always create one specifically for your needs.
If you don’t know where to start, Reddit can be intimidating and its search bar does not function like a search engine or other social platform. However, there are many ways to find the perfect subreddits. TrackReddit is an awesome tool that allows you to enter keywords that you want to track. This tool gives you the opportunity to discover new subreddits where Redditors are talking about your brand or product.
The free version is limited, but with the Bronze, Silver or Gold Plan, you can create campaigns, archive up to 15,000 results and do many other things that will help you target the right people and get a better understanding of what they want from your brand.
This morning, I set up a tracker in r/boardgames (a subreddit for board game lovers) for “Imperial Assault”, the Star Wars board game.
In a few hours, I received all submitted posts directly on my dashboard. If you want to track your product or brand name, this tool is essential. You’ll inevitably discover extremely valuable information about where and why your brand is mentioned in a particular subreddit. You might discover some of your target audience’s complementary interests. Fjällräven Canada created a Reddit account and discovered that many Redditors were talking about them on r/BuyItForLife, a subreddit for very durable products. The company started answering questions and offered discount codes to their fans.
You can also see this list that shows every subreddit with more than 50,000 subscribers (excluding NSFW).
Nevertheless, the best way to start searching the perfect subreddits is to create an account and spend time on the website, browsing through the different forums and learning how Redditors interact.
r/popular, NSFW & filters
In early 2016, Reddit introduced r/popular to the world. It is the Safe for work edition of r/all. While r/all contains NSFW tagged subreddits (like porn and extreme right-wing communities), r/popular does not. It is also free of the most filtered out subreddits. Every Redditor can filter out any subreddit of their choosing out of r/all.
Here is a graph showing what subreddits are the most filtered.
Like every corner of the Internet, Reddit has its fair share of porn. However, they are all marked NSFW and need a confirmation from the user before entering them.