Reddit—it’s uncharted territory for most businesses, and the reason is clear.
The site is full of people just looking to rain on someone’s parade. The “Redditors” (as they like to be called) are notorious for their cynical, glass-half-empty attitudes and are ready, willing, and able to call out any BS that blips on their radar. It’s enough for the most seasoned PR pro to shake his head and walk away.
However, there’s certainly potential for raising brand awareness. After all, they do call the site “the front page of the Internet.” It’s a site built on user interaction. And with about 400 billion unique visitors in 2012 alone, it’s enough to make any marketer drool.
So, is it worth looking into? Knowing that your PR efforts could get you mauled by the regular users, does the potential upside outweigh the risks?
There’s no easy answer; you must decide for yourself. However, if you do use Reddit for PR, I have a few tips:
1. Choose the correct sub-Reddit.
Reddit users have no patience for misplaced posts. They are well educated and expect the same of all others. You must observe the Reddit protocol; it’s common courtesy and respect.
2. Make sure you follow the rules.
Do your homework before you post. Spend time combing the site. Read what people post. Read how people react. Learn what makes people up-vote a post and what makes someone cast a down vote.
3. Get involved on a non-business level.
If you immediately begin promoting yourself, you’re going to get eaten alive. There is little patience for it. First, you must get involved. Gain some respect, and forge some online friendships. Once you’ve done that, you might get the opportunity to generate some positive PR.
4. Do an AMA.
AMA (which stands for Ask Me Anything) is one of the most popular sub-Reddits, and it’s a great way to get your name out there. Basically, you sign up to put yourself out there for a virtual press conference. Anything goes. It’s a chance to answer real questions from real people who may be interested in what you have to offer. Just make sure you are ready for anything. And do not
use the “plead the fifth” method. Nothing will irk the Redditors more. Be willing to respond to pretty much anything—with real answers.
5. Be real.
If there is any BS, the Reddit users are going to sniff it out. Be sincere in all your interactions. Never push your product unless it can genuinely help a situation that comes up. Otherwise, be ready to get slaughtered.
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Have you tried Reddit for PR purposes? Please tell us how it went for you.
Mickie Kennedy is the founder of eReleases. A version of this article first appeared on the PR Fuel blog.