It can be difficult to know where to start when considering Reddit for marketing.
Even though it has been around for more than a decade, it’s still hard to explain what exactly Reddit is to people. The self-proclaimed “front page of the internet” can be intimidating, but for PR professionals, it creates a huge opportunity.
“The great thing about Reddit is that it changes to suit you,” fans are fond of saying.
If it is a big enough change to suit anyone, that means there are plenty of ways to use Reddit for marketing.
And, it attracts a huge amount of traffic:
An estimated 1.58 billion users accessed the site from April to September 2017.
A word of caution
The great thing about Reddit being so diverse is the opportunity to reach a broad audience, but that can also be a pitfall for which you must prepare.
As many celebrities and other high-profile personalities, including President Obama, have participated in Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) feature, it has become more mainstream.
Putting on an AMA, or other pieces of content on Reddit can be risky. Your subject is on the hot seat, and due to the fast-paced nature of the site, it can be easy to fire off unscripted, quick responses.
Be prepared—and flexible
Is Reddit or an AMA worth the risk?
Let’s start with the AMA.
Here are some steps on how to prepare for and produce your AMA:
- Sign up for a Reddit account.
- Submit or Request an AMA in the right sidebar.
- Get familiar with Reddit by reading through old AMAs to see what types of questions people ask. You can also see what worked well and what didn’t, giving you a sense of what to do and what to avoid.
- Find the right subreddit community to host the AMA. This will allow you to target appropriate and valuable subreddit sites with subscribers in your target audience.
- Schedule your AMA in advance. Make it an all-day event if possible to give people in different time zones the chance to participate.
- Advertise and market the AMA on social media and elsewhere to drum up participants.
The upside to an AMA can be huge.
In general, fans love to interact with well-known executives or celebrities and Reddit can be a powerful platform for engagement.
Take into consideration:
- Is your spokesperson on board? His or her willingness be engaged makes a huge difference.
- Humor is a powerful tool. Brian Niccol, president of Taco Bell, made a joke about sales increasing in Colorado around April 20 (an unofficial holiday for cannabis connoisseurs) which received coverage in the Huffington Post.
- Your spokesperson should focus on transparency. Users can easily tell when someone is not engaged, or even worse, gives answers that seem like they were written by a publicist.
- Your spokesperson should be prepared to handle negativity. Behind the veil of internet anonymity, there are always jerks and provocateurs who will ask tough questions. Make sure your spokesperson has a disarming answer ready and can move on quickly.
Now you are ready and excited to run an AMA. You’ve got your spokesperson selected and your topic is perfect.
But wait—have you established a Reddit presence?
Earn credibility to win followers
Before diving in with promotional content, it behooves savvy marketers to invest in their audience and join a reddit community first.
Here are some steps to take before promoting your brand on Reddit:
- Become a Reddit user. Leave comments on threads, especially ones where you can lend your expertise.
- Build your reputation. A reservoir of good will attached an account in a subreddit community will get father than an outsider’s posts.
- Follow the rules of Reddit and the community.
- Don’t use several accounts and try to “upvote” your posts.
- Be careful not to make typos or mistakes.
- Avoid blatant advertising.
- Build up a rapport in a subreddit community by asking for help on questions when the timing is right.
Tips for building your rep on Reddit
Users demand authenticity.
The easiest way to start is to be part of the conversation on a topic, not lead the topic. For example, if your product is a tech gadget, don’t just push your product; talk about features, trends, and provide some analysis.
As an expert, your opinion is valuable and can establish you as an authority in the field.
There are lots of moving parts, but Reddit can be a huge marketing windfall when building awareness and interacting with a segmented population.
Online interactions are crucial in business and marketing these days, and you might be leaving money on the table if you don’t use Reddit in some form.
Helvis Smoteks spends his days at Linkody helping SEOs monitor their backlink data. A version of this article originally appeared on Spins Sucks blog.