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Savvy social media marketers are always on the lookout for new tools, new resources and (especially) new social platforms to help them differentiate their business from the competition. Most businesses already have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. Some have Instagram accounts, LinkedIn pages, and YouTube channels. But how many have a Reddit social media presence?
Yes, Reddit is an “oldie but goodie” that many digital marketers seem to ignore. But they do so at their own peril – Reddit is now the 7th most visited destination on the web, with over 8 billion page views per month, as well as 85 million monthly active users. And what makes Reddit so potentially valuable is that it offers ready access to a young, mobile-savvy and tech-savvy audience. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Reddit users are under the age of 30, and the most active users of Reddit are the ones driving new conversations, new memes and new ideas online. They are the “early adopters” that every growing business needs and wants. But how do you tap into Reddit, which has been a notoriously difficult nut to crack for traditional marketers?
Don’t be blatantly promotional
Perhaps the #1 rule of thumb for using Reddit as part of your digital marketing strategy is not to focus on using Reddit as part of your digital marketing strategy. Wait, whaaaat? You see, Reddit users don’t like being marketed to, and they don’t want brands openly promoting their products via Reddit. They have strong BS radars, and can immediately tell when brands are just dumping traditional marketing messages on them. So don’t be blatantly promotional.
Be fun and entertaining
But that does not mean that you can’t “market” to users on Reddit, only that you need to think about things differently. Countless brands have tapped into Reddit. But you need to be funny, entertaining, self-deprecating and potentially politically incorrect in order to survive. (IKEA, for example, famously posted a Valentine’s Day promotion on Reddit in which the company was offering free infant cribs to any parents who had a baby born exactly 9 months later. Even Reddit users had to give props to IKEA for this one…)
Engage in conversations
It’s far safer, though, just to engage in conversations with Reddit users. Become a part of the Reddit community, build up your Karma, and see what ideas and concepts are resonating online. Check out the subreddits that are most relevant to your brand or business, and see what people are upvoting or downvoting. Think of Reddit as a special kind of social monitoring tool that can be much more valuable than any traditional kind of social media sentiment analysis. You might even post questions to Reddit if you are having trouble selling certain products to a key demographic group – just be honest about what you are doing. And don’t forget to thank Reddit users for their contributions! It’s not just good Karma, it’s also good Reddit etiquette.
Save only your very best for Reddit
When you do post content to Reddit, make sure that you are only posting your very best content that has been developed with the Reddit community in mind. For example, you can’t submit every single corporate blog post your company produces to Reddit. And you certainly can’t submit every new brand promotion or offering, or you’ll get flamed by Reddit users. Reddit hates blatant product marketing, but a simple infographic not associated with any specific product might work (such as one for climate change). As might a link to previously unreleased images or videos of an upcoming product release (as long as people are already clamoring for them). Just check out the front page of Reddit for other examples of the type of content from brands that has been upvoted by Reddit users.
In short, Reddit can be used to grow your online audience, attract new prospects and customers, and develop your overall brand profile online. But just be careful that you understand the core Reddit demographic and what types of content they engage with online. It’s important to establish your community credibility first, and then watch as new Reddit traffic begins to boost your page views, sales and conversions.