I’m going to be honest…
Marketing on Reddit is hard.
That’s because the Reddit community is extremely good at sniffing out imposters and detecting BS. Even if moderators don’t kick you to the curb, a slew of downvotes and harsh comments from users will.
But here’s the good news…
If you do provide the community with what they’re looking for, while practicing good reddiquette, you can gain significant exposure for your startup. Getting to the top of a subreddit can help you generate hundreds (if not thousands) of visits to your website. That’s exactly what happened to us.
In this post, I’m going to cover the do’s and dont’s of Reddit when it comes to getting exposure. I’ll show you examples of other startups who’ve used Reddit successfully and give you the step-by-step details on how we generated tons of exposure for our own startup.
Let’s start with the basics.
Reddit is intended to be a community that encourages giving. In fact, the entire reward system is designed to enforce this.
When you submit a post or leave a comment, users can either upvote or downvote it. When you receive upvotes, it adds to your karma. In theory, high karma means you’re providing lots of value to the community.
In the Entrepreneur subreddit for example, you won’t even be able to submit a post until you have at least 10 comment karma. Here’s a screenshot of their rules:
To build your karma, you’ll want to leave insightful comments, tell great stories, and share helpful resources. But whatever you do, avoid spamming at all costs.
One of the worst things you can do is a drop a link to your website or blog post without providing any sort of value to the community. Reddit users will see right through you.
While the community guidelines encourage talking about your business, they provide a stern warning about spamming. Here’s another screenshot of their guidelines:
So how do you generate exposure without coming across as spammy? Let’s shift our focus to a company that has mastered the art of Reddit marketing.
BeardBrand: The Gold Standard
One quick look at Eric Bandoldz’ profile (the CEO of BeardBrand), and you can quickly see how much value he’s provided to the community.
What’s more impressive is that he’s provided a lot of this value while marketing his business at the same time!
Here’s a few threads that demonstrate this in action:
- The Ultimately Shark Tank Guide [678 upvotes]
- Beardbrand’s guide to building a brand [344 upvotes]
- Beardbrand year end wrap up: From $0/month to $100k/month with only $8000 total investment. [174 upvotes]
Why do these posts do so well? There’s two specific things that stick out.
If you take some time to read any of Eric’s post, you’ll notice that he’s incredibly transparent. While some business owners might be hesitant to reveal revenue figures, Eric has openly shared all of his numbers with the Reddit community. In fact, he’s even gone to the extent of sharing screenshots showing detailed figures of his business.
Providing this level of transparency gains him a ton of trust with the community and also establishes legitimacy with what he’s posting.
It’s one thing to throw up a bunch of screenshots showing how much money you’re making, it’s another to provide details on how you made it. In each of his posts, Eric has given readers a backstage pass into his business and provided them with actionable tips that can help them with theirs.
And not only does he share general lessons, he also offers help to specific questions that readers throw his way.
With that level of dedication and helpfulness, it’s no wonder why his threads get so many upvotes and tons of exposure comes his way in return.
Does This Work For Less Known People?
At this point, you’re probably convinced that someone with lots of karma who’s very well known in the community can have lots of success leveraging Reddit.
But what about someone completely new?
Well, if you take a look at my Reddit profile, you’ll notice that I’m not very active. In fact, I only have a 65 link karma and a 79 comment karma.
But despite all that, I decided to write a post and see for myself.
Writing The Post
I knew that if I wanted to be successful on Reddit, I’d have to follow Eric’s process and write something that is valuable and transparent. In addition, I’d need to be very responsive in the comments and keep the thread alive.
I decided to write a post about 5 important lessons we learned while launching the beta for Snappa. Again, the goal was to provide as much value as possible since that’s the only way to succeed. If we generated exposure as a result, that would be a bonus.
When all was said and done, the post received 149 upvotes and stayed at the top of the Entrepreneur subreddit for most of that day. Here’s a link to the full post.
What made the post so successful? The same things that made Eric’s posts successful.
- Transparency. Just like Eric, I tried to be as open as possible. I made sure to include many screenshots and give as much detail as I could about the lessons we learned.
- Value. Virtually all of the lessons I shared could be applied to almost anyone reading the post. I made a conscious effort to write about things readers could get value from and made sure the post was not sales-y in any way.
- Engagement. I made sure to respond to each and every person that commented on the post and offered as much help as possible.
When you really think about it, there’s nothing magical about this formula. It’s simply a matter of being as helpful as you can.
Even if your market isn’t entrepreneurs, the same concepts apply. Eric has provided tons of value to the /r/beard subreddit as well and has gotten tons of exposure in return. No matter who your audience is, there’s definitely a subreddit you can add value to.
Upvotes are great. But did this translate into actual exposure for our startup?
As a result of that post, 737 people ended up checking out our website and 133 ended up signing up for an account.
These numbers don’t include the word of mouth that was generated from these users either. So in reality, there were likely additional signups that we couldn’t track directly.
We also received quite a few emails like this:
As you can see, my thread on Reddit helped me build rapport with some of our users and I formed some great relationships in the process as well.
Just like all communities, Reddit can offer significant exposure for your business but only when you approach it the right way.
If you’re focused on providing as much value as possible and contributing helpful advice to community members, you’re likely to be rewarded. If not, be prepared for a slew of downvotes, public shaming, or a banned account. Proceed with caution!
About The Author: Christopher is the co-founder of Snappa – the easiest graphic design tool you’ll ever use.
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