Reddit has been around for a decade, and it has a cult following. Insiders think it’s the greatest thing since Star Wars. Outsiders, on the other hand don’t quite get it.
That’s understandable. How comfortable were you with any social media platform before you got hooked? Chances are, Twitter was a bit of a mystery before you got hooked. Maybe you felt the same way about Pinterest, Facebook, or LinkedIn when you first started.
Maybe you feel similarly about Reddit. If that’s you, don’t sweat it! This guide will get you up and running on Reddit in no time.
The key to unlocking Reddit is using it. And if you’re a newbie, here’s what you should know.
Reddit Is A Community Of Engaged, Focused, And Share-Eager Users.
First, let’s figure out who these Reddit users are. What are their demographic and psychographic qualities?
Once you understand why users flock to it, you’ll have a hard time resisting its draw.
There Are A Lot Of Reddit Users.
As of June 2015, Reddit reported more than 36 million user accounts. We all know that the number of user accounts is not an accurate representation of active users. Still, 36 million is a big number.
There Are Even More Reddit Visitors.
But the number of users pales in comparison to the number of Reddit site visitors. This is a critical component of Reddit’s power and reach. Non-members can view the information posted on the site. Reddit results are indexed and returned in the search engines, giving it incredible search clout.
Reddit Has A Ton Of Monthly Pageviews.
There’s a lot happening on Reddit. It’s a virtual UGC machine. With Reddit churning out this level of content, and its rabid users viewing this content, Reddit has more than seven and a half billion pageviews each month.
Yes, that’s billion, With a “b”.
Reddit Has A Lot Of Activity.
Facebook has its likes. Twitter has its retweets. Google+ has its plusses. And Reddit? It has its own interactive metrics. Here’s a sample:
- Upvotes to-date: 16 billion
- Downvotes to-date: 2.5 billion
- Comments to-date: 1.7 billion
- Posts to-date: 190 million
- Redditors: 3.33 million
- App installs to-date: 1.6 million
- Average monthly time spent on Reddit: 85 minutes
What makes Reddit a standout social media choice is the way that it caters to interaction. Whereas some platforms are more about viewing, Reddit is about doing. You comment. You talk. You vote. You write.
Social media sites ebb and flow in popularity and reach. Remember MySpace? Reddit may experience a demise someday, but for now it’s alive and well. And it’s growing in vitality. Notice the proverbial up-and-to-the-right rise of its communities (subreddits) in the past year alone.
And submissions? The growth is staggering.
Reddit users are inherently engaged, and that makes the platform extremely powerful. They’re not just engaged in the pleasant stuff, but they’re ready to fight for their position. Controversy? It’s a big deal on Reddit:
This should give you a sense of what you’re dealing with on Reddit — younger, curious, intellectually capable, active, engaged, and ready to argue.
So, how do you tap into this community?
Find Your Niche (Your Subreddit).
In Reddit-speak, your niche is your subreddit.
The first thing you want to do is find the subreddits that are relevant and interesting to your target market.
Here is the subreddit for SEO.
This particular subreddit has 27,016 readers and has been around for seven years. There’s a strong likelihood that it will be a valuable place for you to interact if you are a SEO professional.
However, before you start commenting, upvoting, sharing, and saving, you need to do two things:
- Read the “Beginners” information.
- Read the “Rules.”
Links to these two resources are located on the right-side column.
I strongly suggest that you carefully review each of these.
The “Beginners” section is intended to help SEO newbies get acquainted with the craft. If you’re already a pro, you don’t have to dive into every resource on the page.
You should, however, pay attention to this line: “Contribute to this section by reaching 150 karma, or message a moderator!”
When you land on a particular subreddit, you will see “Related Subreddits.” You should check these out and find out which of them will provide value for your Reddit marketing.
There are thousands of subreddits. You are guaranteed to find several that match your interest and niche.
Get Active In Your Subreddit.
The central mantra of Reddit is get engaged on subreddits.
If Reddit were a conference, then subreddits would be the workshops and sessions. You don’t get value from a conference by wandering the hallways. You get value from a conference by walking into a room, listening to the speakers, and participating in the conversations.
Once you’ve identified your subreddits, start talking. You have three tools:
- Start discussions
- Participate in discussions
- Vote on discussions
Starting discussions is simply asking a question or bringing up a topic. For example, in the SEO subreddit, a user asked this question.
When you click on one of these two buttons, you will be redirected to a composition page where you can create your title and text; then you can place the link or text in the relevant subreddit.
Another form of engagement is participation. Participating is one of the best ways to provide valuable engagement. Participating as simple as typing replies in subreddit discussions.
Meanwhile, you want to become an active upvoter and downvoter. The way that Reddit sources the best content on the site is by means of a voting algorithm. Votes — up or down — are added to each comment and reply, thus rewarding the comments with more upvotes.
You can provide value to Reddit as a whole by being an active voter.
Know The Rules.
If you want to be a respected Reddit user, then you must follow the rules.
Reddit has codified their rules in two main places:
There’s a lot that is allowed on Reddit, but there are plenty of standards that govern the way that one interacts with the content. Here’s the gist of it:
- Do no wrong.
- Be nice.
- Tag NSFW.
- Respond to authorities.
What do I mean by “do no wrong”? Reddit describes it as “unwelcome” content. Unwelcome content is judged by 7 criteria:
- Do not post illegal information.
- Do not post involuntary pornography.
- Do not post content that encourages or incites violence.
- Do not post content that threatens, harasses, bullies or encourages others to do so.
- Do not post personal and confidential information.
- Do not impersonate someone in a misleading or deceptive manner.
- Do not post spam.
What do I mean by “be nice?” Reddit users are hawkish about the rules, both the codified rules and the unwritten ones.
Here is what you should be aware of:
- Don’t do anything to mess with upvotes or downvotes. Just post great content and let the votes happen.
- Don’t hack Reddit. Duh.
- Don’t create multiple accounts.
Beyond that, it’s important to follow etiquette surrounding the nature of your content, and “respond to authorities,” by doing (or not doing) what they ask you to do (or not do). If you start violating Reddit’s policies, your account could be temporarily or permanently suspended.
Like any social media platform, Reddit is not a one-and-done opportunity for marketing.
You’ve got to stay active. The most rewarded marketers are those who spend a lot of time interacting and working their subreddits with value and feedback.
I want to close this article with two instructions:
- First, be careful.
- Second, go get ‘em!
Why should you be careful? The Reddit community is highly engaged. If you don’t interact correctly by following the rules and being conscientious, then users will scoff at you or drive you out.
Why should you go get ‘em? Because—again—this is a highly engaged community. Reddit users come to the site to stay active, discuss, and talk about topics that matter to then. As long as you’re active and respectful, you’ll win.
Have you tried marketing on Reddit yet? Why or why not?
Featured Image Attribution: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Restoring_sanity_-_Reddit.jpg