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The Top 21 Most Common Reddit Marketing Mistakes

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Reddit is the most unique social media platform on the web. It is also the hardest to use to market a business to full effect. However, if you market your business correctly on the site, Reddit can be a marketer’s dream.

Here are 21 common mistakes you should avoid when you’re marketing your business on Reddit.

  1. Using poorly crafted headlines.
  2. Submitting to the wrong community.
  3. Not building any trust or credibility before you start talking about your business.
  4. Submitting only link posts.
  5. Not understanding redditors in your chosen subreddit.
  6. Not having a social media marketing plan.
  7. Not tailoring your social media marketing plan to the Reddit platform.
  8. Focusing on the wrong Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  9. Not researching what works in your chosen subreddit.
  10. Not posting at the right time.
  11. Buying an established Reddit account.
  12. Not evaluating the performance of your Reddit marketing campaign.
  13. Not becoming a redditor.
  14. Not having an engagement strategy.
  15. Not building a strong reputation.
  16. Not monitoring mentions about you or your competitors.
  17. Looking for quick, overnight success.
  18. Not contributing to discussions in your chosen subreddit.
  19. Buying upvotes
  20. Ignoring negative feedback.
  21. Using Reddit solely for backlinks.

1. Using poorly crafted headlines.

The headline you use when posting to Reddit is the single most important component of your post. Although the quality of the content is significant, if your headline fails to resonate with users in your target community, it is not going to matter how engaging the content is since it will not be seen.

Your post only has a few seconds to capture attention and keep users from scrolling past it. Due to the amount of competition in your chosen subreddit, your headline needs to be carefully crafted. Otherwise, it is unlikely to attract clicks. 

2. Submitting to the wrong subreddit.

A common mistake people make is not researching the ideal subreddits for their business. Posts submitted to the wrong subreddit will not resonate with the community, which means they will be ignored at best. This is why it is crucial to research Reddit communities before submitting your post. Check the community before posting.

3. Not building any trust or credibility before you start talking about your business.

Prior to discussing your business in your chosen subreddit, it is crucial to establish trust and credibility. You can’t simply start posting about your business if you’re new to Reddit.

You should focus on building trust in your chosen subreddit in your first few months on the platform by engaging with the community. You can do this by upvoting other people’s posts, upvoting comments you agree with, commenting on comments, using your expertise to solve problems for other Redditors, curating quality content from authority sites in your niche, etc.

Let’s say you’re an SEO expert and you join /r/seo. There is a post asking for help because someone’s website has been penalized by Google’s latest algorithm. The last thing you can do is brag about how many businesses your award-winning SEO agency has helped recover from Google penalties. It may be acceptable on other social networks, but it will get you flagged as a spammer on Reddit.

Posting such a comment will indicate that you are on Reddit to market your business, not to interact with the community. Rather, you should ask clarifying questions and post comments that will assist the user in recovering their website.

A common mistake that marketers make when they joing Reddit is posting only links rather than writing engaging and insightful text posts that add value to their chosen subreddit. You will make redditors sceptical of your motives if you submit only link posts.

Furthermore, any links you publish should always lead to reputable and trustworthy sites. Moderators will flag your account if you do not check out the sources and they lead to poor quality websites. Therefore, you should only share content from industry favorites in your preferred subreddit.

If the article on your blog or website is directly relevant to the discussion you are linking to, then most subreddits will allow you to post a link to your website in the comments. This is a strategy that many marketers use as part of their Reddit marketing strategy. However, you should only post links to your website 1 out of 10 times. So, 9 times out of 10, you should be adding value to your chosen subreddit by being a redditor. Redditor’s don’t simply post links. If you’re only posting links, you’re clearly not part of the Reddit community.

5. Not understanding redditors in your chosen subreddit.

Understanding your ideal target customer and what motivates them is a critical component of a successful online marketing campaign. Knowing who you are writing for will allow you to write more targeted and ultimately more effective marketing campaigns. Because of this, it is crucial to understand what redditors in the subreddit you are targeting are dealing with in terms of problems, pain points and challenges. You will be able to create relevant content that will engage their emotions if you understand their psychology.

6. Not having a social media marketing plan.

Approaching Reddit marketing without an action plan is a major mistake. A successful Reddit marketing campaign begins with having clearly defined goals and a solid plan of action to achieve those goals. Your plan should set out what you will be posting in your chosen subreddit, the type of content your audience connects with the most and the best way to present it to them.

With a clearly defined plan of action, you won’t have to wing it and risk making costly mistakes. Creating an effective action plan will also allow you to plan out and create the specific tactics and strategies that you’ll be using to achieve your reddit marketing goals and objectives.

7. Not tailoring your social media marketing plan to Reddit.

Another huge mistake that many marketers tend to make with Reddit, is approaching Reddit marketing in the same way that they would approach marketing on other social media sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn.

Reddit is a world away from every other social media platforms. It is a tight-knit community, completely unique, and its users expect a much different experience from what you would typically deliver on other social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and so on.

This uniqueness means that marketing your business on reddit requires a completely different approach to what you may currently be doing to market your business on other social platforms.

So, not only do you need a social media marketing plan, your plan needs to be specifically tailored to the Reddit platform. This is incredibly important to understand.  

8. Focusing on the wrong Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Focusing on the wrong KPIs is a common mistake that marketers make when evaluating their Reddit marketing performance. They fall into the trap of focusing on vanity statistics such as karma.

Karma doesn’t have any innate value, and having thousands of karma points will not magically transform or add any value to your business. Just because you have a high karma score doesn’t mean that it will automatically translate to your balance sheet.

What you should be doing instead is measuring the impact that your Reddit marketing campaign is having on your business.

9. Not researching what works in your chosen subreddit.

If you want to really connect with your audience, you should post content that is valuable or meaningful to them in the first place. Marketers rarely research what will resonate with their target audience. Their content is based simply on what has been successful on other platforms and what they think their audience will like. They don’t look at past success on the subreddit they’d like to join. This is known in marketing as the “publish and pray” method.

Content that has been successful on other platforms does not necessarily translate to success on your target subreddit. It is vital to perform some research to determine the types of content that is likely to resonate with your audience.

10. Not posting at the right time.

Not submitting your post at the right time is another mistake that could hurt your Reddit marketing campaign. A well-timed post can make the difference between 20 people and 2,000 people seeing it.

It will be more effective for your content to be seen by your target audience when you post your content when they are online to read it. Like other social media sites, Reddit has a best time to post, and there are a number of online tools you can use to determine the optimal posting time. Examples include laterforreddit and delayforreddit.

Most tools seem to be in agreement that early in the work day between 8 AM and 10 AM EST, Mondays to Thursdays, is generally the best time to submit your posts on Reddit.

11.  Buying an established Reddit account.

Thousands of Reddit accounts are offered for sale online, and on the face of it, it might seem a good idea to buy an established Reddit account that has already built up a lot of karma. Trust me, it’s not.

First of all, buying an established account is against Reddit’s rules and guidelines. The rules expressly forbid the transfer of accounts from one person to another. So, you’ll be breaking the rules by buying an established reddit account.

Furthermore, the Reddit system can easily detect when an account has been transferred from one user to another. So, if you buy a Reddit account, you’re effectively throwing money down the drain because sooner or later, it will be terminated, with no means of appeal.

12.  Not evaluating the performance of your marketing campaign.

It is important to continually evaluate the performance of your marketing strategy every 3 months or so. This will allow you to continue to refine and improve upon the results you’ve been getting from reddit.

Reviewing your performance will also provide really helpful insights into what works in your chosen subreddit. You’ll be able to find out which particular tactics have been most effective at generating the best results in your chosen subreddit.

13. Not becoming a redditor.

It might seem like cliché advice to you, and it very well may be. It is only by becoming a redditor that you can succeed on Reddit. You also have to be authentic. There is no other way. There is no point in pretending to like Reddit. Nothing will come of it.

If you want to be successful on Reddit, you need to become a Redditor. It means becoming an active community member. That means being active within the community you choose. It involves upvoting other posts and comments, leaving thoughtful and interesting comments that are not related to your brand. In addition, you can curate relevant content, participate in discussions around content, start discussions on subreddits of your choice, etc.

Redditors will check out your profile to see what type of posts you have been submitting as soon as you start posting in your selected subreddit. If your posts seem to indicate you are here to promote your business, then your account will be shadow banned sooner or later.

14. Not having an engagement strategy.

The word “engagement” is considered by many to be an overused buzzword. That may be true. However, you cannot underestimate the power of engagement, especially on Reddit. It is the most important metric to measure.

Engagement on Reddit is about being active in your chosen subreddit in the way that we described earlier. It is simply being an active community member.  

If you engage with your audience in ways that adds value to their lives, they will also engage with your content. On the other hand, if your posts and comments are not sparking conversations, then your engagement and content strategy needs to be looked at. If your engagement strategy is not effective, you are probably not going to not accomplish much on the Reddit platform.

15. Not establishing a strong reputation.

Building a strong personal brand is a vital step in successfully marketing your business online. Your personal brand is your reputation, which is the most important attribute of your brand online. A strong reputation is going to build trust and increase confidence in your business.

Essentially, your reputation is going to underpin your entire Reddit marketing campaign. That is why it needs to be strong, consistent and relatable.

16. Not monitoring mentions about you or your competitors.

It is important to monitor mentions online to find out what is being said about you and your competitors. Those discussions could be extremely valuable places for you to influence opinions about your business.

If you have a well-established business, Reddit is one place where you can discover honest and unfiltered opinions about you, your business, products, and industry. These conversations are taking place on Reddit every single day. As an online business, you cannot afford to ignore what is being said.

17. Looking for quick, overnight success.

Success on Reddit is a long-term strategy, and it is a strategy that can payoff tenfold. However, many people today are obsessed with instant gratification. But just like everything good in life, successfully marketing your business on Reddit will take a considerable amount of time.

There are no shortcuts or instant solutions. Redditors will need to know, like and trust you before they buy from you, or choose to do business with you. That will not happen overnight. This is why you need to start off by building a high level of trust and authority in your chosen subreddit. This will take time and effort – no exceptions.

18.  Not contributing to discussions in your chosen subreddit.

Reddit is a conversation-driven platform where people tend to have in-depth discussions around content, and comments are a massive part of it. As a redditor, you have to be part of the conversation. You have to post comments and to respond to relevant comments in your chosen subreddit.

According to Reddit, 2.8 million comments are posted every single day. Quality comments have been known to drive traffic and generate leads, email signups and sales. In some subreddits, you are even allowed to include a link to your site in the comments. But if your comments are boring or not well thought out, you’ll be providing an opening for negative comments which will ultimately be disastrous for your campaign.

19. Buying upvotes.

Buying upvotes in order to game the Reddit system is a mistake that many marketers are still making today. It is a black hat tactic that may have worked in the early days of Reddit, but will never work today.

Here’s why buying upvotes is a waste of time: when you buy upvotes, the actual engagement on your post will be lower than a post that is organically generating upvotes on its own merit. That is a red flag. The Reddit algorithm will delete upvotes if it detects any type of manipulation.

And those accounts will be banned, and the domain the account links to will be blacklisted. Furthermore, note that asking for Reddit upvotes on Facebook, Twitter or any other site including your blog is against the Reddiquette, and can get your account banned. 

20.  Ignoring negative feedback.

As you research your business on Reddit, you may come across negative comments about you, your business, products or service. It is important to recognize that your customers have a voice, and they are going to use it.

Every comment a customer posts, whether it is positive or negative, presents an opportunity for you to communicate with your customer directly. Now, some of these comments may be malicious lies. However, getting these types of negative comments is natural in business. What is important is the way you handle these comments.

While it may be tempting to simply ignore all of the negativity that you receive on Reddit, it is not always the wisest option, especially if the commenter has a legitimate grievance against your company. A better option would be to respond directly to those comments to resolve any issues that may have prompted the comments in the first place.

You can even turn a negative comment into a positive quickly responding to the comment in a professional and constructive manner. Most consumers don’t’ expect perfection, but if they see the professional manner in which you respond to negativity, they’ll feel better about interacting with you and your content.

Here’s a case study of how a company was able to utilize Reddit to turn around negative feedback. This company, Fathead, manufactures and sells vinyl wall graphics. The company received some seriously negative feedback on Reddit after a customer experienced some customer service issues.

The situation could have turned toxic if they had just simply ignored the issue. But they were able to turn things around quickly by publicly apologizing and sending the customer an entire collection of the graphics they originally ordered.

Reddit has tremendous SEO metrics, with a domain authority of 91 and a trust flow of 80. Many marketers spend a fortune on backlinks from Reddit to try and game the Google algorithm. Unfortunately, that is money down the drain as far as Google is concerned because the algorithm is able to easily determine when a backlink from a site like Reddit is a manufactured link.

The way Reddit works right now, is that when you include an external link in a Reddit post to your website, initially, it is going to be a nofollow link, which means that it won’t have any SEO value. But once that post collects up to 5 upvotes, it is going to be upgraded to a dofollow link.

However, the problem is that if redditors are not clicking that link to visit your website or they are bouncing from your landing page as soon as they get there, the backlink will be devalued or ignored by Google. On the other hand, Bing and Yahoo! – which uses the same engine as Bing, may recognize the link and give it full value.

Final Thoughts

It is tough to market on Reddit, and if you try the same strategies you use on other social media sites, it will be a complete waste of time. Nevertheless, if you avoid the mistakes discussed in this post, your social media marketing efforts are unlikely to fail.

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