Reddit is a world away from Facebook, Twitter or any other social platform on the web.
As such, Snoo – the iconic alien in Reddit’s logo – is the ideal mascot to represent the platform.
The unique nature of Reddit means that marketing your business there requires a totally different approach than how you market it on other social media platforms.
In terms of social media marketing, Reddit is undoubtedly one of the biggest and most underutilized platforms.
According to Alexa.com, Reddit is currently ranked the #6 most visited website in the United States (#17 globally) and an average daily user time of 11:29 compared to Facebook’s 9:34.
In this post, we’ll explain why Reddit marketing can be powerful for your business if you approach it correctly.
What is Reddit?
Reddit is the largest and most influential online community in the world.
Specifically, it’s a unique blend of a content aggregator, social network, search engine, and online forum powered by an engaged and active community.
The site is characterized by highly engaged communities, a code of conduct also known as reddiquette, rules and regulations, as well as a variety of social forms to function in.
As a result, the platform offers tremendous opportunities for reaching a vast audience.
Reddit’s user base is 57.4 percent American, followed by the UK at 7.5 percent and Canada at 6.3 percent.
In terms of demographics, Reddit’s audience is younger and nearly 70% male.
In a recent 2019 survey by Statista, it was found that 22 percent of internet users aged 18 to 29 years and 14 percent of users aged 30 to 49 years use Reddit. 42 percent hold a college degree, and 35 percent earn $75,000 or more a year.
Over 65 percent of Reddit’s users are Millennials, making Reddit a great place to reach and market to the Millennial generation.
Millennials are the biggest demographic in the US, with 83 million in total and 200 billion in annual buying power.
In light of those statistics, you’d expect Reddit to be flooded with marketers and advertisers.
As a matter of fact, most marketers stay away from Reddit despite its huge traffic potential.
This is primarily due to the fact that Reddit is hostile to self-serving marketers who try to use it as a broadcasting platform instead of as a community.
Direct marketing tactics or sneaky methods that do not add value to Reddit are loathed by its members.
Redditors know when they are being sold to, and can spot thinly-veiled attempts at self-promotion.
Why Reddit is a Powerful and Effective Marketing Platform
Reddit is a conversational, interactive platform where users find content that informs or entertains them or solves specific problems. There is always something interesting and useful to learn on Reddit, no matter what kind of content it is.
Real, in-depth conversations with real people are what redditors prefer, and they value authenticity and transparency.
The most amazing thing about Reddit is that, regardless of which industry you’re in, there is a highly targeted and engaged community dedicated to it.
There are large and active communities for everything from beauty to fitness to cooking and beyond.
In a nutshell, it is the most expansive, customizable and unique platform that allows you to tell the world about your business, products, services or whatever else you want to promote.
Reddit is known for content becoming viral before any other network discovers it, and for allowing world leaders, celebrities, CEOs, and people with unique experiences to open up and engage ordinary individuals in discussion.
As the site itself puts it:
This is a place friendly to thought, relationships, arguments, and to those that wish to challenge those genres.Reddit
Traditionally, marketing on Reddit has been a challenge because the demographic does not respect, and are actually openly hostile to, traditional marketing messages.
Can this be interpreted as Reddit being anti-business?
Of course not.
The site just takes a set position on self-promotion.
As they put it:
It’s perfectly fine to be a Redditor with a website, it’s not okay to be a website with a Reddit account.Reddit
Businesses are welcome to join Reddit.
However, rather than just selling, they need to concentrate on adding value and building relationships with their communities.
To sum up what Reddit has to say about marketing:
Don’t just spam out your links, and don’t blindly upvote your own content or ask anyone else to! Why? Because Reddit is a community, not a platform for self-promotion.Reddit
In essence redditors only value messages that involve candid and in-depth discussions about content that adds value to their lives.
This means any message you share in your chosen subreddit cannot be construed as promotional material.
Any open, self-serving promotion on any subreddit is explicitly forbidden, and they will immediately kick you out.
This may sound cliché, but the only way to be successful on Reddit is to be an active, authentic Redditor.
You need to become an active member of your target community.
Reddit cannot be hacked to drive traffic to your website.
There is no way to pretend to like it or to fake it.
It won’t work.
If you don’t have enough time to be truly active on the subreddits you want to target, then it’s best to outsource that work to a redditor.
How Reddit Works
It is the Reddit community that affects what is on the front page of any subreddit or the front page of Reddit.
This is because the entire community is able to upvote or downvote any of the posts on their own front page.
So if a post receives far more upvotes than downvotes, it will get more visibility, and if it gets enough upvotes, it will eventually make it to the top of a subreddit.
And when it makes the top of any subreddit, it can be featured on the front page.
On the other hand, if people don’t like a particular post and they think it’s just spam or some blatant self-promotion, they will keep downvoting it until it is no longer visible in that subreddit.
So, upvotes and downvotes can actually make or break your marketing and traffic generation strategy on Reddit.
Reddit Marketing: How to Make It Work
Authenticity is key to reaching your marketing goals on Reddit.
Any self-promotion or sneaky marketing tactics are going to be met with open hostility.
Redditors are very savvy, and they know when they are being sold to.
You need to be fully committed to delivering real value without expecting anything in return.
Rather than selling, think of offering real solutions, sharing resources, or asking questions.
You need to have this mindset if you want to succeed there.
Why Your Business Should Market on Reddit
There is a ton of user-generated content on Reddit, including product photos and customer reviews.
For example, check out these recent posts discussing Arctic Fox’s hair dye.
These users are delighted to engage in user-generated content (UGC) on your behalf, which can lead to a surge in sale for your business.
Your business can gain some serious credibility if Redditors are having conversations around your brand on the platform.
Here are more examples of how mentions and user-generated content can lead to direct sales for businesses on Reddit.
Case Study 1:
Uniqlo, a Japanese clothing company, has been active on Reddit since 2012.
They’ve joined two subreddits dedicated to fashion: r/streetwear and r/frugalmalefashion.
Uniqlo reports that Reddit drives more traffic and revenue than any other social media platform.
Specifically, Reddit accounts for 64 percent of the three percent of monthly sales driven by social media, with Facebook (20 percent) and Twitter (11 percent) trailing far behind.
Uniqlo reports that on days when it promotes special deals on Reddit, Reddit referrals account for 20% of total online sales – that’s one-fifth of daily income from one single social media link.
Case Study 2:
Small Batch Cigars is a small online cigar store that has established itself in r/cigars.
If you search for Small Batch on Reddit, you will find tons of wonderful comments from happy customers.
These comments have the effect of driving orders to the company.
This is word of mouth advertising at its finest, and it shows how a single organic Reddit post from another engaged Redditor can result in orders for your business.
This level of word of mouth marketing (WOMM) cannot be found on any other social network on the web. As a result of these comments, Small Batch generates a lot of targeted traffic, resulting in sales.
Approximately 3-4 times per week, someone mentions Small Batch in a post.
The success these businesses have on Reddit shows how the right marketing strategy can help you achieve solid and significant results on Reddit.
The case studies show what businesses willing to be open and transparent, and open to engaging their audience in a distinctive and approachable brand voice, can accomplish on Reddit.
Reddit isn’t about gimmicks or fanciful marketing techniques. In fact, your best results will come from the simplest tactics and strategies.
Click here to learn Reddit marketing.
The takeaway here is that Reddit is a viable place for businesses: you just have to be prepared to become a real and active member of the community and implement the right content and marketing strategies.
What are your thoughts? Would you consider Reddit as a marketing channel? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.