Reddit is one of the largest and most unique social media platforms (540+ million monthly users). It is completely unlike Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. Instead, it is a massive forum website. Each topic in the forum is called a "Reddit" and Reddit visitors are active, loyal, and reward each other when comments are good and posts benefit the community. Let's dig in to how you can use Reddit to improve your business.
How it started
Reddit was founded by University of Virginia roommates Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian in 2005. The site was sold to a subsidiary of Advance Publications which operates the website as an independent company. Reddit is based in San Francisco, California. In July 2017, Reddit raised $200 million in investor funding which gave it a $1.8 billion valuation.
The site is a collection of entries submitted by its registered users, essentially a bulletin board system or forum. The site's content is divided into numerous over 15,000 categories, and the most popular posts from these 'subreddits' are visible on the front page to those who browse the site without an account.
How people use Reddit
Registering an account with Reddit is free and does not require an email address to complete. When logged in, Reddit users (known as redditors) have the ability to vote on submissions and comments to increase or decrease their visibility and submit links and comments. Users with enough experience and "karma" can create their own subreddit on a topic of their choosing, and interested users can add subreddits to their front page by subscribing to it.
The result of all this is a constantly changing website that covers anything and everything you can imagine. Everything from engagement rings to recipes to stories of woe to rants.
Why Your Business Cares About Reddit
There are two reasons to pay attention to Reddit:
- Most people and businesses don't understand how to advertise on Reddit, which makes it cheaper than other platforms to get results
- It is easy to get access to a niche of users that are interested in your business because they self-subscribe to topics they are interested in
This means that you can post content, comment on content, and advertise directly to people who care about topics related to the business.
You can also create your own subreddit once the account has enough Karma. This allows you to curate a topic very related to your business and, if successful, create your own advertising opportunity.
How to build "Karma"
On Reddit, Karma is awarded when another Redditor gives a post or comment that you created an up-vote. It is taken away when a post or comment is down-voted.
There are two types of Karma: post and comment.
Post Karma is associated with the posts you make in subreddits. Comment Karma is associated with the comments you make on posts from others.
Post Karma is more valuable than Comment Karma but they are also used differently. For example a subreddit may automatically block your comments until you have reached a certain Comment Karma to reduce spam.
How to build a following
The concept of a following on Reddit is different than on other platforms since users do not follow other specific users, they follow topics.
So, to build a following on Reddit your business builds an account to the point where it can create a subreddit on a directly related topic. Then from that account, and other collaborators, it is time to start posting interesting content to that subreddit and attracting others to it via cross-posting and referencing in other subreddits.
Over time this can create a niche following specific to what a business does. That allows indirect advertising through posting and commenting and direct advertising by paying for ads on the developed subreddit. Of course, there is a quicker ROI achieved by advertising on pre-existing subreddits.
Safety Tip: Redditors hate being advertised to. This is shunned in general posts and comments and will result in swift down-votes. Think of Reddit as an indirect advertising platform and you'll be more successful over time.
How to measure ROI
The first thing to understand is that growing Karma takes a while. So does growing a subreddit. So, you need a long-view for those two items.
Advertising ROI is a straight forward thing to measure and is no different than on other platforms, though the type of ad copy and graphics used is definitely something specific to Reddit.
Get in touch if you want to learn more or get your business engaged on Reddit.