Most local businesses now have a pretty decent understanding of how to use Facebook and Twitter to promote their content. Reddit is now slowly becoming part of the non-redditor consciousness. It is quite a different animal, and if not handled properly, reddit can easily backfire on your marketing efforts. Before you get started on this guide to local business best practices on reddit, make sure you’ve read through our reddit basics guide.
Reddit is a community of smaller communities (called subreddits). Earlier this year, it was getting 112 MILLON unique monthly visitors who submitted and commented on videos, blog posts, news sites and more. Although Reddit is a site where you are encouraged to share; unlike Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, broadcasting is NOT encouraged.
As a local business, you’d be doing yourself a disservice not being on reddit. It is a great place to keep up with your industry, find out what your competitors (and customers) are up to, and to find out what is going on in your geographical area.
THINGS YOU NEED TO WORRY ABOUT
1. Mods: reddit’s communities (subreddits) have moderators who set the rules of the subreddit. They are also in charge of keeping up the quality of the community. This means mods can ban and shadowban (ban people without their knowledge) users from reddit. Mods are not employees. They do this task for free. This should give you an idea as to their passion for the community. Don’t mess with them.
2. Redditors: They are quick to call bs and are liberal with their downvotes. They are also quick to react in the real world – it is not uncommon for redditors to band together against someone who they are unhappy with. They’re also tech savvy – so take heed.
BEST PRACTICES FOR BUSINESSES USING REDDIT
1. Be Respectful: The most important thing is to have respect for the reddit community. Don’t think that you can spam them or trick them into liking, engaging, sharing, or clicking through to your content.
2. Be Honest: Create an account on reddit and when posting something about your local business, be transparent that you are either the business owner or community manager. When posting, start off by saying who you are, and why you’re posting. The community manager for a bar in Hoboken, NJ posted their anniversary party in the city’s subreddit. They were vigilant, answered questions, and the bar was packed that night.
3. Be Clear: If you are unclear whether you are being too promotional, message a mod directly to ask. Be honest about who you are, what content you want to push and ask if it is ok. Keep in mind they may tell you no. If they tell you know, take it gently. This could help you build a relationship of trust with this mod who may allow you to post content later.
4. Be of Service: Reddit is not a platform for self promotion. It is a community of communities. As such you should be pushing out content to help the community, not just trying to promote yourself. Say, for example that you are a local business owner in Hoboken who has joined the r/Hoboken community. Post useful articles about parking changes, community events that are not related to your business. Build your reputation as a trusted member of the community and engage in conversation. This will make it so that when you do post that special event at your place, people will already know who you are AND that you are not there just to spam them with your deals.
5. Offer reddit exclusives: One of my favorite businesses in the r/NYC subreddit is Professor Thoms (a sportsbar in NYC). Somehow, their specials always end up in the subreddit and the place is constantly packed full of redditors. You could set up a redditor night and offer a special discount.
6. Read the Rules: Each subreddit has its own rules. Read them carefully before posting anything to make sure you aren’t violating any of them.
7. Keep a Private Account: reddit is awesome. You’ll probably want to spend lots of time there and you will probably end up commenting on things that strike a personal chord. Your reddit history is public. This means that anyone can go back into your history and see everything you’ve posted, commented on, upvoted/downvoted. It would be smart to keep a business account and a personal so as not to offend your potential customer base.
8. Join the right communities: Start off by joining the subreddit for your city/neighborhood/state. Own a restaurant in San Francisco – join r/sanfrancisco. Have an airbnb to rent out during sxsw? Join r/austin. Then start looking for other subs that could work for you – in the case of the airbnb owner – you could join r/sxsw. Say you are a local children’s apparel shop that offers shipping…join r/parenting. It’s up to you to figure out which subreddits will work best for your local business. You’ll figure out the right subs as you truly become a part of the community. You can also create your own sub – but we recommend you wait on that until you’ve gotten a feel for the community.
HOW TO POST ON REDDIT
1. Use effective titles: The title of your reddit post can make or break you. Make your title funny, engaging, or a little weird to encourage people to click thru.
2. 9:1 Posting: In order to ascertain that you are not being spammy, only 1/10 posts should be your own content – I’d be even more conservative still.
3. Pick the right subreddit: A local business may be tempted to only post to their city/neighborhood subreddit. This may not always yield you the best results (and it may appear to be super spammy).
4. Share quality content: Think outside the box, don’t just share a page to your website with boring text to your special deal. Create a funny youtube video, or maybe a podcast. If the content is not shareable, reddit will most likely ignore it. You could even do an IAMA…but that deserves its own blog post.
Reddit takes work, I’d say more so than any other social network out there. Don’t expect your content to resonate if you are not a part of the community. As part of the community, make sure to follow the rules and provide quality content that is not all yours and not all promotional.
Before you even think about how to use reddit for business, you’ll need to understand exactly what it is. This post will give you a breakdown of all reddit basics. You may have heard of reddit as the website where lonely, socially awkward people post cat videos and talk about My Little Pony. Or maybe you’ve heard of some of reddits darker aspects (not as bad as 4Chan – but you probably don’t want to go there). Both of these are true, but reddit is also the virtual home of some amazing historians, the Guvernator, and a great place to get World News. Truth is, reddit is a treasure trove of information and people of all kinds. Let’s get started on your starter guide to Reddit.
How to Use reddit For Business – Part 1
What is reddit?
Reddit is an online chat room where redditors (reddit’s members) can post links, pictures, and ask questions. They can also comment and vote on posts (upvote/downvote). There are communities called subreddits (sub for short) where these conversations take place. These are watched over by mods whose job it is to maintain the quality of the sub. If you misbehave, they can delete your posts and comments, or block your account (get shadowbanned).
Does it cost money to join reddit?
Nope, reddit is free.
How much traffic does reddit get?
Reddit gets around 114,943,104 unique visitors per month.
Who is on reddit?
The reddit demographic is American men (59%) between the ages of 25 and 34. If you are marketing to this audience, you’re golden…but that does not mean you cannot market to other demographics – wait until you learn about subreddits.
How do you vote on reddit?
Unlike Facebook, reddit has an unlike button. If you like a post, you can “upvote” it. If you dislike a post, you can “downvote” it. The more upvotes a post gets, the more visibility it will usually get.
What are subreddits?
Subreddits are specific communities in reddit devoted to certain topics. They can be almost anything you can think of, for example, here are some of my favorites:
Ask Science – people ask question about science & they are answered by science professionals.
Small Business – a place where small business owners chat with each other (great resource)
Aww – where people post cute things that make you say “aww”
Travel – pictures, questions, and general travel information
How Deep Can subreddits get?
Very deep. Let’s take The Song of Ice and Fire books. Just to give you an example of how niche subreddits can get:
Game of Thrones: General information on the books and the show
ASOIAF: Book specific subreddit (nothing on the show)
Freefolk: Open and unmoderated. Anything goes here.
ASOIAF Reread: Where people re-read parts of the books and discuss
Dreadfort: Subreddit dedicated to the Boltons (I don’t frequent that)
How do you sort information in a subreddit?
The first time browsing a subreddit can be a little intimidating. On a positive note, there are ways to parse out the information in the sub.
1. Hot: reddit’s algorithm pushes recently popular posts here. These are usually the first posts you will see when you get to a sub.
2. New: Pretty self explanatory. This is where you find the most recent posts.
3. Top: These posts have received the most amount of upvotes on this subreddit. It does not matter when they were submitted.
4. Rising: These posts are starting to become popular and get upvotes
5. Controversial: This type of post is probably getting an almost equal amount of upvotes and downvotes.
6. Gilded: If someone buys you reddit gold for one of your posts. Reddit gold gets you a better reddit experience and perks from partners.
7. Promoted: These are posts that people are advertising on reddit.
How do I find the right subreddit to post to?
Say you’re a new restaurant POS system and you’re looking to get some feedback from restaurateurs. How do you know what subreddit will hold the most value to you? Well, you’ll need to do your research. Reddit is kinda huge, so you’ll have to explore…but this type of post could go on r/askreddit (too broad an audience if you ask me), r/kitchenconfidential (but this is more of a home for chefs, not necessarily the decision maker on a POS system), or r/smallbusiness.
Reddit asks that you DON’T submit a “link” to multiple subreddits. This is considered spam and can get you banned.
Before you post, you’ll also want to check the sub’s wiki for rules and regulations so that your post does not get removed.
Then you’ll want to check the audience size and the engagement of that subreddit. It may have 100,000 people, but if there is little to no conversation, you’re wasting your time.
As hinted at above, each sub will have its own rules and regulations, but reddit itself has some golden rules that need to be followed by every user in every sub. For more information, check out The Rules of reddit.
1. Don’t spam.
2. Don’t ask for votes or engage in vote manipulation.
3. Don’t post personal information.
4. No child pornography or sexually suggestive content featuring minors.
5. Don’t break the site or do anything that interferes with normal use of the site.
If you’re not sure, reach out to the mods (you can find them with a control + f or you can look on the right side of the page). Click through and message them to get their blessing. When you message the mod, be very transparent about who you are, what you do, what you want to post and why it is a valuable piece of content to the subreddit. They may still say no, but this is better than posting something and getting downvoted (or worse – shadowbanned).
Besides the cardinal law stated above, redditors are encouraged to follow reddiquette. These are rules of common courtesy. Keep these in mind when crafting any post or when replying on reddit. Reddiquette was created for a reason and not following it can have dire consequences.
Can I post links to promote my business?
Of course. You just need to keep reddiquette and the community in mind when you do so. These quick tips will help you when figuring out how to post your own content:
1. Don’t spam.
2. Be active on reddit.
3. 9:1 Posting: One out of ten posts could be your own content (I’d make it less than this)
4. Follow reddiquette.
5. Follow the rules of the sub
6. Be ready to be torn apart by the lions (redditors call spam quite fast, and they are merciless…so beware what you post)
Part two delves into the value of reddit to a business.
It has become absolutely essential to leverage any and all tools available to create killer content these days, especially considering the fact that we live in the middle of the most competitive business environment that ever existed.
How to Curate Your Social Media Content With Reddit
Because you are going to be going up against stiff competition across the board, and because you’re going to need to release top quality content to your market on a routine and regular basis, you’re going to need to be able to effortlessly curate new topics, new ideas, and new approaches.
It’s also a great marketing resource – if you know what you are doing (you can check out tutorials here – part 1 & part 2)
Reddit can be your best friend in finding relevant content
The “homepage” of the Internet, reddit, is an online form of sorts that is the home to millions and millions of people sharing all kinds of content across almost every single topic imaginable. Using reddit as a curation tool as well as using reddit as a content source can give you a huge advantage over your competition.
Here’s how to do exactly that!
Subscribe to ALL of the subreddits in your market
The very first thing you’re going to want to do is search for and subscribe to each and every single one of the subreddits in your marketplace – of which there is no doubt going to be more than you could have ever imagined.
The easiest way to do this is to search out one subreddit that relates to your particular niche and then spread out from there. These subreddits with almost always interlink with one another, and you’ll be able to pull from a variety of different resources without any headache or hassle whatsoever.
When you have subscribed to a subreddit, look on the side bar to find more relevant subs to subscribe to.
Organize everything with the multi-reddit tool
Once you have begun to use Reddit as a curation tool with all of the subreddit subscriptions you’ve been signing up for, you’re going to want to create a multi-reddit that encapsulates each and every one of these niche groups.
This is going to pull content from each and every one of those subreddits and collect them in a single source, allowing you to quickly and efficiently go through all of the new content that has been released to Reddit that day.
This is a much faster way to navigate the see of content that floods and read it on a day to day basis and will give you a tremendous edge when you’re looking to source Reddit for content ideas.
Start pulling sources from the “Top” content tab
On top of that, you’re also going to want to look into pulling content sources directly from the “Top” content tab in each and every one of the subreddits that you have subscribed to.
This tab is going to organize all of the posts in that particular subreddit to show you the most popular ones first, and you will be able to choose a different timeline to better narrow down your search results.
This gives this particular option is what is really going to supercharge your ability to use credit to gain a tremendous advantage over the rest of your competition. It really won’t get a lot easier than this – it’s like instant brainstorming already handled for you.
Use it smartly, and you’ll know exactly what kind of content your market already reacts favorably to and then can use that as a print to produce your own.
Post to the Reddit community and leverage their responses
At the end of the day, one of the smartest ways to use Reddit as a content marketing tool and especially as a content source is to participate in the different subreddits that you have subscribed to and then call information from everyone that posts a response.
An approach like this one can transform the way that you use Reddit completely, not only helping you use Reddit for content ideas but also using read it has a tool to farm out the creation of the actual content itself.
This is a savvy move that smart marketers can leverage to speed up their content creation timeline while at the same time making sure that answers are relevant, interesting, and engaging. You won’t find a better approach for using reddit as both a content source and using reddit as a curation tool.
The social networking site Reddit recently announced it has obtained $50 million in outside funding, and disclosed its lead investor as Sam Altman, along with Alfred Lin of Sequoia Capital and Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz.
Snoop Dogg Among Investors Of $50 Million In reddit
The money will be used to hire more staff for product development, to expand the community management team, build better moderation and community tools, work more closely with third party developers to expand mobile offerings, improve self-serve ad product, build reddit gifts marketplace, pay for their growing technical infrastructure, and other various investments necessary to support a growing global internet community.
Altman is the President of Y Combinator, the incubator that originally helped launch reddit. He is one of the first reddit users, and a member of the same YC batch that Reddit founders Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian were in. Other recent investors include Peter Thiel, Ron Conway, Paul Buchheit, Jared Leto, Jessica Livingston, Kevin and Julia Hartz, Mariam Naficy, Josh Kushner, Snoop Dogg, and Yishan Wong.
Huffman and Ohanian claim they’ve been trying to find a way for the community to own a portion of reddit, considering that it’s their contributions that helped to anchor the site and give it strength. They have discussed ways to do this for years, but their backers always encountered legal obstacles.
However, Altman and the investors in this round have proposed to give 10% of their shares back to the community, in recognition of the central role the community plays in reddit’s ongoing success. Reddit claims they have to work out the details and will share more specific information soon.
Snoop Dogg, the hip-hop star from Long Beach, California, is among the group of investors financing this round for Reddit. The actor Jared Leto, who sometimes makes angel investments, also participated. According to The New York Times, Snoop Dogg’s participation was particularly meaningful for Reddit’s users.
Among celebrities who lead “ask me anything” discussion forums on Reddit, the rapper is especially popular, and eager to discuss marijuana, a topic that is a favorite among the site’s users.
“He’s like a Reddit superstar,” Altman said of Snoop Dogg. “The site loves him.”
When Altman made the initial offer to Reddit, he said he asked the company for a wish list of investors. “Snoop was high on the list,” Altman said. “We asked him to invest, and he said yes.”
Snoop has some previous involvement in technology. His app, Snoopify, lets people add stickers of joints, marijuana leaves and related paraphernalia to their mobile phone photos.
The Times notes that with the Reddit investment, Snoop Dogg was listed among Silicon Valley royalty, and he appeared to enjoy his new insider status.
When Mr. Altman ran an “ask me anything” forum on Reddit to discuss the investment, the most popular comment was by Snoop Dogg, who uses the handle “Here_Comes_The_King.”
“Whaddup Sam! They let the Dogg n the building,” he said. “Now do I get an official title??”
In 2005, Reddit was founded in Medford, Massachusetts by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, both 22-year-old graduates of the University of Virginia. It received its initial funding from Y Combinator.
The team expanded to include Christopher Slowe in November 2005. Between November 2005 and January 2006 Reddit merged with Aaron Swartz’s company Infogami, and Swartz became an equal owner of the resulting parent company. Condé Nast Publications, owner of Wired, acquired Reddit on October 31, 2006, and the team moved to San Francisco.
By the end of 2008, the team had grown to include Erik Martin, Jeremy Edberg, David King, and Mike Schiraldi. In 2009, Huffman and Ohanian moved on to form Hipmunk, recruiting Slowe and King shortly thereafter.
In July 2010, after explosive traffic growth, Reddit introduced Reddit Gold, offering new features for a price of $3.99/month or $29.99/year. Reddit Gold adds a number of features to the interface, including the ability to display more comments on a page, access to the private subreddit /r/lounge, and notifications whenever one’s username is mentioned in a comment. It’s also possible to endow comments or submissions of other users and thereby give a gold membership to them as an anonymous present.
On September 6, 2011, Reddit became operationally independent of Condé Nast, now operating as a separate subsidiary of its parent company, Advance Publications. On February 14, 2013, Reddit began accepting the digital currency bitcoin for its Reddit Gold subscription service through a partnership with bitcoin payment processor Coinbase.