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.
When it comes to stocks, Twitter may not be winning the game, but it is still a very valid social network for small business. Twitter is another great small business tool in the social media arsenal to expand your company’s reach, build your brand, communicate with customers, and network with other business owners. As with other social media venues, the most effective way to establish a community of fans is to know who your target audience is and how to reach them. The more creative and imaginative your social strategy, the more you’ll stand out. That said, small business owners should invest time in creating a properly SEO’d Twitter bio that concisely describes and clarifies who your company is, what it has to offer, and why your business is different from the competition. Today we’ll go through some Small Businesses Twitter Tips so you can see actual dollars come in from this social network.
Small Businesses Twitter Tips
1. SEO your Profile
It is so important for you to optimize your Twitter profile for search. What do I mean by this? If you are a restaurant in New York, clearly state this on your profile. If you are a dog walker in Los Angeles, do the same. The key here is to make it easy for your potential customers to discover you.
2. Create Engaging Quality Content
The importance of creating quality content cannot be overstated, and social media experts all agree that when it comes to content, the most effective way to build relationships is to provide useful and relevant content as opposed to directly promoting your company. You can link to your own blog posts, other people’s blogs, articles, and news reports. Just don’t make it boring, people are bombarded with content, so you need to make your content shine.
3. Use Hashtags Correctly
Hashtags put together the conversations of different people in Twitter into one stream. When you search a hashtag, for example, #NewYork you can see the conversations created around this hashtag and topic.
Before we discuss the best use of hashtags on Twitter, you need to understand how these are used in a search. There are different ways to explore hashtags once you search for one:
- Top: This brings up the Tweets with that hashtag that have the most engagement
- Latest: The newest ones come up first
- People: The top Twitter accounts associated with that hashtag
- Photos: This brings up photos that were added to Tweets that used that hashtag
- Videos: Same as above but with videos
- News: News related Tweets using that hashtags
- Broadcasts: Periscope broadcasts using that hashtag
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that if you add an image or video, you give yourself more chances to be found in hashtag searches. So this is yet another reason to add hashtags.
You should also consider using location hashtags on a regular basis (only when they are relevant – of course) so that your account can be associated with location hashtags when a people search is activated.
Finally, use two, max three hashtags at the end of your Tweet. Make sure the hashtags are relevant to your tweet and to your target customers. Don’t overload your tweets with hashtags, it makes them too hard to read, so always keep readability in mind.
4. Entice Potential Customers
Twitter provides some examples of how you might entice your customers over the course of a week. For instance, on Monday you could launch special Twitter-only promotions to your followers, and Tweet an offer code that unlocks a promotion, or tweet a secret word that customers can mention to get a discount when they visit your business.
On Tuesday you could tweet behind-the-scenes videos or photos that your followers can’t get any other way. On Wednesday you could create a regular series of tweets that are informative or surprising. If you’re a chef, tweet recipes or kitchen tips. If you have a fashion boutique, tweet ways to match current trends with vintage items.
On Thursday, highlight positive press stories and news about your company, industry or community that your followers will find interesting. Be sure to mention the @username of the reporter or media outlet when you tweet the story. This provides clear attribution and recognizes the source. And on Friday, highlight the people who help run your company by tweeting photos of them hard at work and having fun.
5. Engage Potential Customers
Engage those who engage you. That means that if someone likes, comments or retweets you, they need to be engaged. If they engaged your content, you already know they are interested either in you or what you have to say, they are a step closer to being converted to paying customers.
Engage Followers of your Competition: Check out your competition, their followers have a higher chance than anyone of becoming your customers. Add them all to a private list and spend 15 minutes per day checking out their content and creating genuine conversations with them. It’s a great way to expose your business to them.
Use a Social Media Monitoring Tool: For example, Google Alerts. Hop on there once daily and make sure to click through and engage those who are talking about your business.
6. Promotional Strategies
Use events as opportunities to engage your audience on Twitter. Whether industry-based, seasonal or cultural, learn how to use events to tap into popular interests or conversations. The above example is for #NationalChocolateChipCookie day. My favorite example here is from First Financial bank who gave cookies to their customers at their local brand. It’s silly, it’s cute and it involved their customers on social media as well as in their location.
7. Launch a Campaign
As an incentive to excite your followers, create a contest or campaign. Start tweeting about when your campaign will launch, and follow up with frequent countdowns and campaign mentions — including hashtags and retweets — to gain visibility. Just make sure the giveaway is worthwhile. Giving away a mug is no way to get people excited, but a year’s worth of your service will get a lot more people to participate.
8. Do Not Auto Direct Messages
AutoDM use leads to a 245% increase in unfollow rate. If you are going to use this feature, use it to offer a freebie or something super juicy and desirable. If not, just skip this feature. It is very rarely used successfully.
9. Don’t “Tweet Longer”
Tweets with less than 100 characters have a 17% higher engagement rate, so stick to the spirit of Twitter and keep things short!
10. Photo Tweets
Tweets with images have a much higher chance to be retweeted. Think about it, a Tweet with an image (be that a photo, GIF or video) is going to take up significantly more real estate than tweets without. This means they have a higher chance of being paid attention to by your audience.
11. Tweet About Trending Topics, When Applicable
Prime Visibility suggests trending topics aren’t only tweeted about a lot, but also are heavily searched for on Twitter. Tweeting about a trending topic can help add your brand to these highly popular conversations. That being said, this should only be done when it makes sense for the brand.
12. Follow Those Who Have Positively Mentioned Your Brand
Take a look at users who have interacted with your brand in the past or have mentioned your brand in the past on Twitter (in a positive way) and follow them back. These users are already aware of who you are and are a lot more likely to follow you back than someone who is unfamiliar with your brand. Then, add them to lists and make sure to engage them on at least a weekly basis to maintain the relationship.
13. Track Your Competition in Stealth
Many brands follow their competitors on Twitter in order to keep track of their Social Media strategy. A lot of these brands don’t know that they can do this in a much easier way, without letting their competition know, by creating a private Twitter list and adding them to it. They won’t know that they’ve been added and you can access your competitors all in one central location.
14. Use Digg, StumbleUpon, and Reddit
Use sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, and reddit to find, and share with your followers, interesting stories from your particular area of business. If you do decide to use reddit for this, make sure to read both parts of our beginner’s guide to reddit.
How to Measure Your Small Business Success on Twitter
Success on Twitter is not about how many people follow you. After all, followers can be bought with a mere $5. Instead, look at these metrics for success:
Amount of quality interactions
There are multiple types of interactions you can measure: retweets, favorites, @mentions, clicks, and lists. The key here is to measure quality interactions. If you are retweeted by an egg account (one that has no image) there is likely to be no ROI from it. Quality interactions come from those who may convert to customers or others who are influential in your industry or geographical area.
Amount of clicks
No matter what type of content you are tweeting (your own or that of influencers) the number of clicks you generate is an important measurement tool. If people aren’t clicking your links, then you’re doing something wrong. You’re either not writing engaging or captivating Tweets, not Tweeting them at the right time, or not using hashtags well. If no one is clicking the Tweet links to your own blog content, then you might want to work on your titles for posts. Conversely, if people are clicking your links, they’re listening to you and taking action.
Start off with checking Google Analytics for your own website, and then use a service such as Bitly to track clicks on links to other’s websites (Socialdraft is compatible with Bitly so you can get all your click analytics there.
Tracking your #hashtag(s): Make it a point to track your hashtags and what people are discussing when they use them. Their tone will give you hints as to whether you are doing your Twitter marketing right.
Check Demographics: If you are a small business that deals on a local level, then checking to make sure the majority of your followers are in your area is key. You will always want to check to see the sex, age, and other relevant demographic stats to make sure that your audience is one that could convert into a customer.
How to Manage Twitter for your Small Business
Using a tool like Socialdraft will not only save you time, but it will help you make sure you see an ROI from Twitter. With Socialdraft you can:
- Schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook pages, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn
- Schedule recurring posts that repeat over time
- Schedule posts in bulk with CSV
- Download content as PDF
- Give access to other people without giving them passwords
- Schedule Instagram reposts to all other connected networks
- Pull reports to see how you are performing on Social Media
- And much more
Socialdraft offers a risk-free trial, so take our social media calendar dashboard for a trial today.
If you run a small business like a restaurant, flower shop, or dentist office you’re probably well aware of the benefits that can come from social media advertising. Everyone is on social media these days, after all. So it makes sense that your business should have a presence there as well. However, if you’re like many small-to-medium sized businesses, you may be frustrated by the process. Facebook has one of the most robust advertising platforms out of all social media websites. The cost per action and cost per acquisition on Facebook is (at the moment) significantly lower than Twitter, and it offers some incredible reporting. If you’re a newbie to social advertising, this may be a great place to start.
Facebook Advertising for Small Business
If you’ve had issues with Facebook ads before, it might be time to revisit the idea. Facebook has made massive strides in creating a better version of their advertising function. In fact, Facebook is now exuser-friendlyfriendly and will walk you through the process. You can choose between what you want to optimize:
* Website conversions – This is when you want for someone to click to your website and take an action. Requires a “conversion tracking pixel”.
* Gaining Likes on your page – Get more people to like your page so you can market to them.
* Website clicks – Get people to convert to your website.
* App installation – Gets people to install your app.
* Post engagement – Boosts your posts and increases likes, comments, shares, video plays and photo views.
* App engagement – Creates more activity on your app.
* RSVP’s to an event – promotes your event.
* Or claiming offers – Creates ads to promote an offer on Facebook. You’ll need to create the offer first.
Once you select the goal you have in mind, Facebook will identify the type of ad most likely to help you reach your goals. It’s still up to you to choose, of course, and you can even decide where the ad will go, either in the News Feed or to the side of it. Everything else is fully customizable as well, including the headline, text you use and the picture shown.
With your ad created, Facebook will allow you to decide who it will be targeted at. Options for choosing include gender, age, relationship status, language, interest, workplace and education. All these options make it extremely easy to focus your ad at the customers you want. If you are a restaurant on the Lower East Side of NYC, you may want to choose an audience of people from 21-50, both male and female, who live in New York City and in Brooklyn. If you’re a wedding florist in Hoboken, NJ, you may want to advertise to women between 23-45 in cities in Northern NJ. You will need to do some research into the demographics for your particular audience in order to properly target.
The best advice we can give you is to do “A-B Split Tests”. If you’ve never done an “A-B” before, start small, perhaps with two versions (A and B) of the same ad. Run them for a week and see which performs better. Once you’re comfortable with a simple split test, craft some more complicated ones.AB Splits will help you get the best price for the desired action. Need some ideas for AB splits?
* Age – use the same ad on different age groups
* Gender – use the same ad on different genders
* Image – use a different image with the same text
These are pretty simple, but once you play with these, you will get the gist of it.
Set your Budget
The whole idea is to gain fans and convert them into paying customers. Think about the cost of acquisition. If you are a restaurant, and it costs you $1.00 to acquire that fan, but that fan comes in once and spends $60-$100, then the cost was totally worth it. It is even better if the customer becomes a regular.
Facebook allows you to set a daily or lifetime budget. If you choose daily, that is the max that you will pay per day. If you choose lifetime, the ad will end when you reach that spend.
How much will you pay? It really depends on your competition, demographic, and time of year. Ads in New York city tend to be more expensive than ads in smaller New Jersey towns. Ads for doctors tend to be more expensive than ads for say a restaurant, and ads get more expensive during certain holidays such as Christmas and Valentine’s day.
You’ve created your ads, spent money, and now it is time to check the performance. Facebook has a pretty robust reporting engine that shows you conversion value, click through rate, and clicks. Check the performance of the ads and delete, edit, or ramp up those that are performing well.
Ready to get started? Go to Facebook’s Advertising Center