An ultimate guide on how to use Reddit for marketers
An ultimate guide on how to use Reddit for marketers

Reddit calls itself “The Front Page of the Internet”, and it’s the most appropriate slogan for the platform. Reddit gives you the best of the internet in one place. It has a constantly updating feed of breaking news, fun stories, pictures, memes, and videos. With over 50 million daily active users  Reddit ranks among the most popular social networks worldwide

Reddit has huge potential for digital marketing experts. However, with such a loyal community of users, organically integrating Reddit into the overall social media strategy implies barriers and challenges. Instead of attracting new leads, you might end up disappointing the community. Thus, we decided to share our ultimate guide on how to use Reddit for marketers. 

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Why consider Reddit?

Reddit is a source for the newest and popular content on the Internet. All memes start on Reddit. 

Reddit is made up of vibrant communities aka subreddits. Each community has its own page, subject matter, users, and moderators. For example, r/Coffee focuses on discussions about anything related to coffee, and r/RenewableEnergy shares the latest about environmental technology and new green ideas.

In contrast to traditional social media platforms, Reddit algorithms rotate around a simple voting mechanism determined by the whole community. Users provide all of the content and decide, through voting, what’s good and what’s junk. Through voting, they determine what posts rise to the top of community pages and, by extension, the public home page of the site. Links that receive community approval bubble up towards #1, so the front page is constantly in motion and filled with fresh, interesting links.

All these differences are what make Reddit a unique social network that requires a different marketing strategy.

Related article: Analyze competitors’ social media content strategy 

How to market on Reddit?

Promoting your content on Reddit is possible, but it has to be done strategically. If Reddit marketing’s done right, your brand can get great feedback, useful connections, and a loyal audience. However, Reddit marketing can easily be done wrong, and you can be downvoted into nothingness.

Step 1. Familiarize yourself with the platform

Reddit is easy to use, but understanding platform etiquette can be a little tricky. Not being wrong with other users isn’t just a bad thing, it could banish you from other Reddit users forever.

Reddit users are fiercely protective of the communities they have created and don’t like people or brands who try to take over the subreddit for personal gain. Users in Reddit communities come together for specific reasons – hobbies, social goals, or just fun – and you should truly respect that if you want to be successful on this social platform.

How can you build trust in the community? By following the second step.

Step 2. Be an active member

So you’ve created a Reddit account and are now familiar with the platform. It’s time to start communicating with other users on a regular basis. This can be done by voting on posts, denying posts, answering questions, adding comments, and creating your own posts. You should be an active member and give more than you take.

One of the common mistakes that marketers often make is to start the self-promotion game right away. This is not a good decision, and on Reddit, it won’t help you at all. Your posts must be unique and original. As the number of users increases, you will find your own subreddits that match your niche.

Step 3. Follow the rules

Inside Reddit, the rules are everything. Registration takes a minute, but before you create a post or leave a message, you need to read the rules. There are particular dos and don’ts called “Reddiquette”. You can read Reddit’s full reddiquette guide here. Make sure you follow these rules so you don’t get banned.

For example, here’s the list of rules of the subreddit r/nutrition with 1.6 million members for the discussion of nutrition science.

Rules of Reddit

Here is another example of subreddit r/CatsStandingUp that only permits pictures of cats standing up. About 600,000 subscribers to this community only submit content with the title “Cat.” and comments with the text “Cat.” 

Reddit Cat Community

Step 4. Share unique content and be consistent

The best way to market on Reddit is to create content that users find valuable and interesting. Take the time to engage in discussions, answer questions, and create content exclusively adapted for the platform. Keep being active and remember that it’s a long-term game.

Related article: Essential social media engage features 

Unlike other sites, on Reddit, you cannot throw links around. A link in a comment or post can be placed with certain karma. 

What is karma? A user’s karma reflects how much a user has contributed to the Reddit community by an approximate indication of the total votes a user has earned on their submissions (“post karma”) and comments (“comment karma”). When posts or comments get upvoted, that user gains some karma.

Reddit Karma

Step 5. When ready build a campaign with Reddit ads

Like on every other social media platform you can get started with a test campaign to gauge how your ads will perform on Reddit. You can target your ad to show on all of Reddit, or only certain subreddits you decide to target. 

Here is a great example of Reddit’s promotion of establishing and building brand awareness. Pepsi ran featured best comment contest during the NFL kickoff season. Best comments in NFK communities were awarded by Reddit Platinum, a highly coveted award among Redditors.

Reddit Ads

Another example of a Reddit campaign. Audi partnered with Reddit to promote a 6 part AMA (ask me anything) series.

Campaign example

On Reddit, businesses tend to do pretty much the same thing. They find communities that are relevant to them and make the effort to be positive contributors to those communities. 

How to post on Reddit?

Reddit supports almost every type of content: users can share text posts, links, images (including multiple images), videos, GIFs. Some posts seem to go viral out of the blue, it depends on the content quality and sometimes on being at the right place and right time.

Here are some tips to create positive karma-producing posts on Reddit so you have a chance of getting attention, upvotes, and traffic.

1. Post headline

Use personal and friendly headlines instead of clickbait titles. Redditors don’t like clickbait. Forget everything you’ve studied about blog headlines. Look at the headlines that have gathered a lot of upvotes, and implement their methods of composing the headlines. Remember, different subreddits prefer different types of headlines. 

2. Post body

Original content is the only way to go on Reddit. Do not repost from your website or other social media platforms. Make posts specifically for the Reddit audience. Make sure the information you share is valuable. You have to show that you are a contributing member of the community. If the subreddit allows, you can include a few internal links within the body of your content.

If you are sharing a visual post, here are the types of content that tend to get the most engagement on Reddit:

GIFs. Redditors like GIFs. There are even lots of subreddits dedicated to GIFs and creating brand new high-quality ones.

Reddit Gifs

Pictures. Images are always a good idea if they have a unique value to the community. Reddit allows users to share Image Galleries – up to 20 images or GIFs in posts. 

Videos. If your video is too long it’s better to pull the best part of a video into a short clip or a GIF and then link to the full source in the comments. You can check out subreddits like r/videos and r/funny are some of the most trafficked.

AMAs. AMA stands for “ask me anything”, and it invites Redditors to ask a person any question they want. AMAs can be hosted by users or brands in suitable subreddits, but mostly in r/IAmA.

Before you share a post, make sure you use the Reddit search feature to check that you are not posting content that’s already been shared. 

3. Post analysis

Using Reddit for successful marketing is all about experimentation and analysis. Once you’ve published the post, stay around and reply to comments. This is social media. People expect you to respond. Don’t worry if you get banned once, or even twice – you will get reinstated quickly. The important thing is to learn from your experiments. 

Related article: Top 10 social media reporting & analytics tools in 2021 

To sum up,

Make Reddit a part of your brand’s social media marketing. You will need to spend some time to become a pro and understand the intricacies, and some more time to promote the brand. But the result is worth it.

Meerim Ruslanbekova

Meerim is a devoted digital marketing ninja who runs her own creative agency to provide solutions for customers 👩‍💻 She describes herself as flexible, quick to pick up new skills, and eager to learn from others.