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10 actionable tips for using Reddit for marketing

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 11 Nov, 2016
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Reddit users don't take too kindly to self-promotion, but they love quality content when they see it.

Are you tired of the same old marketing channels and want to try something new?

Reddit might be just the thing you were looking for. It's a place where users share interesting news, cool links and insightful comments.

Sounds perfect, right? Sure, but there's a catch.

Reddit users are a community that hates advertising. If you fail to follow the “reddiquette”, your content will get downvoted and you might easily get banned.

But if you do it right, you'll be on your way to tapping into the potential of the platform and generating a stream of targeted traffic to your website.


Here are 10 actionable tips to help you make the most out of Reddit for your marketing strategy.

1. How it works

Reddit is a platform where people share interesting things they find on the web. User-generated content is then upvoted or downvoted by Reddit users.

If a submission gets lots of upvotes, it's moved to the Hot page. This goes for both smaller sub-communities called subreddits, but also the entire page. If you do it right, your post might end up on the front page and attract lots of traffic.

There are at least 3 factors that make posting on Reddit risky business:

  1. It's easy to get banned and lose reputation (more on that later on)
  2. The sheer number of submissions makes it tricky to stand out
  3. The site implements updates at the speed of light

Still, if the Reddit community matches your target audience, go for it – here are some good reasons why you should.

2. Who uses Reddit?

Before considering Reddit as a potential marketing channel, make sure that the Reddit user base corresponds to your target audience.

A recent study from the Pew Research Center unveiled some interesting facts about Reddit users:

  • 71% of Reddit news users are men
  • 59% of them are aged 18-29
  • 47% identify as liberal (only 13% are conservative, and 39% as moderate).
  • 47% of Reddit users are online almost all the time (a striking figure when compared to 21% of U.S. adults overall)

If this is a group you're targeting, read on to find out how to make the most out of Reddit for your brand.

3. Posting your content on Reddit – the basics

There are basically two types of posts on Reddit: links and text posts. The first is just a link to an external site, and the second is a text post which is hosted on Reddit itself. There are no limit to text posts, and other users are free to comment on your content.

The type of post you choose depends on what you want to gain from it. If you're looking for traffic, link posts are the best option. If you're more interested in getting links, choose text posts instead.

Texts posts offer a great potential on Reddit, but only as long as you make them relevant to a specific category. Your Reddit post should be a good resource and include plenty of links to other webpages. Most importantly, it needs to be interesting.

4. How to post on Reddit and survive

Here's what you should know before posting on Reddit: this community simply loves to ban people.

A mere hint of someone spamming is enough to ban an account. If that account was associated with a website, the entire domain might get banned from ever appearing on Reddit again.

Now that you know what's at stake, here are some tips to help you avoid getting banned:

  1. Don't submit the same comment many times to different subreddits
  2. Don't submit links only to your website
  3. Never ask for upvotes
  4. Avoid sharing anyone's private information
  5. Don't even think about creating bots that request information from the site
  6. Steer clear of illegal content

5. Avoid being too self-promotional, here's how

Let's get one thing clear – Reddit hates self-promotion.

If it feels like you're selling something, Reddit users will instantly get suspicious about your motives behind using the platform. Don't forget that users are watching your every move – they'll check your posting history and if they see only content posted from your website, you'll be in trouble.

If you plan to use your amazing click-bait title that worked so perfectly on Facebook, think twice. This is a no-bullshit community that values genuine content.

Make sure to post your own content in moderation. One post per ten is a good ratio.

Even if things are slowly changing, self-promotion is basically a marketing suicide on Reddit.

6. Create a genuine profile

To start posting on Reddit, you'll need a natural profile that feels like a real person. Individual users will be checking you out to make sure you're not a spammer – especially if you post in subreddits with strong communities which hate self-promotion.

What makes for a decent, natural-looking profile that doesn't scream “spammer” at Reddit community? Here are a couple of things you should have to avoid raising user suspicion:

  1. submissions to various sites that link to great content
  2. a few hundred “karma” points (these are your account’s cumulative upvotes)
  3. some insightful comments on other posts
  4. at least a few weeks of age

Once you've got your profile, you're ready to find the right subreddit for your post.

7. How to find the right subreddit

You can either choose highly specific niche subreddits with few subscribers, or big and general subreddits that generate lots of traffic.

Look for relevant subreddits – that's where you'll find engaged users who are easy to convert. On a big subreddit, each upvote is worth more traffic, but conversion is way harder.

It's best to mix it up and find out what works for your brand. Whatever subreddit you choose, make sure to follow its posting rules.

8. Create a multireddit

A multireddit is a combination of subreddits grouped together in a single feed. This is important if you're using Reddit for business purposes because it helps to structure your activity on Reddit by targeting different keywords and establishing different goals.

Instead of visiting every subreddit and searching a keyword, you can browse your multireddit to check every mention of that keyword.

9. Write long titles

Posts with long and information-rich titles perform best on Reddit. The character limit is 300 which gives a lot of room. Make the most out of this space and don't be afraid to write full sentences – sure, it's counter-intuitive, but Reddit users dig super-informational titles.

Include numbers and details. Steer clear of buzzwords, and never capitalize words. Avoid titles which sound like something taken from BuzzFeed. Be genuine and enthusiastic about sharing interesting things with other people and you'll be fine.

10. Pro tip: Add your link a few days after posting

You can edit posts on Reddit for a long time following publication. The most popular ones stay on top for a day or two before users forget about them. Once your post loses its attractiveness, add your link to it. This way you'll avoid being perceived as too self-promotional.

Here's how to do it: Create a great post, let it gain upvotes and links, and after it's fallen off the radar, go back to it and add your valuable link.

Reddit is a lively community that offers a huge potential for marketing. If you do it right, Reddit can become a valuable marketing channel helping you to increase brand awareness and generate a ton of traffic to your website.


Bio: James Pointon is a customer consultant and a content specialist supporting OpenAgent – real estate pros from Australia. James is a great fan of social media and is often on the lookout for new ways to utilize them in business promotion. You can follow him on Google + or connect on LinkedIn.



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