The best way to use Reddit for marketing is simple: don’t market on it.
Watch, learn, listen, participate as a person not trying to sell stuff. Reddit can’t tell you how to market reverse mortgages to baby boomers, but it can give you a taste on how a younger audience thinks and behaves. Of those that typically use Reddit, 78% say it’s where they get their news.
If you’re new to the concept, Reddit is the self-proclaimed frontpage of the internet. Users can submit links, images, or text posts and other users up or down vote them based on what they want to see. In marketing speak: it’s a content curated, instant focus group of articles, memes, and videos. Subreddits narrow down interests into anything you can think of. Aviation, baseball, cooking, the content works the same way. Upvoted and downvoted based on what people want to see.
It’s a close-knit community with quirky rules that must be observed and respected. Like a person from the city entering a wild animal preserve for the first time, make sure you stay to the well-worn paths at first.
The site is only for observation though. There is an entire subreddit — r/hailcorporate — that’s sole purpose is to hunt down and flag marketers using the site. I recommend giving the subreddit a follow so you can see how advertising and marketing is looked at in its harshest light. These are people that hate being marketed to, i.e those opinions we’re trying to change.
Here are a few great subreddits to get you started:
- /r/adporn: a collection of great ads that are usually trashed by the user base. If you can pick through the cynical comments, some of the stuff is pretty good.
- /r/advertising: industry news and thoughts. Comments are just as cynical (a lot of advertising people hate advertising). It’s a great resource for relevant articles, news, and people looking for their start in the industry.
- /r/funny: filtered internet humor at its finest. Usually these posts wind up on the top page.
- /r/buyitforlife: recommendations on products that last forever. Great place to search for a client's product or competitor. These people do their homework and you can also watch how brands fall out of favor when they change quality.
- /r/adviceanimals: memes. All the memes. If you ever wanted to know what a meme is or how to use them, good ones, etc. this is for you. Insanity Wolf has to be my favorite.
- /r/(your client's industry): this page allows you to search subreddits. Between that and Google, follow the industries you market it in. You’ll be surprised what you’ll find.
- /r/(your city): local news, events, commentary. If you live in or near a major city, this is a great source to keep up with the local chatter.
- /r/entrepreneur: a great place to hear from other business owners. No matter how you slice it, we sell businesses. It’s best to understand them.
- /r/ama: ask me anything. These are the interviews that you’ve heard about. You never who’s going to show up. From the President to Scott Stapp of Creed.
- /r/orioles: because go O’s.