A Reddit Guide for New Redditors
Last month I introduced 10 reasons to consider maximizing Reddit for business. In that article I included examples, mini-case studies, and screenshots to bring light on what seems to be a rather foggy place to increase sales and market a business. Rest assured, Reddit is a viable place to spend marketing dollars and invest time and resources. But if you are new to Reddit, you need a basic Reddit guide to help you on your journey.
Like any popular social media platform, there are going to be social norms, rules and regulations, commonalities, and a variety of other social forms to function in.
If you’re starting to see why Reddit might be a smart place to maximize for business, consider the following 15 actionable tips Reddit guide for new Redditors:
1. Listen to Snoo
Any Reddit guide must begin with an introduction to Snoo.
Snoo happens to be the mascot of Reddit; the little alien guy you see all over the internet. He takes many shapes and forms, but just know Snoo is the trademark Reddit mascot.
So what does Snoo suggest?
If you’re a new redditor, you can impress Snoo by reading through the reddiquette, rules, and about page. Reddit also has a blog where you can learn more about their organization and all the cool projects they’re working on.
2. Forget what you know about Facebook, Twitter, and blog comments
Any Reddit guide must mention that communicating on Reddit is an entirely different playing ground than most social networks. First of all, your identity, in most cases, must remain anonymous.
Secondly, content is voted on with up-votes and down-votes. Think about it like this. When we post something on Facebook:
- People can click “like” on our posts
- We can select who is able to see it and comment on it
- Delete the comments we don’t like
- Post anything we want
- Your friends see your content
On Reddit, things are much different. For starters:
- People can click upvote (same thing as a Facebook “like”) or click downvote (you can guess what this means)
- Only one original link (URL) can be submitted – resubmissions are discouraged
- Generally, you can’t choose who can see it/comment – anyone can vote and comment on your content (private subreddits have additional settings, but those will be discussed in a future article)
- In most cases, you must actually put some critical or creative thinking into the content you’re submitting (as opposed to a generic tweet or Facebook post)
- Content submissions must abide by the correlating rules of the subreddit
- Linked content is not ‘preview-able’ like in Twitter or Facebook, and generally receives a default thumbnail image after being submitted
3. Accept anonymity
What does an anonymous identity mean in terms of social? It means people will not hold back what they actually want to say. Redditors are notorious for waging wars on propaganda and PR agents for celebrities or companies.
4. Digest disclosure
There are particular situations where unveiling your role (not your personal information), can both please fellow Redditors and be a smart business move.
An example of this would be to create a post (in the proper subreddit) where you are disclosing that you are a “product developer for Company X.” Be genuine in explaining your purpose; “I’m looking for feedback on a new site/product my team created, thought you guys might benefit from this.”
5. A new approach to influence marketing
Generally, you cannot leverage your company name or your real name. The only exception is if you are organizing a live, Q/A style interview known as AMA (ask-me-anything).
So, in most cases, you do not have any influence to leverage on Reddit. So what can you leverage?
- Knowledge, expertise, experiences
- Karma/account age
Think about marketing your (or a client’s) knowledge or industry expertise. That’s what Reddit values:
- Interesting stories and facts
- Highly insightful information
- Personal stories
- Expert advice
These values change depending on the subreddit.
6. Test things, break things, make mistakes
The best way to jump into Reddit is without an ulterior motive.
Create an account just for yourself. Start submitting content and engaging in discussions. Get comfortable navigating the interface.
Most importantly; make mistakes.
You’ll quickly learn what Reddit likes and what Reddit doesn’t like by testing out different types of content submissions.
7. Conceptualize the idea of communities and sub-communities
Reddit is organized by categories, and these categories are comprised of community members. Each category (a sub-community) is known as a subreddit. This is how some of them are profiled:
Default subreddits (these make up the homepage for non-registered and registered users)
- /r/news – 1.1 million subscribers, average 3k-5k live
- /r/pics – 4.3 million subscribers, average 20-25k live
- /r/science – 3.9 million subscribers, average 2-4k live
- /r/homebrewing – 65k subscribers – average 200 live
- /r/ruby – 18k subscribers – average 20-40 live
- /r/marketing – 15k subscribers – average 15-30 live
Start creating profiles for subreddits you (personally) enjoy. Pick the ones you can easily contribute to or start discussions in. Run a search for nearly anything you can think of, and chances are, there is a subreddit for it.
8. Know who “your” redditor is
There is a common misconception on Reddit that every user fits the following demographics:
- 18-24 years old
- Bachelor’s degree
- Low – average salary
This happens to be the average Redditor, but has been exaggerated to encompass Reddit’s entire user base (millions upon millions). As you target niche subreddits, the ones with 100-70,000 subscribers, you’ll discover a very diverse mix of demographics, extremely smart, professional, talented minds, and conversations that have substance.
9. Choose the right subreddit(s)
Now that you have a better understanding of subreddits and which ones you enjoy (on a personal level), it’s time to get back to your business in this Reddit guide.
This process is much more strategic but will be easier having already experimented with content and subreddits on a personal or throw-away account (an account you quickly create with the intent of discarding/forgetting).
Search for keywords most associated with your business. Here are a few examples:
Do you create WordPress themes or plugins?
- Try /r/Wordpress, /r/Webdesign, or the subreddit of the programming language used
Do you sell food?
- Try /r/food, /r/foodporn (just pictures of food that looks really good – safe for work!)
You can also merge subreddits together to create subreddits multis (this is a relatively new feature).
10. Customize your front page and options
This is incredibly easy. Simply navigate to the subreddits dashboard and subscribe (or unsubscribe) to any subreddit. Search for keywords related to your business and subscribe to those relevant subreddits (and unsubscribe to irrelevant ones).
And here is the Reddit account options menu to help customize your experience even further (every account has these options):
11. Analyze and record content
This is the most vital part of maximizing Reddit for business. You have to put in your eagle-eyes and pin-point the commonly referenced pain points.
In case you’re unfamiliar with this term, pain points are usually the basis for creating a product, changing a product or implementing new features. They are, quite literally, the frustration customers experience with a product or in an industry.
So if you’ve set up you’re front page to display relevant subreddits, you’re already looking in the right place. Practice running searches for targeted keyword related to your business. Here’s an example that took me a couple minutes:
- Identify a niche product that a business offers
- To show the variety of businesses that can maximize Reddit, let’s consider Maxwell Systems and their construction software
- Navigate to the subreddit /r/Construction
- 9th post down is:
Maxwell Systems or any other estimation software could easily capitalize on that by jumping in and stating the case for that software.
Other examples could be:
- “pricing” in /r/freelance (to find any problems with pricing models)
- “programs or software” in /r/accounting (for reviews, needs, and opportunities)
You’ll get better at finding pain points as soon as you find you’re first. You’ll think, “Ah! It all makes sense now!”
12. Plan your post
Planning a great Reddit post will be something I cover in much more detail in a future article. For now, try to benchmark your posts on the top voted content by organizing posts to “TOP” from “ALL TIME.”
When you find a post you’re confident you could replicate and spin in a creative way, that’s huge.
13. Don’t hit submit just yet
Before you submit anything with the intent of extracting business-related results, you need to make sure you have at least an hour for constant monitoring.
Have a game-plan for comment responses – basically, what information you’re allowed to disclose and what you should definitely avoid.
Also prepare some links, examples, and most likely an exclusive discount for redditors. If the opportunity presents itself, you’ll want to have these pieces ready to go.
14. Stay engaged
Reddit posts have a short life-term in regards to real-time exposure, but that doesn’t mean their value vanishes after a few hours. Comments will trickle in for a few days on larger subreddits and a few weeks on smaller subreddits.
Be sure to routinely check-in with your posts and reply to comments or send private messages offering advice, help, or a discount. Now don’t go spamming everyone that responds with a market-guy sounding message. Be real. Here’s an acceptable way to disclose and offer a discount:
“[cite a user who wished for a cheaper product] Turns out that I work for a company that makes [the product they desire]. I setup an exclusive discount code for Reddit. I’m happy to give back to this awesome subreddit. Cheers!”
15. Create a new content strategy – think differently
Reddit scares off most marketers and businesses because the learning curve is, well, an actual curve. But companies and products have reaped the benefits of maximizing Reddit as a result of investing time to become a real redditor.
You can’t think about content in the way of traditional advertising – or even traditional social media marketing (is it too early to call social media traditional?) because redditors have Facebook accounts. They have LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. They don’t want to see the same type of content – Reddit wants content that feels real.
If you’ve properly targeted and participated in relevant subreddits to your business, you’ll already have a much better understanding of what type of content is preferred and what is frowned upon.
Thanks for reading this Reddit guide – cheers!