What is this Reddit you speak of?
First, think of how vast the internet is, how impossible it is to reach every crack, corner, and crevice.
Now, imagine a place where millions of people endlessly sift through this vastness, promoting what’s worthy of the front page and removing what’s rubbish.
If you’ve spent only a few minutes redditting, you may be thinking it’s a place for cute cats and ridiculous memes…
Which I can’t deny; however, Reddit is also a place for the president, for marketing Oreos, and just about anything else you can imagine. Reddit pulls over 60 million unique visitors a month and normally powers 6,000 active communities per day, ranging from science, music, and politics to specialties like tech-support and homebrewing.
Alright, now that we’ve covered the basics, here are 10 reasons why you should consider maximizing Reddit for business.
1. Market Research
Does your business spend hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on focus groups, surveys, and interviews?
Granted, not all research methods can be achieved through Reddit, but the results from focus groups can be mirrored fairly well. The important thing is learning how to research on Reddit, which is free. Let’s say your business is in the auto industry. Head on over to the Autos subreddit (a community) and start combing content. Here is an example topic I found:
Grammar aside, this post provides excellent results. Here are some takeaways:
- Note how two links were snuck in – perfect for lead generation
- People are searching for the keywords “inexpensive auto parts” – so maybe consider optimizing a section of your site for that keyword
- You also have the option of sending this user (or any user) a private message.
Sift through more content and you’ll discover what the gearheads really enjoy. We can extract quality information this way. There are thousands of subreddits and chances are your business is relevant to at least one of them.
2. User-Testing and New Product Reviews
Do you have a new website or product coming out soon? Anything in the beta-stage? Reddit is a great place to get quality (and free) feedback.
Continuing from the previous example, find the proper subreddit relevant to your business. Make sure you are operating within the subreddit rules and guidelines before submitting anything. If you’re unsure, consult one of the moderators by sending them a private message.
Further down the comment section, we see real feedback:
Boom! Redditors are happy to help each other in more niche subreddits – pretty cool right?
3. Extend Customer Service Reach
In the same vein, we can extend our customer service efforts by researching threads where our business or product is mentioned.
Here is an in-depth example of a customer service success story. Be optimistic – sometimes Redditors are complimenting your service! Find them, thank them, and contribute to the positivity. This ties in to increasing brand reputation as well.
A word of caution: do not jump head first into the comment sections, especially if you’re representing a company. Instead, get your feet wet by observing how people talk about brands and how a representative responds. Practice reddiquette and combine this with your observations. There are many stereotypes about redditors, but these only apply to the masses. When you’e in a niche subreddit it’s much easier to identify the tone of voice and sentimental atmoshpere. Plus, we’re able to target potential customers who have already expressed interest in our industry.
4. Lead Generation
Redditors are notorious renders of fluff, marketing – especially marketing fluff. Redditors are also notorious for up-voting information that is genuinely practical or insightful. So how do we use this information to generate leads?
Here’s my favorite example that supports every reason for maximizing Reddit listed here. Best of all, the example is beef jerky. “Beef jerky?! Are you crazy?” I’m serious, check it out:
Basically, Redditors were upset with expensive beef jerky prices. A smart sales rep for Bridgford Jerky provided a sweet discount for Reddit. The result?
653 orders, translating to $23,000 in net sales.
I’ll go in-depth with tactical advice from this example and others in a future article – the important thing to understand for now is that Reddit is a viable business platform.
It’s challenging because there are many rules and social customs to learn; however, it can prove immense value to businesses when done properly.
As a business in 2013, digital advertising must surely be a part of your budget. Reddit offers advertising solutions in a very unique way. For starters, any ad that Reddit accepts can be discussed in the Ads subreddit.
Also, Reddit has also been very transparent with how they make money. They continually seek to improve the user experience, and as a business, you can learn a lot from the comment sections –in terms of what type of ad content Redditors prefer.
Still doubting the ROI capability of Reddit ads? The search engine DuckDuckGo published their results from a Reddit ad campaign, which the highlight “3 cents per unique visitor.” Read more here.
6. Brand Image and Reputation
A tenet of many businesses is community service and philanthropy. Some businesses go above and beyond to create their own fundraising events. Redditors appreciate humble philanthropy. You don’t want to sound spammy, but you want to get the word out. See this example.
Take an awesome picture of your community service or philanthropy event, give it a good title like the example, and submit to an appropriate subreddit. Pics is one of the largest and has the potential to launch your submission to the front page. Other subreddits may be more appropriate if they complement the theme of your event.
Your business name is associated with the event, which positively influences brand image. Furthermore, with enough up-votes you have a better chance of reaching the eyes of an editor, say Mashable, and landing a mention or even a feature story.
7. Community Building
Creating a subreddit (a sub-community) is practical for many reasons. We can create private subreddits for an internal office team or an exclusive community for your clients. Public subreddits allow anyone to view content and comment if you allow it.
With an active subreddit, business can provide useful information (such as resources, advice, guides, feedback) to current and new customers. Expect to see a detailed post on creating and maximizing a subreddit from me in the future.
8. Boost Website Traffic
As you may have noticed by now, a lot of the previous examples support this reason. The key to boosting website traffic through Reddit takes a bit of practice. This is a task for your content strategist.
While I will be going into a detailed post in the future, the following are some examples of how two organizations boosted their website traffic with different content.
Contests on Reddit work as well. The organization Greenpeace boosted their website traffic this way…
Sure, this was a funny example, but it produced amazing results.
9. Increasing Awareness
This can be achieved with many of the previously listed examples. While not every business will adopt a whale and host a naming contest, Reddit is a vast opportunity mine.
Take note of which content gets upvoted the most and ask your team, “Can we do something like this?” If the answer is yes, go for it.
There’s even a subreddit for small businesses where you are allowed to promote your business.
10. Improving Employee Morale
One sign of an awesome business is happy employees. Don’t be afraid to have fun on Reddit, in fact, if you’re not having fun while trying these tactics, abandon ship.
Redditors appreciate transparency and new ideas.
Use this to your advantage by showing the inside of your business. Literally. Does your office have a certain feng shui? Submit it to Design. Make sure everyone in the office knows about the post so they can contribute to the conversation.