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By Roy Rasmussen Updated on October 13, 2021

How to Use Reddit Marketing for Your Business

Reddit marketing can be an effective tool, but you need to know how to use it. Here’s a guide to basics and best practices. We’ll cover:

  • What Reddit is
  • How to use it
  • Why companies market on Reddit
  • How to promote your company on Reddit
  • What best practices to follow when using Reddit marketing

What Is Reddit?

Reddit is a social news website that allows users of the site, called “redditors,” to post links to online content such as articles, videos and podcasts. Redditors can also vote on posts, comment on them, share them and save them. Reddit content is organized into communities called “subreddits” devoted to specific topics. Subreddits are identified by the suffix /r/ followed by the name of the subreddit. For example, a subreddit devoted to business topics is designated by /r/business.

Reddit has some distinctive qualities that set it apart from other popular digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter:

  • Reddit serves primarily as a social bookmarking site, enabling users to save links to online content they find interesting and to discuss the content with others. It does not function primarily as a social networking site.
  • Because of this, Reddit discussions center on topics rather than individual profiles. Discussions on other platforms typically focus on user profiles and whatever content is posted on them.
  • Reddit users have more anonymity than posters on other platforms. They can create more than one account without penalty.
  • Reddit users receive awards called “karma” for contributing to the community by posting links or commenting on posts. Users who accrue enough karma gain access to a private subreddit for good contributors.
  • Reddit content gets promoted based on upvotes or downvotes. Other platforms might prioritize content based on social relationships, with posts from friends and groups appearing higher in feeds.
  • Reddit’s has looser censors compared to other platforms. Discussions tend to be more candid.
  • Redditors dislike content that comes across as self-promotional or spam. They can be brutal on brands that ignore this etiquette.

How to Use Reddit: Some Basics

Becoming a Redditor is a simple process:

  1. Use your preferred browser to visit Reddit’s website and browse to familiarize yourself with how to click on individual posts and navigate through subreddits
  2. Use your browser to navigate to Reddit’s sign-up page, or download the Reddit app from the App Store or Google Play on your smartphone
  3. Create an account
  4. Begin submitting new links, submitting new text posts or creating your own subreddits

Two females check out content on their phones.

Why Should Your Company Try Digital Marketing on Reddit?

For companies doing social media marketing, Reddit offers several compelling benefits:

  • Reddit allows you to reach highly targeted niche audiences
  • Reddit’s conversation-oriented format promotes high user engagement
  • Popular content on Reddit can go viral on other sites, multiplying your outreach

These advantages make Reddit highly valuable for Internet marketing.

How to Use Reddit as a Marketing Tool

To use Reddit for online marketing, you can follow a 7-step procedure:

1. Create a Reddit Account

The first step to start marketing on Reddit is to create an account. You can create multiple accounts if you wish to create different personas to vary your branding tone. However, avoid using multiple accounts to post the same content to the same subreddit or multiple subreddits, which can cause you to look like a spammer and get you banned.

2. Research Relevant Subreddits

The most popular subreddits display on users’ front page by default, unless they customize their account to follow specific subreddits. While reaching Reddit’s front page can give you high visibility, it is far more difficult to do than targeting niched subreddits, which is a more effective Reddit marketing strategy and can be a stepping stone to reaching the front page. You can look for subreddits that overlap with your target market by using Reddit’s navigation and search tools or by using Redditlist, a tool that compiles the current top 5,000 subreddits.

3. Engage Subreddit Communities

After identifying some subreddits in your target market, you should begin engaging those communities. You will need to establish karma points through a history of posting valuable, non-promotional content before you will be in a position to post your own content without being perceived as a spammer. You can post 2 main types of content: links to external sites and text posts to content hosted directly on Reddit.

People sit on a bench and check out the web, possibly their favorite subreddits, on tablets and a laptop.

4. Create Quality Content

After establishing yourself as a member of the community, you can begin posting content specific to your brand. As with other content, it should add value rather than striking a self-promotional tone. For instance, you might post content about how to solve a practical problem faced by your target audience. Informative, interesting or humorous content can also be appealing for your Reddit marketing content.

5. Post at the Right Time

Posting your links at strategic times can improve your content’s visibility. If you post when most people are in bed and haven’t gone to work yet, you will be competing against less content, and you will have a better chance of catching users who are just logging into their accounts before the work day starts. A good time frame to aim for is between midnight and a couple hours before the morning rush hour. Additionally, posting on topics currently in the news can boost your results.

6. Share Your Posts

You can share your posts by asking friends if they’d like to comment on them. However, don’t ask for upvotes, which is against Reddit’s terms of service.

7. Track Results

To see how your marketing strategies are doing so you can make adjustments, it’s important to track your results. Tools such as Reddit Insight or Reddit Enhancement Suite can assist you with this task.

A business person reviews charts in a report. Make sure to track and evaluate your progress with Reddit marketing.

Best Practices

To implement an effective Reddit marketing strategy, to avoid getting banned and to use Reddit cost efficiently, it’s important to follow Reddit best practices. These include:

  • Posting valuable content
  • Avoiding spam
  • Prioritizing natural engagement over paid content

Post Valuable Content

Posting content relevant to your target subreddits forms the basis of an effective Reddit marketing strategy. Take the time to research what type of content interests subreddits in your target market and to develop original content that addresses their needs. Likewise, any links you post to other content besides your own brand’s content should be relevant to your target subreddit communities.

Avoid Spam

Using spam techniques on Reddit will quickly turn off your audience and get you banned. Some general guidelines:

  • Don’t post content that uses a blatant self-promotional tone.
  • Don’t post links only to your website.
  • Don’t use multiple accounts to post the same content.
  • Don’t post the same content across multiple subreddits where it isn’t relevant.
  • Don’t ask for upvotes.
  • Don’t use undisclosed paid sponsors as shills.

If you post content that seems like spam, you will risk generating negative comments and getting banned. You could even get your entire domain banned from Reddit.

Prioritize Natural Engagement over Paid Content

Despite Reddit’s aversion to spam, the platform does allow paid advertising to promote posts. In contrast to spam, Reddit ads are clearly visible as such to redditors, and can generate a somewhat less negative reaction. However, redditors remain as averse to paid ads as the general population, so unless your ads are well-designed, they might not generate the results you want. For instance, HubSpot found that while it was able to generate some results by targeting niched subreddits with paid ads, the results didn’t generate enough volume to justify a continued investment. Most brands find that it is more cost-effective to focus on natural engagement with Reddit marketing than to rely on paid ads.

Roy is a respected, published author on topics including business coaching, small business management and business automation as well as an expert business plan writer and strategist.
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