Whenever I tell clients to check out Reddit as an option to complement their social networking plan they invariably return with a “What the heck was that??” response. Reddit certainly isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as the other networks (Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest, etc…) that businesses are accustomed to using in their online content marketing strategy. The interface is a perceived mess of text that upon first inspection has novices leaving almost immediately (and subsequently asking me why I sent them there). However Reddit is one of the most powerful, albeit uncompromising, online communities around. If you can manage to “crack the code” to engaging a qualified audience on Reddit you can truly establish yourself as an authority in your industry, increase online brand recognition, and earn bragging rights against your competitors who have or will fail miserably when attempting to use Reddit to “market” their business. Here’s how you get started:
6 Tips to Getting Started on Using Reddit for Your Business Without Violating the Rules of the Community
1. Create Your “Profile”
When getting started on Reddit you need not concern yourself with resizing logos, brand images, and coming up with catchy tag lines. This “no marketing please” network is bare bones. Sign-up using your name (if your are the figurehead of your brand) as the username or some topical identifier related to your industry without being too “corporate” about it, such as “RealEstate_Guru”. Once you’ve verified your account via email you can jump into the discussions right away.
2. Understanding Subreddits and Multireddits
Subreddits are basically topic segments based on areas of interest. A real estate professional may “subscribe” to a subreddit such as r/RealEstate as an example. Within this example you will find discussions around real estate. However, Reddit is no bland “talk shop” forum, expect to find some pretty wacky yet engaging stuff mixed in with each subreddit. It is within these segments that you will find the opportunity to join in the discussion by commenting on posts and “upvoting” them (your way of saying you like and promote a Reddit contributors’ post) when you truly find the content valuable.
Multireddits allow you to customize your Reddit experience so that you are not inundated by a slew of topics that have nothing to do with you or your business. Create your multireddits around general topics that interest you. For example r/RealEstate is an admittedly broad topic so perhaps you would consider naming your multireddit RealEstate (identified by m/RealEstate). Once you’ve created your multireddit simply enter search terms to discover subreddits that are applicable to your business. A southern Orange County Realtor can take her multireddit of RealEstate and add r/HomeStaging and r/HuntingtonBeach into it, to narrow her exposure to topics in Reddit and to join in conversations accordingly.
3. Prepare for the 10-Minute Rule
Reddit is the most spam-free, anti-marketing social network out there so don’t think you can join and start building your profile and Reddit Karma by commenting and upvoting other users’ content frequently throughout your first day/week on Reddit. There is a 10-minute rule in place that restricts the frequency of which you can comment on subreddit discussions, preventing you from unnaturally attempting to build up your status. Reddit will literally tell you “you’re doing too much…” when charging through to bypass this law so be patient, check in on Reddit sporadically throughout the day, and slowly build up your credibility as a contributor over time.
4. Abide by the 10% Rule
This strictly enforced rule is a part of what makes Reddit so great as a legitimate content sharing community. While as a business you want to promote content via a link back to your website you should not do so more than 10% of the time. You post links to content on Reddit to help answer questions and add value to conversations posed within a subreddit. For every 10 links that you provide, only one should link back to your website. Administrators will check to see if you are abiding by the rule, if not, you will get banned. Being seen as an authority in your industry means that you should be aware of, and prepared to share, valuable information from a wide variety of resources – no where is this more true in social networking than on Reddit.
5. Create an AMA within IamA
AMA stands for “Ask Me Anything” and is a part of the subreddit r/IAmA which literally means “I am a…”. This popular subreddit serves as the perfect example of how being considered an authority on a topic adds value to your presence on Reddit. You have to provide proof that you are who/what you say you are and you should only submit an IamA/AMA if it is inherently interesting. For example, submitting “IamA real estate agent. AMA!” won’t get you far, but if you spice it up with “IamA Realtor in Surf City USA. AMA!” (as per our Orange County agent example) you may get more bites. Identify what makes your story as a business figurehead so unique (there is always an angle) and create your IamA/AMA.
6. Come Loaded with Content or Don’t Come at All
As always, it all comes down to the content back home on your website. Even though the strict 10% rule is in place you want to ensure that you have a ton of ammunition for Reddit that comes in the form of interesting, engaging, media-rich content about your industry. That way, when the opportunity presents itself within Reddit, you can submit a new link to your content and answer other user questions with the same. Eventually you will build referral traffic back to your website but more importantly you will have established yourself as an online authority in your field within one of the hardest social network nuts to crack.
There is so much more to go into about using Reddit for your business but the above 6 tips will get you well on your way. I also suggest installing the Alien Blue Reddit PRO app as found within this article and then stay tuned to this blog as I provide more information on Reddit in the near future.