Reddit is a social and news aggregation platform with over 52 million users logging on daily, but is it suitable for marketing?
In contrast to most social platforms, which are usually no-brainers for social managers to strategize and market on, Reddit is a bit different. Despite a high user base, the social platform can be particularly hostile towards brands and corporations. That doesn't mean social marketers can't take advantage of those opportunities.
In this article, we discuss:
Read on to learn more about the right way to incorporate Reddit into your marketing strategy.
So, is Reddit a social media site? As mentioned above, although Reddit is considered a social media platform by many, it is specifically considered a social news aggregation, content rating, and discussion website. More sophisticated than an early dotcom chat room, Reddit brings people together across the globe to create discussion threads, live streams, and chats on several topics within forums called ‘subreddits.’ Users can also post directly to their accounts, which can be shared in different subreddits by the poster or another user.
So, despite being a great media aggregator and host for forum discussions, Reddit is considered social media by many of its users.
A subreddit is a forum dedicated to specific topics that appear within the platform in the format: /r/socialmediamarketing. Chances are if you can think of it, there’s a subreddit for it.
Subreddits also exist for popular but niche topics within the Reddit community that don’t necessarily have an audience outside of the platform — some of these include:
It’s important to note that there are two sets of rules ‘redditors’ must pay attention to — the site rules and individual subreddit rules.
Reddit’s site rules refer to their Content Policy. And like many other sites, Reddit’s site rules also include the following:
For individual subreddit rules, each community (another way users commonly refer to subreddits) typically has a set of rules and moderators to enforce them and monitor subreddit usage. When it comes to Community Rules, these can be found in the right-hand column of the subreddit — here, you’ll find relevant information and links, and sometimes a list of recommended subreddits, which is a great way to find related communities your brand could join or monitor.
Moderators can also find rules, updates, and tips for moderators in the /r/modnews subreddit.
Another interesting aspect about many subreddits is their ‘karma requirement’ to post on the forum — and it’s not the type of karma you might think. Karma, on Reddit, refers to the number of people that ‘upvote’ your comments and posts. If you receive a downvote on a post or comment, this is taken from your total karma. Many subreddits require a range between 50-150 karma to comment, which signals that you’re not a bot and you’re at least a semi-regular user. Negative karma can signal to other users that you’re a controversial presence on the platform — particularly important for brands to avoid.
It’s helpful to grasp common Reddit terminology that will help you understand its landscape. Some terms are used in other online spaces but can have a specific meaning within Reddit.
These are some popular terms used in most subreddit communities:
While the audience can be hesitant to warm up to brands on Reddit, there are still many opportunities for brands on the platform, from UGC to Reddit for business to promoting valuable content in relevant subreddits.
While there are subreddits with rules against self-promotion, there are often threads specifically for a promotion brands should take advantage of.
Here are some of the benefits of creating a Reddit marketing strategy:
So, how can you properly approach marketing on Reddit and avoid looking out of place in a landscape that can be skeptical toward brands?
Here are some tips for using Reddit for marketing:
Many brands are new to marketing themselves on Reddit, so of course, it's important to be aware of what to do, but it's essential to know what not to do. The Reddit demographic is different from more traditional social channels, with a more anonymous crowd that isn't afraid to call out something they don't like. To avoid this happening to your brand, here are a few tips.
When it comes to brands on Reddit, many are great examples of marketing in an authentic way. Here are three examples of successful marketing on Reddit:
Despite their subreddit being run by fans, SpaceX is a great example of harnessing fan power on Reddit. The SpaceX subreddit has over 1.8M members, so it seems natural that co-founder Elon Musk would host an AMA here to promote the BFR rocket launch, right? Surprisingly, the brand hosted his AMA on the r/space subreddit (while there’s an /r/AMA community, many subreddits host their own AMAs), a community with 22M members, allowing their brand to reach new users.
Red Bull is another excellent example of a brand that makes the most of its Reddit presence. For instance, they have separate subreddits for F1-related content (which is immediately presented in their description, so users who are looking know where to go), and it’s home to an active community of users who share UGC and feedback on their products.
It’s also a great brand example of how to engage with relevant communities to build relationships and increase brand awareness. They host a Starcraft gaming event and use RedditAds to remind users of the event.
A few user-ran subreddits are dedicated to Apple and Apple products, including: /r/apple, /r/applehelp, /r/iphone, /r/ipad, /r/AppleWatch, and more. Apple has its own user account, which makes use of Reddit for Business advertisements in relevant communities like /r/Technology. They know they have an already-thriving community of users, and rather than disrupt these communities (and potentially waste their own team’s time), they focus their attention on paid advertising.
There are pros and cons when it comes to using Reddit for business or even just engaging on Reddit as a brand. Here are some benefits and downsides to marketing on Reddit:
Pros of advertising on Reddit include:
Cons of advertising on Reddit include:
In April 2022, Reddit saw over 2 billion visits from users searching on Google or Yahoo. Despite being a social media website, Reddit is used by many online users to find first-person information they deem authentic — whether this is news, reviews or general knowledge about something, even Google has noted the prevalence of their search engine to find results on Reddit. For brands, this is an incredible opportunity to see what Reddit users say about your brand — and what others find about your brand.
Dash Hudson’s AI-powered Social Listening can pull in brand mentions and other terms that are important for your team. Tap into Reddit forums using our Topics tool to surface authentic conversation around your brand or products, helping you keep on the pulse of what your community thinks or identify any potential PR opportunities.
While some of the ways brands use Reddit might be different than other social platforms, there are numerous ways for brands to use the platform — these include:
Brands use Reddit to speak to niche audiences and reach more users — Reddit is perfect for UGC (depending on the subreddit rules), advertising opportunities, and sharing useful, informative, and interesting content in different communities.
Reddit is used for marketing in a number of ways — these include:
Brands advertise on Reddit using either Takeover Ads or Auction Products.
Takeover Ad packages include a few different package types: Premium Takeovers, Reddit Takeovers, Front Page Takeovers, Trending Takeovers, Category Takeovers, First View Takeovers, and Auction ad units. These packages all contain different options for budget, where on Reddit the ads will appear, and who they’ll reach.
Auction Products require your team to specify how much you want to spend, who you want to reach, how many people you want to reach; and these ads compete against other advertisers in similar spaces, and you only pay when your ads are shown.