Reddit: Where Brands must “Earn” Media

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Grumpy cat reddit

Reddit could be considered the Wild West of social media sites for PR practitioners and marketers.  Compared to others, Reddit does not have the brand presence Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and others currently enjoy.

Even though brands are not flocking to Reddit, this doesn’t mean their presence should be ignored.  In 2012, Reddit generated 37 Billion page views, 400 million unique visitors and over 260 million comments,  so we know that Reddit has a fairly large and active community, but how does a brand insert itself into these conversations?qm[1]

grumpy cat

They shouldn’t.  Reddit is unique compared to other social media sites for two distinct reasons:

  1. Conversations aren’t based on brand or individual’s pages but rather on unique topic threads called Subreddits.
  2. Users have the ability to downvote poor content.

Subreddits, which can command over 100 million hits in one month, cover thousands of topics that range from automotive to a zombie apocalypse.  Anyone looking to start off on Reddit would find it beneficial to identify the specific threads that cover the topics that deal with their industry.  Once these have been identified, monitor the content in the threads so you can provide your own insights and ideas.  J.J Abrams was able to answer a dying Star Trek fan’s wish while Amazon creates deals directly in response to comments on Reddit.  By monitoring the conversations that take place on Reddit you can earn positive recognition for your brand.

Since Reddit users have the ability to downvote posts (decrease their visibility on the site) content should be original and engaging.  Discuss topics that YOU find interesting and don’t pander with a sales pitch because the community will not be receptive (see Woody Harrelson).  Lots of Brands will time Reddit AMA’s (Ask Me Anthing) during events to help promote engagement across multiple media types and to create awareness.  Workaholics, a show on Comedy Central, is planning their AMA the same day their new season premiers.  Macklemore, a rapper, launched his new album with a Reddit AMA post and was able to become the top selling album on iTunes during that time even though he was not represented by a major label.

One of the trends that marketers should keep track of moving forward on Reddit is the use of the site for content ideas by “pageview reliant” news sites.  As Slate points out, some of these news sites scour Reddit for their content so they can easily turn out stories that already has a firm grassroots momentum. 

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