A practical guide to Reddit marketing for beginners

Posted by Nick Abbene on 12 Jun, 2023
View comments Social Media
Reddit offers great opportunities, but has its own particular culture and values. Here's how to get your Reddiquette right.


Image source: Brett Jordan, Unsplash

Reddit is a social media platform that hosts communities, known as subreddits, for nearly every subject you can think of.  From gaming to travel, cooking, and really any video game you can think of, you'll find it all.

Dubbed the “front page of the internet," Reddit offers one of the most visited social platforms every month. The Reddit community has over 430 million active users per month and 52 million active users per day, mostly in the USA.

These numbers are attractive to marketers. Reddit is an incredible platform that allows you to post content that can help you increase brand awareness. It has specific rules and culture that can be harsh to those who violate them. Shameless advertising can damage your business. Redditors are known to respond negatively to marketing tactics that seem insincere or intrusive.

This article will show you how to "get it right," highlighting strategies and tips for marketing on Reddit.  By the end of this guide, you'll feel comfortable enough to start marketing on Reddit.

Guide to Reddit: features and values

Before you use Reddit for marketing your business, it’s important to understand how Reddit works.  This platform isn't merely another social media site; it's a community-driven platform that values genuine interaction and quality content.

Community values and Reddiquette

Before posting on Reddit, read its Reddiquette guide to understand the community better.

Think of this as the code of conduct of Reddit users. Since the entire platform is driven by its members, you need to respect that they're not there to be subjected to constant advertising.

If you attempt to advertise without understanding the rules and mindset behind the site - Reddit ads and promoted posts aside - you’ll be downvoted and buried by unforgiving comments.

Reddit features and commonalities

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the main features of the website, which include:

  • The Frontpage: This is where the highest trending topics and posts appear. If you're registered, you'll see trends based on your interests and preferences, like Facebook.
  • Subreddits: These are sub-communities that anyone can create for any topic. Different subreddits have different designs, moderators, and rules.
  • Sidebar: The sidebar is information on the right side of your current subreddit.  It usually contains a brief description of the Subreddit, along with the type of content that is expected in that subreddit, as well as any "house rules".
  • Upvotes and downvotes: These are votes in favor or against posts. The more upvotes on a post, the more likely other users will see it.
  • Karma: Users get rated when they comment or post on Reddit. The more upvotes your comments and posts receive, the higher your karma and the more trustworthy you are. The opposite is also true.
  • AMA: Short for "ask me anything," this type of interview post is common on Reddit. Experts write an introductory snippet about themselves and wait for users to submit questions for them to answer.
  • Shadowban: This is an unofficial sort of ban where no one but you can see your posts and comments. A user can get shadowbanned in a specific subreddit or on the entire website.

Reddit Marketing: how to market on Reddit

1. Create a Reddit account

Without a Reddit account, you can't participate.  While you can read content on reddit as well as comments, you'll be missing out on the most advantageous features, such as being able to create content and respond to comments. 
So click that Join Reddit button in the bottom left corner, and start your journey.

2. Participate in subreddits and increase your karma

The first step to effectively promoting anything on Reddit is to become an active community member.  The best ways to achieve this are joining discussions and boosting your karma.

Look for subreddits relevant to your niche with a lot of participants. For example, if you're promoting a food blog, pick subreddits like r/fastfood, r/foodhacks, and r/AskCulinary. Relevant subreddits make for higher chances of attracting engagement, allowing you to reach the right audience.

Fastfood subreddit.

Image source: r/fastfood

Some subreddits have special rules, so remember to read the subreddit rules in the sidebar.

As you start commenting and posting, make sure your content is funny, witty, helpful, relevant, or whatever else it needs to be to generate interest.

You want to get as many upvotes as possible to increase your karma. Commenting on posts in r/AskReddit is an excellent way to gain karma quickly.

3. Reach out to admins

There are two ways you can reach out to admins of relevant subreddits to support your Reddit marketing.

You can ask admins for permission to share your link on their subreddit, either in comments or posts. Permission is crucial in this case, as Redditors have an extremely low tolerance for aggressive ads and unsolicited marketing campaigns.

When asking for permission, you're pitching your service/product to the admin. So, highlight the value your link offers users and how it can help them.

You can also reach out to admins to have them post your link - potentially in the sidebar. If your service/product benefits the community or offers them an incentive in return (a voucher, discount, etc.), they may respond positively.

Links posted by admins naturally receive more attention and trust (although, not always - specific subreddits have it in for the admins, particularly if the community feels they are discriminatory in their moderation techniques).

4. Host an AMA

As mentioned earlier, AMA is short for "ask me anything." An AMA post is an interview post you'll commonly see on Reddit.

In AMAs, experts answer questions about their respective fields (industry, subject, business type, and so on). The party hosting the AMA writes an introductory bit about themselves and what they offer, then waits for Reddit users to submit questions.

Since you're an expert on your brand and/or a business owner, you can host an AMA. It's a great way to gain exposure and interact organically with the audience – emphasis on "interact."

Responding to people in a back-and-forth format rather than a rigid one-time answer is crucial for a successful AMA.  Depending on the size of the business/brand, some brands use a branded account, so anyone from the team can respond to questions.

Also, you should provide helpful answers that address the core of the question, not just a paragraph that lists all the awesome things about your product. It shows your respect for those who took the time to ask.

AMAs aren't always sunshine and rainbows; some people aren't afraid of speaking their minds. So be prepared to take on criticism and respond appropriately.

5. Do a giveaway

An effective strategy to generate interest in your promotion is to run a giveaway. It's a sure way to increase user engagement with the brand and positively boost its image with some generosity.

Doing a giveaway also assures admins of relevant subreddits that you're offering value to the audience, so they'll be much more inclined to support your Reddit marketing.

Giveaways can have various formats.  The most popular Reddit giveaway enters every Redditor commenting on one of your Reddit posts into the giveaway. You can also ask users to fill in a survey in exchange for a gift or hold a contest with prizes for the top 3 spots.

6. Ask friends for their thoughts

At the beginning of your Reddit marketing journey, a friendly push can go a long way. It's perfectly fine to ask for help, and have a few friends upvote, reply, and share your posts.

It's worth mentioning that the friends interacting with your content should be real people. Don't create accounts and use them to upvote your stuff.

Reddit admins and moderators are strict about this. You could get banned, as they won't hesitate to block all involved/suspicious accounts.

7. Participate in top posts

Posts featured on the front page and in top communities are there for a reason; they're very popular.

Replies on such posts have a high chance of getting noticed by users and, in turn, getting upvoted and earning you karma.

The most important thing is to create a comment worthy of interest. It needs to be relevant and helpful, or else it'll backfire and receive downvotes.

8. Think before hyperlinking

This may seem counter-intuitive, but don't hyperlink your brand/product/service name. Focus on answering questions as honestly and thoroughly as possible - potential customers on Reddit will notice and reach out if they are interested in your expertise.

9. Start a subreddit for your brand

Once your brand is more known, create a subreddit in its name.

A dedicated subreddit gives users who like your product/service a place to discuss it. It forms a community that shares their experiences and feedback (market research, anyone?).

It also offers users interested in your brand an outlet to learn more about it in a genuine, trustworthy space.

Additionally, a dedicated subreddit is an excellent way to provide support. Customers can post questions, and you can directly address them.

10. Gain insight from analytics tools

To optimize your Reddit marketing strategies, check out the following tools to manage posts, analyze activity patterns of subreddits, view user statistics, track subreddit growth, and more.

Final thoughts

Harnessing the power of Reddit's dynamic community for marketing purposes can yield impactful results. Reddit content can be your greatest asset as it exposes your brand to a broad audience while offering an opportunity for genuine interaction. The key to making Reddit a successful platform for marketing lies in respecting the community norms, integrating seamlessly with the culture, and prioritizing value addition.

Understand Reddit's intricacies and respect its unique ecosystem. The more you understand, the better you'll be able to align your marketing efforts with the community values. Reddit users are known for their discernment and appreciation for authenticity. Therefore, the best practices involve being a faithful participant in the community.

Once you master the art of marketing right on Reddit, the opportunities for brand growth are immense. You can establish meaningful connections, build brand loyalty, and effectively meet your marketing goals. Remember, Reddit is a marathon, not a sprint. Play the long game, and the rewards will be worthwhile.

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