What is Reddit?
Reddit is a platform for hosting forums and sharing information. Individuals use the site to curate content that they create themselves or find elsewhere on the internet. Once they submit this content to a forum, called a subreddit, other users comment, discuss, and vote on whether or not they find it helpful.
How Does Reddit Work?
Now, let’s break down how reddit works in a little more detail.
What are Subreddits?
Reddit is made up of thousands of forums known as subreddits. There are communities for hobbies, interests, geographic areas, and more niche themes like photoshopped pictures of birds with human arms. Each subreddit has its own rules and moderators who enforce them.
How Do You Post on Reddit?
You can start a new post by clicking inside the “create post” bar at the top of the screen or the plus sign button in the top toolbar. If you’re viewing a subreddit when you click one of these buttons, it will default to posting to that subreddit. If you’re not, you’ll have to select a subreddit from the list.
Here are the types of content you can post on Reddit:
- Post: Text-based posts that you can format to add links to.
- Image: A post that consists of an image and a title.
- Link: Share web pages with other users. This type of post is for when the link is the main thing you want to share, as opposed to adding links to text posts to support your idea.
- Poll: Encourage users to vote and share their opinions.
- Talk: Livestream audio to host events, AMAs, and hangouts and make connections with other redditors.
No matter what kind of post you submit, you’re required to add a descriptive title. Next, you’ll have the option to add tags for easy categorization of your post. Once you’ve submitted your post, it will either automatically go live or be reviewed by a moderator, depending on the subreddit’s rules.
How Do You Browse Reddit Content?
At the top of each subreddit’s feed, you can browse posts by category from the drop-down menu. Categories include:
- Hot: the most popular posts right now
- New: the most recent posts
- Controversial: posts with an almost equal number of upvotes and downvotes
- Rising: Posts that are receiving a lot of upvotes
A Glossary of Reddit Terms
Every online community has its own jargon and terms. Here are a few words, phrases, and abbreviations that are commonly used on Reddit. This list is not exhaustive, but it’s a good place to start.
AMA (Ask Me Anything)
An invitation for other users to ask the poster any question they want with the promise that they will answer.
AMAA (Ask Me Almost Anything)
Like an “Ask Me Anything” but with limits.
IAMA (I Am A…)
The beginning of a post that features notable people being interviewed by the reddit community. Past guests have included Barack Obama, Snoop Dogg, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and more.
The date a user joined Reddit. It’s like their Reddit birthday.
An indication that the user has changed their comment after they posted it.
ETA (Edited to Add)
An indication that the user has edited a post or comment to add additional context or information.
ELI5 (Explain it Like I’m 5)
A request to explain a concept in simple terms, as if to a small child.
An account specifically used for a gimmick or a running joke.
OP (Original Poster)
The user who first submitted the post that’s being commented on.
A reddit user who is well-known in the community and has a high karma score.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)
A short summary of a long body of text.
A tongue-in-cheek indicator that a joke has gone over someone’s head.
X-Post (Cross Post)
Sharing a post from one subreddit to another. This is done by submitting the URL of the original reddit post and including the phrase “X-post from [name of the subreddit]” in the title.
A vote to indicate that the post or comment contributes something valuable to the discussion.
A vote to indicate that the post or comment doesn’t contribute anything valuable to the discussion.
Post Karma and Comment Karma are point values based on the number of upvotes you get. These metrics are meant to give other reddit users a sense of your legitimacy as a contributor.
Reddit’s front page features popular submissions curated for you.
Reddit’s premium membership.
A person who makes sure the members of a subreddit are following the rules and has the ability to remove users and comments.
Posting content that has already been posted in that subreddit. This is seen as annoying, but you can avoid it by searching the subreddit before you post something.
Reading a subreddit but not actively contributing to it.
A reddit account separate from the user’s main account that was made for a specific purpose. There are many reasons why a person could do this, but one example is to ask for advice without their significant other finding the post and connecting it to them.
OC (Original Content)
Content that the user created themself and hasn’t been posted elsewhere.
IRL (In Real Life)
Refers to anything happening in the offline world.
NSFW (Not Safe For Work)
Explicit content that you might not want to open in public. This abbreviation is usually in the post’s title as a warning before users click the link.
FTFY (Fixed That For You)
A tongue in cheek comment that accompanies a correction of a typo or factual error.
TIL (Today I Learned)
Something that the user didn’t know before but learned today either on Reddit or elsewhere on the internet.
When a user’s posts are essentially made invisible to everyone else on a subreddit instead of outright banning them.
Symbols added as part of your display name within a specific subreddit. Some subreddits require members to use them to indicate that they’re a specific type of poster.
How to Use Reddit to Promote Your Business
Unlike most social media platforms, reddit frowns upon most forms of blatant marketing and self-promotion. Especially when it looks like you’re only using reddit to promote yourself or your business. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for business purposes at all. Here are some ways you can market on the platform without turning redditors off:
- Pay for Reddit Ads
- Promote Deals in Relevant Subreddits
- Customer Service and Community Management
- Post Interesting Content that Happens to be Related to Your Business
- Host an AMA
- Curate Viral Content
- Hire Local or Remote Talent
- Market Research and Feedback
- Run a Contest in a Subreddit
1. Pay for Reddit Ads
Paid reddit ads are the safest way to market your business on the platform. With these ads, you can target users based on the subreddits they subscribe to.
Reddit operates on a cost-per-impression (CPM) basis, unlike Facebook and Google ads which operate on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis.
2. Promote Deals in Relevant Subreddits
There are subreddits specifically for posting deals. If you have a discount code, a sale, or other promotion, share it in r/deals and other similar communities.
3. Monitor Mentions of Your Brand
Reddit is a great place to keep track of how people are talking about your company for social listening and customer service purposes. People often turn to reddit to ask questions about purchases, air grievances about companies, and talk about industry-specific topics. Reading these comments can be a source of insight and engaging with these users can lead to solving their problems.
4. Post Interesting Content that Happens to be Related to Your Business
Reddit is all about authenticity. Since running your business is a major part of your life, posting stories that mention it in some contexts can come off as genuine and not self-promotional.
5. Host an AMA
Hosting an AMA can be a great way to raise your company’s profile and build your personal brand, especially if you have a compelling story. Post in r/AMA and answer the questions as they roll in. Anyone from a car salesman to Staeve Wozniak can get interesting questions on an AMA as long as you position yourself as someone with valuable insight.
6. Curate Viral Content
Reddit is also a great place to consume cool, interesting, and informative content related to your business. Subscribe to the subreddits related to your business niche to get a steady stream of content you’ll get a lot out of.
7. Hire Local or Remote Talent
You can also use reddit to hire new employees and freelancers. If you’re looking for local talent, try posting in the subreddit for your city or region. For both local and remote hiring, try subreddits related to the job or skills you need. For example, communities for copywriters or graphic designers.
8. Conduct Market Research and Ask for Feedback
Communities for business owners like r/entrepreneur and other industry-specific ones are great places to ask for feedback on your website, product offerings, and other aspects of your business. Just be transparent about what you’re doing and avoid using subreddits that aren’t business-related to do this.
9. Run a Contest in a Subreddit
Running a contest in a subreddit where you have a captive audience adds value to your business and to the forum. Prizes could be your products, Reddit-specific perks, or both. Be sure to talk to the mods first to work out an arrangement first. You can reach out to the mods of any subreddit from the sidebar.
Reddiquette: Stick to the Social Rules of Reddit
Every community has rules, guidelines, and norms. Some are stated explicitly, while others are unspoken. Here are a few quick reddiquette (that’s Reddit etiquette) tips for new Reddit users:
- Use a Pseudonym
- Search Before You Post
- Add Value with your Contributions
- Be Respectful
- Give Credit Where It’s Due
Use a Pseudonym
Unlike Facebook and Instagram, Reddit is all about anonymity. Using your legal name, your birth year, or other personal identifying information in your username isn’t forbidden, per se, but it is strongly discouraged.
Search Before You Post
There’s a lot of content on Reddit. Before you ask questions, share memes, or post breaking news, search the subreddit to see if anyone else has posted it first. You don’t want to clutter up the thread with repetitive posts. In the case of questions, you might find the answer you’re looking for without having to ask it to the crowd.
Add Value with your Contributions
Unlike other social media platforms, Reddit’s primary focus isn’t self-promotion or being witty, but adding value to the conversation. Keep that in mind whenever you post anything.
Remember that there’s a human being behind every reddit comment and post. Though feedback is part of Reddit’s culture, don’t harass users and critique the idea, not the person.
Give Credit Where It’s Due
It may be easy to pass off content as your own on the internet, but when other users figure it out, your reputation on the platform could take a hit.
Grow Your Reddit Karma
Reddit karma is how you build trust with other users on the platform. When you start off, you have to take time to build it up. Here are some strategies you can use to grow your karma points and improve your reputation.
Make a list of niche topics that you know a lot about. Then, find the subreddits about the topics, go to the “new” tab, and see if there are any questions you can answer.
Ask and answer open-ended questions to easily build up post and comment karma.
Get in the Habit of Submitting
Make submitting to reddit part of your daily internet browsing. Whenever you see something cool, share it on a relevant subreddit.
Examples of Successful Reddit Marketing
Here are a few examples of how companies have successfully marketed their products on reddit.
Sport sock company Thirty 48 hosted a giveaway for a free pair of socks in r/Fitness with pre-approval from a moderator. After it led to a boost in traffic to their site, they gave everyone in the subreddit a 15% discount code.
German ecommerce company Degardo asked for feedback on their online store in r/ecommerce. They got plenty of useful responses and gained new leads in the process.
UK-based athletic apparel company Gymshark started their own subreddit, r/GymShark to serve as a community for their fans.
Free Tools to Improve Your Reddit Experience
If you’re using Reddit to promote your business, you’ll want to make using it as easy and efficient as possible so you can use your work time wisely. Here are a few free tools that can enhance your Reddit usage:
Reddit Enhancement Suite
This Chrome extension makes it easier to format posts, lets you check up on specific users, and enhances the browsing experience.
This app lets you get alerts when someone mentions your brand name or products. That makes it easier and faster to respond to brand messages and actively shape reddit users’ perceptions of your brand.
A tool for analyzing your reddit account statistics including top posts, activity, and more.
Later for Reddit
Later lets you find the best times and days to post on most major social media platforms and schedule your content accordingly, including reddit. Find the most active times to post in your subreddits and schedule your posts to go up then.
Redditlist helps you discover the best subreddits related to your business niche and other interests. The metrics it considers include recent activity, subscriber count, and 24-hour growth.
Some Subreddits to Check Out
Don’t know which subreddits to follow first? Here are a few that are popular and great for new users.
The most active posts from around the site. It’s like Reddit’s home page.
The latest news and current events. This one is mostly focused on the United States, but r/worldnews has a wider reach.
A one-stop shop for all things humor, including videos, pictures, memes, stories, and more.
Ask and answer questions with regular users and celebrities alike.
Whether you like video games, card games, or board games, this is the place to discuss them all.
Pictures and videos of baby animals, kids, and other cute things to enjoy.
Pictures of anything and everything all in one place.
Film news and discussions.
Talk about all things music.
Learn something new that someone else just discovered.
Share your deep thoughts and read other people’s.
Enjoy poor design choices.
Deep cuts from YouTube.
Get answers to questions you’re embarrassed to ask.
Get your personal finances together.
Get answers to your computer and technology questions.
Talk about Reddit itself.
Reddit for Business FAQs
How many people use Reddit?
As of January 2022, Reddit has 1.1 billion users.
What are the most popular subreddits?
According to Redditlist, the top ten subreddits by number of subscribers are:
Does Reddit have a mobile app?
Yes, there is an official Reddit app for iOS and Android as well as a variety of third party apps.
Can a business have a Reddit account?
Reddit doesn’t have business accounts the way some social media platforms do, but you can absolutely make an account with your brand name as the user name.
What are the benefits of businesses using Reddit?
- Reach a large audience
- Connect with potential customers
- Learn more about your niche
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