On October 20th, the Business Wire team sat down with Noam Cadouri at Reddit to discuss how today’s communicators – from PR pros to reporters – could leverage the power of Reddit to increase visibility and engagement within highly targeted discussion channels called subreddits.
What is Reddit?
Reddit is a website that hosts highly active discussion groups broken out by topic or theme called subreddits. Reddit currently has 45,000 communities and 240 million monthly active users around the globe. While the community is global, conversations occur mostly in English.
Community topics range from very broad, like /r/news, to very niche such as /r/tuckedinpuppies. Community members, Reddit users, are quite passionate and protective of their subreddit communities. Reddit is not a place to simply drop a news link and go. Smart communicators take the time to get to know Reddit, its communities and it’s users before sharing content into the service.
Why does Reddit matter? Amplification and Market Research
There are many reasons why PR professionals and reporters may want to use Reddit to amplify their news, programming or information. It is a highly engaged community, we at Business Wire have seen news releases receive tens of thousands of views simply because it was placed in an appropriate subreddit and received a high number of upvotes. But inbound traffic is not a guarantee. Inbound traffic is simply a side effect of the relevance and resonance of your content. The more upvotes the submission receives, the more likely it is to receive strong inbound traffic.
But it is also smart to think of subreddits as potential focus groups – allowing brands to see arguments for and against their organization, products, service or industry at large. This type of data is perfect for product development and communication change alike.
How do you use Reddit?
First, you need to create an account and select a user name.
Reddit actively encourages organizations and media outlets to join Reddit utilizing their own names. If you plan on using this account for work, pick a user name that represents who are you and what you hope to achieve on the site. The Reddit community values authenticity so be transparent with who you are, your agenda, what you hope to achieve.
You can create a name such as CNNTeam and then each member of your team can use that same account to show the depth and reach of the team participating in conversations.
Once you create your Reddit account, keep in mind that all submissions and commenting you make as that user are public to everyone within Reddit. All they have to do is click your user name to see your Reddit usage history.
One suggestion – if you find you are participating in two equally strong but completely unrelated communities such as technology for work, but food for fun, consider creating two Reddit accounts so you can become an expert in each channel.
Tip! Join Reddit’s Media Partners Page!
The best way to ensure our clients and media partners get off to a smooth start with Reddit is to join Reddit’s private Media Partners page. This page is available to organizations and media outlets alike.
To join this page, you need to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide your Reddit account name so they can add you to Media Partners page. This page will provide guidance on how to best serve your content into Reddit or how to participate within certain subreddits in a more detailed manner.
But that’s not all the media page can do for you. See someone on Reddit with your company’s name as their user name? Let the moderators of the media partner page know so they can help you secure your name. When it comes to organization names, Reddit has rules in place to ensure users cannot masquerade as your organization or media outlet.
Next? Search the site to find relevant content.
Reddit has a terrific search engine that will help you find the subreddits that are best for you to participate in. Simply type in the terms you are interested in and you can find both content and subreddits relevant to you.
To join a subreddit, open that subreddit and click on the subscribe link. If there are several subreddits on a particular topic or theme you want to follow, you can create a multireddit which is simply one landing page that hosts all the posts for the subreddits you selected.
Want to see if any of your content is already in Reddit? There is a tool for that! Simply type https://www.reddit.com/domain/WHATEVERYOURDOMAINNAMEIS so for us at Business Wire, our content can be found at https://www.reddit.com/domain/businesswire.com/. This is a great way to see what content you are currently creating that others find interesting enough to share, and the discussions each submission generated.
How to participate in a subreddit
There are two easy ways to participate in Reddit. One is to vote (up or down) submitted content, the other is to join the conversation via commenting on submissions.
Selecting and submitting your content
Submitting content is easy! Once you identify the relevant community, you can submit a link or write a text post that will appear on the community page.
The submitted content can be from anywhere. Your website, USA Today, a niche blog, even a tweet. As long as the content aligns with the subreddit, it come from anywhere.
If you do want to actively promote more than one piece of content into one particular community, the simplest way to find out if the community will allow it is to ask the moderators. On the right side of every subreddit, there is a list of subreddit moderators. Click the message button and let the moderators know what you are trying to do and why and they will work with you on the best way to achieve your goal.
Remember a good headline is key to content engagement in Reddit. Be interesting without being misleading.
Using Reddit content in your published works
You can now embed Reddit comments into blogs and other published works. You can find step-by-step embedding instructions here.
Tip! Avoid these content submission blunders
When people think of Reddit, they frequently think of being attacked by Redditors. The truth is, Reddit users are pretty good at sniffing out one’s agenda for submitting news to the site or joining into conversations.
Try these two tips:
- Redditors want authentic discussions. Some Reddit users are on the site all day long, others just a few hours a week. Do not submit content into subreddits you have never looked at or participated in. Community members are very protective of their group and “drive by submissions” are frequently irrelevant and off topic. Instead, research the groups out in advance and spend some time in the group, commenting on posts, participating and building up your own reputation within the group.
- Do not submit content without reading the rules first. Each subreddit has their own set of rules. You can find these on the right side of the community page above the list of moderators. For example, while posting a How to Use Reddit blog into /r/socialmedia may seem like a no brainer. The rules on the page specifically note no blog promotion. In this case, it would be better to submit a text post outlining the top theories discussed in the blog post, and the rationales of why you’re sharing it, with a link at the end in case others are interested in reading more.
Handling negative reviews: Protect your Rep
One of the most asked questions Reddit receives is how companies can overcome negative reviews or negative sentiment within Reddit. The truth is, this is not something you can necessarily control. Reddit users are individuals who come to Reddit to have an authentic discussion about a topic – to share what they love, and what they hate. Organizations must be mindful of the context of that subreddit. These individuals are not interested in being converted but they are interested in being heard and respected.
However, some groups are specifically negative groups. Do not attempt to convert these groups to you way of thinking via content submission. Do not go into the group /r/antiFacebook and promote your Facebook tool. It would not fit into the context of the group. Instead, consider joining /r/socialmedia to find more likeminded individuals.
Hosting an AMA: Build your Rep
One of Reddit’s most powerful promotional tools is called Ask My Anything (AMAs). These are heavily promoted discussions in which the featured individual answers questions submitted by Reddit users. AMA participants range from people you’ve never heard of to Bill Gates and Donald Trump. It is a terrific way to showcase your company experts!
There is an AMA calendar and to schedule your AMA, email your speaker and topic to email@example.com and they will tell you when is a good time, good day, any requirements and ensure you’re up and running when you’re kicking off the process. Consider supporting your AMA with paid ads in relevant subreddits to ensure a vibrant discussion. Click here to see previous AMAs.
Drive Impact with Ads
One of the most interesting parts about Reddit is the ability for users to advertise within a subreddit.
You can craft a text add and pay just to promote it in a particular subreddit or category, you can promote your own post or you can promote someone else’s post. Each of these options ensure your content is seen exactly where your audience is. And the pricing on advertising is not that expensive! Advertising on Reddit is a terrific way to expand a product launch or industry changing news, by ensuring your news will be seen by some of the most vocal and passionate members of your community.
The future of PR is changing. It is no longer about one story for millions of readers. Today’s consumers want highly customized, frank discussions about the organizations they are interested in and these discussions are happening in a big way on Reddit. With millions of passionate users discussing everything from your company news, to their favorite non-profit, to the impact of global warming on kittens, if you are looking to increase connections with your audiences, this platform is for you.
Interested in learning more about Reddit? Click here to access the 90 minute replay of this webinar or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org