These days, the social media marketing seems focused entirely on the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Reddit can be a forced to be reckoned with, however, with over 231 million unique visitors per month. While that pales in comparison to the figures of social media’s giants, it is also a number not to be sniffed at—and the website has a history of making people, brands, and businesses famous. In this article, I’ll be explaining Reddit and how it can be used in your social media strategy.

An overview of Reddit

The idea behind Reddit is simple. The site is broken down into subcategories, or subreddits, which act like forums or groups, depending on how you’d like to look at them. Some of these are broad and cover a whole bunch of stuff—/r/funny is an example of a broad subreddit for sharing funny content, while /r/science is for meaningful news and discussion about the world of—you guessed it—science.

Users share content within subreddits, in the form of links or text posts, and other users provide their input by way of upvotes, downvotes, comments, and Reddit Gold. If you’re unfamiliar with the site, this may seem a little confusing. It isn’t. In fact, it is quite simple:

• Content (and comments) can be upvoted (think of likes from other platforms) or downvoted (imagine Facebook had a dislike button). The more upvotes something receives, the more visible it will be by default. The cumulative score of these votes is known for karma and is accrued and displayed on user accounts
• Comments are exactly what you think they are
Reddit Gold is a little different. It costs real money, and it is used to pay for Reddit’s operating costs; their servers, staff, etc. While users can buy themselves Reddit Gold, it is often bought for others whose content or comments were particularly entertaining or informative

There you have it. Reddit in a nutshell!

Using Reddit in your marketing strategy

So, the system may be a little different than platforms that you’re currently using. Does that mean that your strategy needs to be different, too? Certainly! There are hundreds of thousands of subreddits to cater to all niches, and the number of people who frequent those varies greatly. If you’re an indie game developer, then /r/gaming might work for you, however, /r/worldnews probably won’t. As with any form of marketing, your first ports of call should be to conduct research and find your target audience!

Stop! Before you fly off to start flaunting your business on Reddit, I have a warning for you. The Reddit audience is, broadly speaking, anti-marketing. A good proportion of subreddits have actually placed an outright ban on self-promotion. Fortunately, there are ways around this, and those methods have been used to great effect by many individuals and businesses in the past.

• Name your user account in a way that generates curiosity and questions. This has worked well for plenty of users in the past
• Product placement is a common way to get around marketing bans
• Act as a third-party. Pretend you’re unaffiliated and just found the product to be really cool, useful, or interesting
• Ask questions about your product, service or business. People’s desire for answering questions on Reddit tends to mean that questions are an excellent way of getting some attention

Earn some karma!

Using Reddit is simple. Marketing on Reddit is just as simple, even if you do need to be a little more creative at times. Fortunately, a bit of imagination goes a long way—and if luck is on your side, you could see success beyond your wildest expectations. So, get out there and give it a go!