Most businesses hone in on a familiar group of social media platforms for promoting themselves online but many forget about one of the biggest players: Reddit
Reddit is an extremely popular website with thousands of what are called “subreddits”. It was built by offering users a place to convene on topics of interest and discuss their passions.
Its untraditional format and user-driven rise to prominence makes it a difficult nut to crack for many companies though as they’ve become used to the controlled, sanitized corporate advertising and promotion.
For many, the platform is not suitable because it’s so reliant on members of subreddits allowing promotional messaging, which most do not.
So if it’s not suitable for traditional promotion, what does a business owner do?
There are a few steps to take before planning your usage of Reddit.
For small businesses there is sincere opportunity because many owners started their companies to turn their passion into a source of income.
The first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with how Reddit works.
It’s fairly simple, which is part of the reason it became so popular. Once you see how the posts are ranked by users and the voting system, it’s time to start reading.
Your next step is to find a relevant subreddit.
Using its own search, you can look for what you provide as a business. If you’re a professional public speaker, you’ll want to check out the subreddit devoted to that very subject.
That’s just one example and depending on how large your market is you’ll see varying results in the number of members.
Read through the posts and look for a voice that consistently resonates and earns comments. If you look at the public speaking example provided above, you’ll see why I noted to not be a traditional advertiser on this platform.
The posts that are outright promotional are dead with no comments and likely very few readers.
What Reddit users really don’t want is to be spammed by anyone hoping to make money from them. When this starts happening the entire platform can become nothing but ads with no audience.
Now look at the posts that have comments. They’re all from real people who have questions or advice about the topic, but not as a commodity.
If you want to promote yourself, you’d be better suited to authoring a post in your own voice offering sincere advice.
Become active on the subreddit and comment on others’ posts who have asked for advice. This is a place where your skill set and passion for it can shine, but if you’re doing it because you’re hoping to see a direct ROI, you’re wasting your time.
A few simple rules must always be observed:
• don’t post a link to your website,
• don’t post the same comment over and over,
• don’t share anyone’s private information, and
• don’t ask people to *upvote you.
*Upvoted posts get more prominent placement on the page of the subreddit. Posts of any kind that earn a lot of votes are then featured on the overall Reddit home page.
Use any subreddit devoted to what you do and love as an opportunity to expand your brand’s voice within your niche market and enjoy yourself.
Write posts that showcase your expertise by offering advice and explaining elements of what you do.
Others reading share your interests and if they are looking for what you provide, they’ll find your business on their own.
Some businesses even find it helpful to use Reddit to test their ideas before incorporating them into their content marketing strategy or service offering.
Remember nobody has voluntarily joined so that they can be subjected to self promotion. This is about committing to your enthusiasm for what you provide and expressing that honestly to other people who share your interest.
By following the rules and remembering the intention of the platform any business can expand its reach, build its brand, and contribute to a community of like-minded people hoping to engage in meaningful discussions.
Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.