While Facebook, Twitter and the other big name social platforms get all the glory when it comes to building brand followings via community outreach, there’s another contender on the digital block that’s worthy of a spot in the conversation. Long viewed as nothing more than another web forum, Reddit now stands as one of the most vibrant, active, and valuable communities online. Before you make the big mistake of writing off this platform, let’s spend some time talking about how best to utilize Reddit, as well as how this site can infuse your blog writing and content strategy with newfound energy and impact.
Why Reddit Matters to the Web
Naturally, this claim about Reddit standing with Facebook and other prominent platforms probably flies directly in the face of everything that you’ve been told about promoting and spreading the word regarding your content. However, it doesn’t take much digging to uncover the powerful facts that support this statement as truth.
According to Craig Smith at the Expanded Ramblings blog, Reddit lays claim to 169 million unique visitors a month, as well as 7.55 billion total page views over the same time. These viewer hail from 209 countries and represent a plethora of different demographics, audiences, and communities. If those numbers are a little too hard to grasp at first, the team behind /r/AskReddit goes on to explain that this reach equates roughly to the adjusted figures of 1.41 million unique visitors and 5.13 million page views a day.
To put it simply, Reddit is one of the hottest domains on the web, and things are only looking up for the massive digital community. In fact, Amazon’s Alexa ranking system places this rising virtual commodity as the 29th most visited site in the world, and 10th overall in North America.
The Basic Structure of This Digital Community
So now that we know that Reddit means business in terms of reach and viewership, it’s worth spending a few quick moments talking about the structure of the site. Otherwise, there’s the very real possibility that you’ll feel like you’re in over your head when the discussion turns toward leveraging the various communities that make up this site.
“To the uninitiated, Reddit looks like a mess – text links, comment threads, points, upvotes, downvotes. At best, posts seem contextless — at worst, totally random.” – Matt Silverman, Mashable
Essentially, Matt Silverman of Mashable notes that while Reddit might look like a mess to the untrained eye, there’s actually a method to the madness of “The Front Page of the Internet.” Instead of operating like a streaming real-time network that lacks a community filter, the members of Reddit curate links, content, and posts on their own through a voting system. Enjoyable and relevant content earns “upvotes,” while substandard offerings quickly fall into obscurity via the harsh ranking penalties that come with “downvotes.”
Aside from the community-oriented curation approach, Reddit also segments itself into smaller groups, known as “Subreddits.” These Subreddits hone in on specific angles and aspects of a discussion, providing focused conversation and expert interaction. The best part about this system? The very nature of these subreddits ensures that as you seek out relevant groups, you’re automatically learning more about the target audience, thus expediting the all-important segmentation of your target viewership.
Breaking down the Relevant Subreddits
In terms of Subreddits that fit your blog writing and content marketing needs, the list could go on and on ad infinitum – after all, Reddit currently lays claim to over 653,485 unique subreddits, according to the statistical research conducted by the experts behind Reddit Metrics. However, for the sake of this guide, we’re going to boil the discussion down to the following five selections based on their relevancy to the world of content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and brand awareness tactics.
- /r/Entrepreneur – With 132,289 members, this subreddit aims to discuss the finer points of growing and developing burgeoning businesses in the modern digital world.
- /r/Startups – Much like /r/Entrepreneur, this 82,130 strong forum offers feedback, advice, and ideas to marketers and brand owners from all walks of life.
- /r/BigSEO – Designed for professional agencies, as well as in-house SEO operations, this growing community of over 8,000 members discusses site optimization strategies, best practices, and case studies.
- /r/ContentMarketing – While /r/ContentMarketing might be smaller than the over members on this list – laying claim to less than 1,000 followers – the tight knit viewership found within covers everything from content tactics to blogging and brand ideas.
- /r/Blogging – With a more general focus on blogging best practices, this subreddit and it’s nearly 7,000 users offer feedback and constructive criticism on emerging and established sites alike.
Going Beyond the Basics with Your Reddit Tactics
“If you’re willing to invest time subscribing to great subreddits, and unsubscribing from those you find distasteful, the site can be a great tool.” – Clare McDermott, Content Marketing Institute
The final – and by far the most important – part of this in-depth look at Reddit’s ties to your content marketing and blog writing operations comes in the form of setting you up for success on this platform. As the Content Marketing Institute’s Clare McDermott explains, it all starts with treading lightly as you enter this community.
Reddit is full of horror stories regarding overly promotional posts and events, so it’s important to participate sparingly as you learn the unwritten rules of each subreddit and community. If you doubt this claim, just check out Mashable’s list of worst “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) fails for further proof of the need to approach Reddit from the right angle.
Once you’ve found the proper subreddits for your brand or content needs and you’re ready to start posting, McDermott goes on to suggest pumping the brakes a little before you dive in head first. By spending some time listening to the tone and style of the conversation, you can better prepare yourself – and your content – for the scrutiny and questions that will no doubt follow new members of the community.
Finally, as you start spreading links and information, ask yourself one very important question: Does this content help your fellow Redditors? If the answer is yes, then you’re well on your way to maximizing the impact of your time within the world of Reddit. Should you find your response on the other end of the spectrum, you’ll probably want to take things back to the drawing board before you feel the wrath of both the community and the official Reddit moderators.
There’s no denying that growing your brand’s reach, and your own knowledge of blog writing and content strategy, on Reddit requires quite a bit of hard work and effort. However, by putting what you’ve learned here to good use, it won’t be long before you stand as one of the most prominent and respected voices on The Front Page of the Internet.