Reddit isn’t where you go to share puppy pictures with your friends and family. It’s where users congregate with like-minded individuals over mutual interests. It’s where people go to explore the topics that align with their values – and share memes.
Across any theme, Reddit users are concentrated in tight-knit communities, or subreddits, talking about their interests. They’re also discussing their favorite brands or products and shaping consumer opinion in the process.
Reddit conversations certainly have an influence on markets, and we’ll explore why brands should watch the platform for:
- Mitigating risk and understanding consumer perception
- Stopping a crisis before it happens
- Using consumer tone and trends to fuel messaging and leadership
2020 sent everyone a memo on the importance of market intelligence gleaned from conclusive market research. As you can see from the following stats, the only way is up.
- The global revenue of the market research industry doubled in size from 2008 – 2019 to $73.4B.
- In 2021, the S. sector of the market research industry stands at $23.7B.
- In 2016, threat intelligence was a relatively small subset of the market intelligence industry at $3.02B but is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.4% through 2025.
Reddit offers an array of consumer intel that is primarily text-based. That means it’s a match made in heaven for the natural language processing (NLP) capabilities of today’s artificial intelligence-based data analytics tools.
As such, let’s explore how brands can leverage Reddit to their advantage and come out on top.
Mitigate Risk and Understand Consumer Perception
Understanding consumer opinion doesn’t have to be complicated. The problem for many brands lies in consistency as attitudes seemingly change with the weather. And if you’re not looking, your brand can get soaked by the changing tides of consumer thought.
You’ll likely remember the GameStop debacle instigated by users on the Wall Street Bets subreddit that made international news in early February. It caught institutional investors off guard as retail investors banded together to buy up shares of their beloved $GME stock. And the movement got its momentum on Reddit.
That, of course, is the most well-known example. But get this – the event made users on Reddit realize that they could influence markets if they stuck together. And that’s what makes Reddit a little different than other social sites. Interest groups on the platform are hyper-concentrated and form subsets of consumer opinion.
That’s why paying attention to what’s going on in the platform as it pertains to your brand or industry is an excellent idea. Though Reddit is smaller than Instagram and Facebook, it has more monthly active users than Twitter. So, don’t let its lack of flash lull you into dismissing it entirely.
You’ll want to monitor conversations closely on Reddit for cues on sentiment and changes to consumer perception. They may vary from discussions on other platforms. Still, Reddit can be an incubator for shifts in consumer thought around brands, products and industry.
For instance, suppose you’re in the finance industry. In that case, you’d want to keep an eye on blockchain technology – and DeFi (decentralized finance) in particular. The DeFi space flies under the radar as the news media gawks at Bitcoin and Ethereum, but Reddit notices. And users are talking about their likes, dislikes, and concerns on the platform, as you can see below.
Users here are interested in long-term investments in cryptocurrencies representing the DeFi space, such as Compound, Aave and Chainlink. They’re also talking about lucrative interest rates that are available and the options that smart contracts offer for personal finance.
DeFi has massive disruptive potential to traditional finance down the road. Some institutions will probably blow it off, but the smart money is paying attention. No matter what industry you’re in, you might want to keep tabs on this conversation as it develops, so you’re not caught unaware as the space matures.
They say that knowledge is power. And the power is in mitigating your brand risk through market intelligence informed from diligent market research.
Just keep in mind that all disruptive technologies started as an ember. Social listening will give you insights into consumer perceptions that allow you to adapt and mitigate risk.
Let’s look a little more closely at that.
Stop a Crisis Before it Happens
Allowing your brand to get complacent with emerging trends is a quick way to run afoul of consumer perception. And missing out on intel that would alert you to shifts in consumer sentiment is equally destructive.
Social media monitoring in tandem with market research that illuminates emerging trends are the dynamic duo in your defense against a crisis. At least the one’s that brands create for themselves by allowing their messaging to lapse into tone-deafness.
Of course, many market factors can play havoc with your brand. Unfortunate similarities between names of events and your brand, for example, can bring unforeseen negative mentions – ahem, Coronavirus.
That’s where market intelligence based on consistent social media monitoring will illuminate conversations surrounding your brand. You’ll get familiar with the hues, perceptions and volumes of conversations as they play out over time.
With that intel under your belt, it’s apparent when your brand mentions move outside normal. Picking up on anomalies before they reach critical mass is the key to stopping a crisis before it happens. Getting out in front of these conversations allows you to save face with consumer perception and even save your stock price.
Last month, after Elon Musk stated on Twitter that Tesla was no longer accepting Bitcoin as payment, the price of Bitcoin began to tumble, and conversations heated up on Reddit. A few days later, on May 19, China announced plans to stifle access to the cryptocurrency within its borders. You can see the conversation growing on Reddit throughout May.
So, if this event were to cast a shadow over your brand, you need to act quickly. Having a familiarity with the usual conversation is your first step. Detecting that it’s moving outside of routine is next. Then you need to understand the intricacies of consumer perception within the growing conversation. That’s the ammo you need for your messaging.
In this example, MicroStrategy holds significant amounts of Bitcoin on its balance sheet, and everybody knows it. CEO Michael Saylor took to Twitter first thing in the morning after China’s announcement to let everyone know that MicroStrategy hadn’t parted with a cent.
— Michael Saylor (@michael_saylor) May 19, 2021
Acting quickly helped to mitigate further losses to MicroStrategy’s stock price as markets tumbled and strengthen faith in Bitcoin at the same time. In case you were unaware, Saylor is a key opinion leader in the crypto space, so retail investors might have run for the doors if he had sold when the price dropped.
And while this is an extreme global example, outmaneuvering a crisis with your brand works similarly.
Use Consumer Tone and Industry Trends to Fuel Messaging and Thought Leadership
Brands can discern a lot of concentrated market intelligence by aiming their social listening tools in Reddit’s direction. Learn how consumers are discussing your products, how they are using them and what shortcomings they are facing.
With your knowledge of global trends, use Reddit to pick apart nuance in industry trends. There are entire subreddits dedicated to the most niche industries. The users there are discussing the minutia of your sector, which yields precious insight for brands that take the time to listen.
Trends wax and wane over time. And consumer opinion shifts along with them. Reddit is a goldmine if you want to follow consumer thought over the lifespan of your product. They’re talking about you – all you have to do is listen up.
Need to know how users think about the textures, tastes, and appearance of your plant-based burgers? That intel is literally just lying around.
Harnessing consumer perceptions and trends gives you the market intelligence you need to see where your industry is headed. That allows you to get on the cusp of innovation and thought leadership.
Market research that’s heavy on social listening provides crucial detail into consumer tone, so you know what to highlight in your brand messaging. It allows you to craft marketing that works because the consumer feels heard. You’re talking directly to a need. That’s resonance.
In summary, Reddit has a lot to offer brands looking to sharpen their voice of the customer (VoC) efforts. It certainly carries clout with how general consumer opinions are shaped. And since Reddit isn’t the noisiest kid on the playground, many brands aren’t paying attention to the stories unfolding there. There’s your leg up on the competition.
Are you satisfied with the market intelligence your brand is operating on? Reach out for a demo, and we’ll show you how world-class market research tools can help you blow the doors off the competition.