Understanding Reddit Influencers and How to Activate Them

Kimberly Surico |
 05/31/19 |
4 min read

Influencers web-wide share many characteristics, but brands would be ill advised to lump Reddit Influencers together with the rest. Sorting out how to activate Reddit influencers, these online connoisseurs, is secondary to understanding what Reddit influencers are all about. We’ll cover both essential components here!

Who Are These Reddit Influencers?

Redditors are, arguably, the purest form of influence found online. These folks are focused on curating amazing, hilarious and/or serious content and having meaningful discussions around the same. They don’t do it to get paid by businesses, and they aren’t peddling their services anywhere (that we’ve seen) online.

You won’t find Reddit influencers on Influencer Farms – and you really shouldn’t be using those sites anyway, as influencers who are just influential in general are more aptly termed “inflaters” and they’re beneficial to no brand.

Reddit influencers are the best kind of influencers because they span every category possible and – good news/bad news – they’re either unaware of their influence and/or disinterested in monetizing this influence.

Good news, bad news indeed!

Typical Influence Indicators & Why All Is Not Lost

If Redditors are disinterested in the influence game, why bother? Because approaching influence from more than one angle – from the brand side – is solid long-term thinking. Some of the most challenging marketing tactics produce the greatest reward.

And with more than 542 million monthly visitors – these very actively engaged Redditors offer a treasure trove of promotional capability for brands willing to put their time in. With an AI-informed social analytics tool guiding your efforts, it would be an unfortunate lack of planning to allow a competitor to establish a foothold here first.

Although Reddit influencers are anonymous, with unique user names that are typically not associated with personally identifiable information, you can come at this from a couple of different ways:

Tracking Trending Influencer Conversations

The first way includes identifying influencers in NetBase, focusing on top trending conversations and hashtags around your industry focus/topic:

trending topics for influencer activation

Or maybe you want to focus on influencers sharing the most engaging content – or cultural/digital influencers!

And using this method, you can review a variety of metrics, such as post volume, sentiment and impressions for each influencer. You’ll find many folks to add to a short list this way.

From there, after you’ve narrowed down your list to those who would do well promoting your brand, you can reach out to them and ask if any are active on Reddit and if they’d be willing to help create meaningful conversation in relevant subreddits for you.

Sorting Out Specific Subreddits

The second method requires digging in to Reddit, which you should be doing regardless to identify these “relevant subreddits.” Creating an account on Reddit and using it (transparently, as your brand, following the best practices for Reddit that we outlined previously) is really the best thing you can do for your promotional efforts, if you intend to include Reddit in the mix.

After you’ve identified subreddits, participated appropriately and not run afoul of the moderators nor other Redditors, you’ll see many influential folks with associated karma (measure of credibility on Reddit) and can create a shortlist of Reddit Influencers you’d like to activate.

And now it gets tricky.

How to Activate Reddit Influencers

Messaging Karma Kings/Queens on Reddit to establish a relationship is tricky business.

Due to the anonymized nature of the site, the power lies with the individual – not your brand. So coming right out and asking them to promote widgets for you will mean you’ve wasted your time on a platform you’ve yet to understand. Best to delete your account and never return, basically, as you’ll get blasted to kingdom come by the undoubtedly offended party you connected with.

Rather, you’ll want to use your sentiment analysis tool to have a deep understanding of unmet needs in your category. For example, if you’re an airline – what is making people want to book or cancel flights, specifically.

In NetBase, you can explore items down to a granular level and have a solid sense of the conversation, as it happens in real-time:

As you capture this data, you’ll want to start a conversation with these Reddit influencers around those needs and ways they could help you further understand what people really need/want – ways you can improve people’s lives somehow and this influencer can help you do it. There’s always a way.

The Art of Partnerships

Maybe this airline could partner with a hotel to create a smoother overall trip (first tweet above) -or there could be a tech integration that requires an upgrade on an airline’s back-end. One never knows until they dig in to the sentiment and fully explore the share of voice a particular complaint is receiving. It’s all an opportunity to disrupt the market. And Redditors are always at the cutting edge of disruption. (Yet another reason to be active there!)

As you interact and learn more about the subreddit and your newly found Karma-abundant contacts, you can gradually progress in the conversation and ask him/her to be a paid brand ambassador for the ideas they’ve helped you develop – or at the least, vet. Ideas they’re excited to help promote and can feel good about bringing to the given category.

It’s a not a quick process, but it’s worthwhile if you can invest the time. And if you reach out, we can show you lots of influencer tracking tips to help speed up the process!

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