Reddit is the quirky anomaly among social media platforms for sure. Many brands still don’t quite understand how to approach Reddit – and if that’s you, you’re missing out. Of course, you can’t go guns blazing on your marketing messaging like you would on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
That’s because the community works a lot differently – being super skeptical of outright marketing tactics that work elsewhere. But – Reddit offers the opportunity to touch base with an engaged community through specific Reddit subreddits where users are speaking on subject matter relevant to your brand. Angling your brand into the conversation just right is the key. And doing so pays dividends in brand awareness.
Reddit’s subreddits cover tons of niche areas that are sure to dance around your brand and products. Users are constantly using the platform to do their market research, so it pays to be paying attention from a brand perspective. If not – your competitors will. That being the case, you want to know which Reddit subreddits cater to activity close to your brand and insert your brand to answer questions at the very least.
Anyway, in this article we’ll cover the basics on understanding the Reddit community so you can put your best foot forward. Secondly, we’ll talk about how you can raise your brand awareness by speaking into the niche Reddit subreddits that orbit your brand interests. And lastly – we’ll explore five examples of how brands have done brand promotion right on the platform.
If you’re not too familiar with Reddit, this is important – it’s super easy to get shunned in the community, so you need the right approach.
Let’s talk a little about that …
Understanding the Reddit Community
Reddit bills itself as the front page of the internet. The social network is composed of tens of thousands of subreddits that usually serve a particular topic like r/Aquariums or r/Handwriting. Users can post content to their favorite Reddit subreddits where community members can either upvote or downvote these posts.
Posts getting lots of upvotes will rise to the top where more subreddit members are likely to see when they sort their feed for ‘hot’ posts. If a post gets enough upvotes, it will also be visible on r/All, which is Reddit’s front page for the current list of highly upvoted content. However, it’s rare for super niche subreddits to make the front page. Spend enough time there and you’ll see which ones routinely make the rounds.
Don’t let your marketing wheels get going too fast just yet though, Reddit is a tough nut to crack. Your goal isn’t getting your branded content on the front page, because honestly – it’s probably never going to happen. Redditors are super skeptical of brands infringing on their turf. A post you might feel comfortable putting on Instagram could be a death sentence on Reddit, and the community seems to have a very long memory. That’s because they hate blatant marketing.
The Reddit community is all about give and take. And they will shun a brand coming in expecting attention when they haven’t anted up. In other words, you have to give if you want to receive.
So, what’s the point of bothering then? Well – for one thing, Reddit is bigger than Twitter. Secondly, there are tons of Reddit subreddits that could be impactful for your brand. If you strategically input your messaging in a way that helps answer user questions and alleviate needs, then your brand will come across as helpful, which can garner you much needed community support
We’ll touch on that a little deeper in the next section, but the main thing you need to remember is you can’t go ham on marketing and earn respect on Reddit without paying your dues first. It may seem weird, but the effort is worth it. Do it right and you’ll have a very loyal following that is quick to recommend your brand or product to others over a competitor. You just have to win over the skeptics.
Like we said, you don’t want to waste time gunning for the front page. After all, that’s probably not where your audience is hanging out anyway. Dialing into niche subreddits is where it’s at – and where your potential superfans are hanging out.
Still thinking about a marketing angle? Well – if you win the right Redditors into your corner, they’ll do a lot of your marketing for you.
Raising Brand Awareness with Niche Reddit Subreddits
If you search brand names on Reddit who have made profiles, you’ll find a vast wasteland of brands who’ve tried and failed. Many of their last posts were made years ago – only to give up and never return.
Many others have tried branded ads; however, many users know their way around those. So, what’s a brand to do? You’ve got to put on your customer service hat and reach into the Reddit subreddits that are relevant to you and your audience. A little social listening here goes a long way.
Since most brands are terrible at Reddit – you can do better. Social listening can put you on top of the Reddit subreddits that are critical to your brand. For instance, with NetBase Quid, you can simply run a search on the terms, products, or keywords that matter to you, and filter the domain section for relevant Reddit subreddits speaking to your point of interest (and theirs).
Let’s take PC gaming for example. The market is huge and hotly contested. The audience is feverish in their love for everything PC oriented and it’s where a lot of Gen Z’rs come to cut their teeth on the latest and greatest.
A simple analysis on PC gaming will reveal where you should narrow your focus.
In just a few moments we have the top Reddit subreddits where we can begin promoting brand awareness. Remember, we don’t go in hot – we monitor for brand mentions in these particular subreddits and dedicate resources to clarifying product mentions or offering support. This is how you build trust in the community, and ultimately, how you get word around that your brand is pretty cool. It’s all about word of mouth.
There’s one more important thing to note before you get started. Each Reddit subreddit has a moderation team that is very protective of their forum. As such, make sure that you read the ‘sidebar’ for each subreddit you are interested in. It will be contained on the right side of your web browser once you’re on the subreddit’s main page. Some are lax, and some are super strict. Play by the rules because you don’t want to get your brand banned from a subreddit that could be strategic. And some mods are quick to do so.
For example, here’s the sidebar of the Reddit subreddit r/HomeDecorating. It’s succinct, but lays down the law about self-promotion and spam. Be sure to respect it.
If you have questions, email the moderation team first to make sure you’re playing it safe. Once you get the hang of if though, it’s on!
Let’s look at a few brands doing it right.
Five Ways Brands Have Used Reddit Subreddits to Promote Awareness
Love it or hate it, cryptocurrency is here to stay. And when people purchase their coins, they do so on crypto exchanges. Probably the most well-known are Coinbase and Binance – however, Kraken is another exchange that’s intent on gaining ground in the crypto space.
Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange where users can buy, sell, and earn interest on their crypto holdings. And they’re super good at answering consumer questions on relevant subreddits and even on their dedicated r/KrakenSupport page where the community knows where to find them. Getting an answer quick shows dedication – and Kraken is doing Redditors a solid with fast follow-ups to consumer questions, which spreads the good word about the brand.
Like we said, you don’t have to go full on marketing on Reddit to promote brand awareness. Here we see Samsung chiming in on a user’s comment on a niche Reddit subreddit.
R/PCMasterrace is one of the huge subreddits for PC fans, whereas r/ultrawidemasterrace is the haven for gamers with wide monitor setups. Finding your niche and connecting with users is the best way to go, and Samsung seems to have it figured out.
This one’s an oldie but definitely worth a mention. Nissan hit gold when it asked two of its community managers, who happened to be Redditors themselves, to just be human and transparent on the platform for the sake of the brand.
Subsequently, they made a post asking users to request their favorite things on Amazon – and then they bought the items for those that responded, along with 30 months of Reddit gold (a perk on the platform that benefits users).
That’s one way to make brand believers out of hard-core skeptics! Here’s the follow-up post …
If you’ve spent a little time in marketing, you know that getting a little tongue in cheek can pay dividends. That’s what bidet attachment manufacturer Tushy did when they challenged Redditors to upvote their post. In return they promised to change the name of their product from Bum Wash to … well, just read for yourself. But guess what? It worked.
Corsair is a leading provider of hardware and software solutions for content creators. And they also use Reddit as an extension of their customer service. As such, they’ve gained trust with the Reddit community and built their own r/Corsair subreddit that has just shy of 100k subscribers.
Reddit is a special place among social media platforms. The community is completely different than Twitter and Instagram – but it’s worth getting to know. Users are constantly comparing brands, so if you can build trust, you’ll have a huge leg up on the competition. Honestly, most brands give up because they don’t know how to approach the audience. Don’t let that be you.
As we mentioned previously, social listening does the heavy lifting for you, so you know which Reddit subreddits to focus on to begin with. Reach out for a demo, and don’t let this goldmine of consumer intelligence go to waste!