Why Your Social Listening Can’t Ignore Reddit

Kimberly Surico |
 10/24/18 |
4 min read

You have all of your bases covered on every social site and are zooming along when suddenly, your competitor blindsides you with a grassroots campaign capturing a segment you’d never considered. That’s just one scenario where Reddit could have saved you – and why it needs to be well-worn instrument in your social listening toolbox.

Understanding Subreddits

Much like when Coca-Cola used NetBase Audience 3D to take a personalized approach, targeting a huge segment on Twitter via ads, Reddit offers opportunities to personalize via subreddits. So many subreddits.

What are they? Self-selected segments created by and for Redditors. And they’re powerful niche markets.

Taking Coca-Cola, for example, we see a subreddit devoted specifically to the company, and others where product mentions are notable:

Why care? Exploring subreddits offers intel directly from consumers – and they’re quite influential in their respective areas. It’s why we started pulling in that data, the full firehose actually: “Reddit coverage gives insight into thousands of dedicated communities organized around specific interests – enabling marketers to learn more about their brand perception, and even glean insights from enthusiast communities to drive new product creation.”

The social insight subreddits offer is next-level, but it’s also a rabbit hole you can get lost in for hours. It’s best to narrow your search – necessary, even. And the tool you’re using can make all the difference.

When we look in NetBase Pro around Coca-Cola’s acquisition of Costa Coffee, for example, to explore the buzz around it and the coffee in general, we see some typical (and not so typical) results bubble up from Reddit:

The unfortunate, alleged racial profiling incidents at Starbucks are certainly something for that company – and its competitors – to monitor closely. More interesting here though, is the discovery of Costa Coffee staffing some of its shops with deaf people.

We also see that this conversation is happening right now because Starbucks just opened its first “signing store,” and the sentiment around that is incredible:

What does this offer Costa by way of competitive intelligence? A lot.

Diving In and Exploring

While the deaf community subreddit may appear small (and many subreddits are), your search must never end there. The potential offered with crossposting uplifting news supporting this community (to the uplifting news reddit!), is humungous by any measure:

It’s where we find the Starbucks “Signing Store” post, and it’s a likely home for any new business effort speaking to specific, marginalized population concerns. There’s also “aww” (if you include pets, because who doesn’t love cats) or “todayilearned” which offers all kinds of insight and is always relevant, and highly trafficked, and just too many subreddits to list . . . but here’s a list!

And once you find a few relevant subreddits, you don’t have to worry about popping in to each every day, you can combine subreddits together, creating a multireddit, by meshing more than one subreddits into a URL like so: www.reddit.com/r/subreddit+subreddit.

The folks at Hootsuite created the following multireddit, “combining three of the best marketing subreddits into one: www.reddit.com/r/askmarketing+marketing+SampleSize+entreprenuer,” as an example. And it would be a good one to bookmark and explore as you begin sorting out how to use the site effectively.

Reddit Ready

Once you perform your own sentiment analysis and spend some time listening and poking around in the results, and have uncovered/combined those you wish to monitor, you may be wondering (again) – why? This is a site full of anonymous people. How can that help you?

The “man on the street” has much more influence online than you’d expect, particularly if s/he is Reddit savvy. And quite a few are. Can you imagine using real customers in ads? Or employees? It works pretty well for Dove and for Johnsonville Sausage:

Hearing and seeing “regular people” has a definite effect on viewers, and it offers an added authenticity that a celebrity just can’t replicate. And they can host AMAs (ask me anything) that speak to your product or service, they just need to disclose what they’re doing – or they’ll get called out for it and burn. These tips will help, basically:

  • Answer every question.
  • Honesty is always the best policy.
  • If you have something to hide, don’t host an AMA.
  • Never be too promotional.

A perfect, though low-key example of an everyday person hosting an AMA is this Lorry Driver. Though not particularly influential, there’s nothing saying he couldn’t be!

If you had a transportation company to promote and did so in the appropriate subreddits, along with some relevant sentiment around providing for families or creating meaning in some way – some appeal to the emotion of your audience – the potential (and angles) you could explore are limitless.

It’s really all about where the sentiment takes you, but you have to be along for the ride or you’ll miss out. Just ask the Lorry Driver, he knows.

We can help you get there – reach out and we’ll take you on a tour around the social stratosphere!

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