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Reddit is a notoriously difficult platform for marketers to find success on. If you go in with a megaphone you will be humbled very quickly, but if you ignore the platform all together you’re missing out on a hugely engaged audience and a significant amount of traffic.
The Brandwatch React team has been experimenting with Reddit for multiple years now, and we’ve learned our lessons the hard way.
With our latest front page hit still ringing in our ears, we thought we’d share our own tips on how to get on the front page of Reddit. We’ll be focusing on blog posts, but you’ll hopefully find most of the tips helpful.
You’ll find all kinds of guides on how to succeed on Reddit as a marketer, but the truth is it’s an unpredictable beast. These are rules we’ve gradually honed over the years, and we’ve steadily had more and more posts hitting the higher pages of Reddit (a few have hit the front, resulting in some spectacular jumps in page views). Regardless of whether you hit the front page, though, a moderately successful post on a relevant subreddit full of fans of the subject can be just as valuable.
Before we get started, if you’re not clear on how Reddit works here’s an introduction for marketers.
1. You need to engage
Reddit is hard work. You can’t just swoop in, post your link in a subreddit and then swoop out and hope for the best.
Our habit is to post around ten times between our own links. This means finding quality links that you think members of different subreddits will find interesting as well as chatting to people who comment on your posts and in the different communities in general.
You’ll get some really useful (if sometimes harsh) feedback and the more you engage, the stronger your account is.
Regardless of what you’re posting where, make sure you take the time to read the rules of the subreddit (on both submissions and comments). Don’t get yourself banned.
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2. Keep your account varied
Posting ten of your own articles in a row on the same subreddit, especially if your account is fairly new, is super bad practice and will probably get you shadowbanned.
From our experience, posting your own links in a long line alerts mods to you being a first class spammer. Even if you’re posting every other link as your own, beware. Your account activity isn’t constantly scrutinized, but if someone does decide to look into what you’ve been posting you better make sure it’s not just a long list of your own links.
This isn’t totally necessary. Maybe you’ll post one link on one subreddit and it’ll shoot straight to the front page. Woooh. But if you’re looking to make Reddit a longer term part of your content promotion strategy, stick to it.
Obviously, there’s a lot of trial and error in posting, but posting links that aren’t your own and seeing how they go down will help you get a feel for what works (and you’ll read and learn more).
3. Build a reputation
Learn from what you’ve posted – what’s getting upvoted? What’s immediately downvoted? What grows over time? What times work best on each subreddit? What gets the most comments?
The worst thing you can do starting off using Reddit is to become impatient.
Become a genuine and authentic user, not a spammy wolf in a Redditor sheep’s clothing.
4. Add value or be punished
Subreddits are full of passionate people who know about the subject at hand. Your post needs to add to that conversation. If you don’t think it does, don’t post it. Spam carries harsh punishments.
Always remember that no one has intentionally followed you. They’ve come to this subreddit to talk about a subject they care about and your post might be interrupting that experience. Make sure you’re adding to it – if you don’t think you’re adding something to the conversation prepare to be downvoted through the floor and labeled a time waster.
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5. Remember, as always, you’re talking to humans
Generally speaking, this is not a platform for business jargon and boring language (unless the subreddit you’re posting on demands it). Don’t dumb down your post, but make sure people want to actually click on it.
In my opinion, you should add a sting. Our Pepsi data would not have hit the front page if the title was “Some people don’t seem to be very keen on this advert”.
This is a difficult balance, but appeal to people’s emotions and, where possible, make your post timely and topical. Depending on the rules of the subreddit, the title can differ from the actual title of the blog post.
6. Think about the timing, but not too much
If something’s going to take off, it’ll take off. But from our experience, posting in the late morning/afternoon UK time seems to yield the most upvotes (and thus, the most page views).
I tend to do my Reddit posting around lunchtime UK time – just as parts of the US are waking up.
Posting around 11am-1pm BST (6am-8am ET) means I get my daily news surrounding topics I’m interested in and share with communities who are also interested. Then if I choose to add one of my own links, it’ll hit the US just as it wakes up. I’d say I spend around 30 minutes to an hour per day (where I’m not super busy) on Reddit.
7. Be prepared
Redditors will not hold back if they think you’re wasting their time. Or if the link you’ve added contains something they disagree with. Seriously, the level of creativity in the insults handed out on Reddit is astounding. It’s like the Mean Girls of the internet (only there’s probably a higher proportion of men than women on there).
At the same time, you’ll find plenty of honest, often hilarious responses.
8. Know what you want to achieve
Working out if Reddit activity is a worthwhile thing to include in your already busy schedule depends on what you want from it.
Large numbers of page views, when you’re lucky, are great. Engagement from a community you’d like to target, great.
But not all content has a massively engaged subreddit to post on, and Redditors are not always in the mood to stay on your site and browse what you’ve got to offer. Page views for page views sake aren’t that useful. Make sure you’ve got the right intentions, and if Reddit isn’t working for you then don’t continue.
My advice? Try it for a month or two. You don’t need to dedicate hours a day. Explore the site and see if there’s a fitting place for your content and give it a go.
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