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Published March 30th 2023

Social Listening on Reddit: Why Your Brand Shouldn’t Neglect This Channel

You can learn a great deal about consumers in your industry by meeting them where they're voicing their opinions freely and openly – Reddit. So why should you master social listening on Reddit?

Today’s social media landscape is highly fragmented. If you are looking to better understand your market and build more brand awareness, focusing on just traditional social media channels won’t cut it anymore.

There are thousands of highly engaged, topic-based, and region-specific networks that create a growing pool of available data for brands to analyze. Reddit is one of them.

Reddit is massive. While the platform is reported to have 50 million unique daily users, Reddit’s website also attracts more than 1 billion unique visitors each month, as many people simply visit and use the website without registering or logging in. And that makes Reddit one of the most popular websites in the world.

So what is Reddit?

According to Reddit, it’s a network of communities where people can dive into their interests, hobbies, and passions, and there's certainly a community for any topic, from finances to Dungeons & Dragons to mushrooms

Reddit plays the role of an aggregator of content submitted by different people, using personal accounts and stories, making their posts much more authentic and relatable. Redditors, as Reddit users call themselves, use the platform in many ways, including to seek help with a specific issue, to stay informed about their favorite topics, and to stay connected with other people who share their interests.

While user demographics on Reddit skew towards a younger audience, the platform provides space for all kinds of unique topics of interest, users, and communities, making it easier to uncover insights otherwise difficult to find elsewhere.

How does Reddit work?

On Reddit users can submit posts, and other users can ‘upvote’ or ‘downvote’ those posts based on their liking. All submissions are curated by the Reddit community; posts that get upvotes, move up the Reddit rankings and get seen by more people. Those posts that get downvotes, get buried by new content, so you’ll have to do a lot of scrolling to get to them.

This system allows Redditors to have more control of the content they see in their feeds, and that makes Reddit different from other social platforms, where social posts with more engagement – negative or positive – usually get seen by more people.

r/: What are subreddits? 

Reddit is split into sub-communities known as subreddits and written as ‘r/:’, which are created by users and cover a wide range of topics. Each subreddit contributes to the overall list of submissions, and a post in any subreddit (except private ones) can potentially reach the front page of the website (the ultimate goal of a brand if the feedback is positive).

What makes Reddit data so useful?

Niche community conversations are particularly rich in insights because that’s where people go to discuss specific topics, events, ideas, brands, and products with like-minded individuals. Because of affinity to an interest area, targeted forum discussions usually get high engagement as well. Issues or trends often first surface in forums before they are amplified across social media.

There’s also a wealth of insights when it comes to finding reasons why consumers do what they do. People go to forums to talk about the products and services they love or hate, and the conversation is usually rich in detail, and because Reddit has a forum-style discussion structure, topics shared on Reddit get a lot of interaction in threads, where people often share and weigh their concerns and opinions.

This makes finding relevant conversations on the topics that matter to you much easier, and it makes it possible to study specific demographics.

Why should your brand listen to conversations on Reddit?

There are many reasons why brands should incorporate Reddit into their social listening strategy. Here are four important use cases for you to consider:

  1. Market research: As we’ve already mentioned at the beginning, Reddit aggregates all types of content submitted by all kinds of demographics and individuals. Any topic you can think of likely already has a dedicated subreddit and an engaged group of individuals discussing the topic. From there, brands can take a deeper look at those conversations and gauge the audience’s attitudes, likes, dislikes, and preferences.
  2. Competitor research: Brands can use Reddit for competitor research and analysis. Niche subreddits contain a lot of information about popular brands and products in each industry that consumers are talking about. By comparing the context in which brands and products in each category or vertical are being discussed, and combining sentiment and audience analysis, brands can gain insights into how to better position themselves or develop new products to compete in their respective target markets.
  3. Audience analysis: Reddit is the perfect place to find clusters of consumers who have similar interests and behavioral patterns. The platform offers a unique opportunity to study and analyze your target audience based on shared interests. Social listening on Reddit can help brands discover everything from getting a quick vibe check (eg, finding people’s reactions to a new brand campaign) to surfacing in-depth qualitative audience feedback. More than that, understanding where your target consumers are at every point of their journey (and how they are feeling at that moment in time), can help define the customer journey path.
  4. Customer care: Exceptional customer service on social is rare, and most of the time, brands get to see customer complaints far too late. By monitoring those conversations on Reddit and addressing the issues (no matter how small), brands can kill two birds with one stone: Improve current customer experiences and how future customers talk about your products.

Interested in learning how to use Reddit data to inform your decision-making? Explore our new guide on How to Use Reddit for Product & Consumer Research.

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