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Even though it often gets lumped into the same category as all the other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, Reddit is rather different.
Not just in terms of looks and functionality, but also in terms of its users, which it has plenty of, whose visits amount to over 8 billion page views per month. Those are some staggering numbers, staggering enough to make Reddit the 17th most popular website.
Apart from being a great source of information, or just a way to pass the time, Reddit is also valuable as a tool for growing your small business. We have had a chat with Michelle Caine, a manager at BestEssays, who told us all about how they have leveraged their company's presence on Reddit in order to grow it.
Some of the things you should do right off the bat
- Avoid using your real name or personal info. While anonymity is usually frowned upon elsewhere, here it is welcomed, and the way Reddit keep things in check is by keeping tabs on everyone's posting history and determining the authenticity of the posts.
- All you need to do to create an account is come up with a username and password.
- Every new user will automatically be subscribed to the liveliest subreddits, such as r/videos or r/gifs, but you are also encouraged to explore others.
- In case you're not familiar with the term, subreddits are niche communities. If you are looking to grow your small business, r/entrepreneur and r/smallbusiness subreddits are essential.
- Since you are able to remain anonymous and have multiple accounts, Reddit tracks your activity and awards Karma points, which are a reflection of your contribution to the conversation. This includes both comments and posts.
- The reason why Reddit is so useful is because of the wealth of information. This means you should give back in equal measure.
How to Use Reddit for Business
Taking advantage of the anonymity to shamelessly plug your company or product will not work on Reddit. In fact, you will probably alienate half the crowd. So, what you do then?
Here are 10 ways in which you can use Reddit to boost your business:
1. Paid Ads
Advertising on Reddit is totally safe, as well as incredibly easy. Unlike all the other platforms and social networks, where you have to spend countless hours trying to address your target audience, on Reddit, it can be found inside the appropriate subreddits. What you need to keep in mind is that Reddit ads function on a CPM basis.
Here is a post written by Ryan Luedecke, who used Reddit ads to generate more sales for his online business. He invested about $400 dollars into Reddit adds, and made over $2,200 in sales. He leveraged the fact that 15% of the subscribers to his service, Sumo Jerky, were coming from Reddit.
2. Pay Attention to subreddit r/deals Subreddit
This is about as easy as it gets. Inside the r/deals, you can promote your service or product to the people which are interested in becoming your customers. No need to lure them in, they are already there and looking to spend.
Ikea used this to their advantage, and they haven't even posted a deal on Reddit. Someone simply uploaded a deal they were offering in a printed ad in one of the subreddits, and it went viral.
3. Provide Additional Customer Service through Reddit
While you should definitely have a reliable and accessible customer service on your official website, you can also help customers which are following you on Reddit. Be there to answer their questions, respond to their comments, and provide solutions to their problems.
Check out how Arielle Dyda, who is an e-commerce manager for a global fashion retailer Uniqlo, used Reddit to answer users' question and provide customer support. The result? 64% of the sales which were a direct result of their social media activity, came from Reddit.
4. Talk about Your Business in a Non-Salesy Way
We have already mentioned how shameless self-promotion is big no-no on Reddit. Luckily, you can mention your business in case it has given back to the community in a helpful way, or if you have clever approach they could try regarding a particular issue.
According to Michelle Caine, a manager at BestEssays, this means creating high-quality content that is actually helpful for the reader. Focus on addressing their issues and pain points, and sneak in a mention of the original, more in—depth post which contains even more info, and which is located on your blog or website.
5. Organize an AMA
AMA, which is short for Ask Me Anything, is a great way to let the people know about your business. And if you think your business is too big or too small for it, think again, because everyone is using AMA, from startups to corporate giants. Just introduce yourself and your company inside r/AMA, and encourage Redditors to ask you what's on their minds.
Here is a great example of how actor Peter Dinklage, who you also may know as Tyrion Lannister from the massively popular Game of Thrones, hosted an AMA. He not only answered questions regarding GoT and his roles, but also used it to help raise money on Kickstarter for an indie film, and offered prizes in exchange. You can do something similar when it comes to your business.
6. Curate Viral Content
This doesn't mean you shouldn't promote your own original content, because you should, but you can also make use of videos, GIFs, memes, images, infographics, and articles which are relevant to your business, and which the Redditors might find useful. And because Reddit is so massive, you can find all the content you want to curate inside its subreddits.
One of the ways you can do this is by looking into multireddits and clicking the Top tab. There you can view the best-performing posts over a selected time period to find evergreen content. To find content which is about to break or go viral, check out the Rising tab on the front page of Reddit and use it to help your business.
7. Find Collaborators
Once your business starts going big, you're not going to be able to do every single thing on your own, which means you will need to hire someone to help you out. You can recruit people on freelance websites, but we suggest looking for them inside relevant subreddits.
You will need to create a profile on Upwork, Freelancer, Fivver, as well as any other platform which gathers freelancers from all over the globe and find one which is capable of contributing to your business.
8. Get Feedback and Keep an Eye on Market Trends
Reddit enables you to get in touch with your followers and customers directly and receive valuable feedback, which can help you improve your product or customer experience. Moreover, you don't need to spend countless hours researching market trends. All you need to do is check what all the Redditors are talking about. Plus, there is a mountain of information inside each of the business subreddits you can make use of.
Here is an example of how Fathead, which is a company that designs and sells vinyl wall graphics handled the situation after receiving negative feedback on Reddit. After the user had received the wrong graphics, they apologized and sent them an entire collection of the graphics they originally ordered. They admitted their mistake, and even made fun at their own expense. They turned a crisis into a major success.
9. Start a Subreddit Contest
You should check with the moderators, but in case you decide to host a content where you give away free stuff, they will probably allow you to do so, because it gets everybody talking. People start leaving posts, sharing information, and engaging, which can only be a good thing.
Get in touch with the mods and ask them nicely. If they respond positively, they will post about your contest, which will attract the attention of the users, because they trust the mods. Of course, you will need to offer the mods an incentive or a prize.
10. Set Up a Calendar
Another method of keeping your followers engaged and informed is to set up a calendar. Depending on what sort of business you run, keeping your followers informed about the upcoming events, deals, sales, and offers will help you keep the engaged. Most users visit Reddit on a daily basis, so timely updates are a must.
For example, the Phillies are using their subreddit to share interesting news and updates about the team, as well as their game schedule and rank board. A lot of users turn to Reddit to get their dose of news, so you might as well take advantage of that.
Find your target audience on Reddit
Everyone knows that Reddit is awesome, but now that you know all the ways in which it can be used as a tool to grow your business, you should start implementing it in your business strategy.
Your target audience is there, and just waiting for you to offer them something useful.