January 8, 2021

An Insider’s Guide to Reddit

An Insider’s Guide to Reddit

Reddit is one of the most valuable platforms for brands and marketers to share stories and connect with highly-engaged audiences. In 2020 Reddit saw 52 million daily active users, 2 billion comments, and 49.2 billion up votes. Those are some impressive stats, and they’re only growing as users continue to engage and spend more time on the platform while staying at home.

This is a hugely captive audience that brands can harness in a really powerful way- the key is learning how to do so. David Brickely spoke with Reddit’s Brand Strategy Lead, Ash Dunn, on the Business of Social podcast to get his thoughts on how brands can set themselves up for success on the platform, avoid rookie mistakes, and learn how to listen to and properly engage with their communities.

Below, we summarize everything we learned and how to apply all of the advice Ash provided:

Listen to What People Are Saying About Your Brand

One of Ash’s biggest pieces of advice when it comes to brand strategy is to listen. Listen to what people are saying about your brand, and one of the best ways to do so is through communities like Reddit. It offers an instant gut check, allowing marketers to pick up on the conversations happening around their brands, and as Ash told listeners, “lurking is learning and listening.”

Before jumping head-first into a new platform, Ash recommends taking the time to get to know the space, the rules and how the community works. “So much of the conversation on Reddit is dedicated by the rules,” he explained. “If you’re in a community about cats standing up, you can’t post about dogs.”

Reddit has been around for 15 years and many of its most active users have been there for just as long and can tell when a brand isn’t being authentic in the space and will call them out on it. The best way to understand and navigate these nuances is to “lurk” (Reddit speak for being in a community but not posting in it) around the platform, listening and learning before engaging.

Expect to Stumble

While it’s crucial to get to know your audience and the in’s and out’s of a platform before posting, don’t be afraid to stumble a bit as you figure out how it works best for your brand. Ash explained, “if you’re walking into a new space you should expect that you’re going to stub your toe,” and the same goes for getting your sea legs on the platform. Ash’s advice: be sincere and authentic and work to find ways your brand can provide value to the community. 

Though, there are some things he’d advise brands against, namely not chasing what’s trending in the moment. “There’s always this thing that happens where somebody does something really cool and then everybody crowds in and it’s not cool anymore- you always just hope you’re on the other side of that.” 

Be Authentic and Provide Value 

Make sure the content you’re producing isn’t trying too hard or feels forced. That can be even more challenging in 2020 when everyone’s trying to get it right, but Ash’s advice goes back to being sincere and authentic to your brand’s voice and finding ways to provide value to your community.

Tips for Success

Ash loves when brands tell real stories about what they’re doing. It’s the ultimate way to show consumers how your brand is providing value in a way only your brand uniquely can, whether that’s by making someone’s day or giving back. “That’s the marketing that never gets old or feels tired– it always hits the spot.”

Share stories about innovation or how your product is made. People remember what you’ve done and that’s definitely true in 2020. Brands have been looking for even more ways to show up around their values and what matters to them- make sure you share what you’re doing with your community. “Focus on real people, real stories, and real action.”

Reddit is a hugely powerful platform that can help grow you brand’s audience and engagement when used well. We hope you gained as much insight from our conversation with Ash Dunn as we did, and remember, don’t be afraid to stumble when you’re starting out and strive to be sincere and authentic in the content you share!

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