Amber Schultz started posting content to Reddit and saw an increase of nearly 1,500 new visitors to her blog in 10 hours. Chris Morrison added a media analysis of Game of Thrones to the site and saw that 62% of his new traffic was from Reddit alone. This is a powerful online community and could drastically change the number of new people who visit your website.
Here are my ideas on how using a social media site like Reddit can help facilitate growth in your business.
“A social media site?” you ask. “I already use social media sites for my business” you say. “How is this any different?” you might wonder. Don’t worry, I’ll get to that.
I suppose the best way to begin is to explain what Reddit actually is.
Reddit For The Uninitiated
If you have a few minutes, check out this funny and informative video explaining what Reddit is.
The site itself is actually a conglomerate of many sites and ideas called “subreddits”. Essentially, a person gets interested in a particular topic and wants to find discussions on it, so they browse the site. Want to discuss the absence of Oscars on Leonardo DiCaprio’s nightstand? Head on over to “/r/movies” and throw in a post. Need to keep up-to-date on world events? Click “/r/worldnews” and learn about everything from the rising unemployment numbers in Spain to relief-funding efforts for typhoon affected countries.
I think you are starting to get the idea. You can find just about anything on Reddit… including a subreddit devoted entirely to pictures of Joesph-Gordon Levitt’s head on giraffes.
Here are some numbers on Reddit traffic:
This is a huge number of people with a wide array of ideas and needs, from all over the world.
So What’s So Good About It?
Perhaps the most important feature is the selectivity of the impressions you gain.
This site automatically segments your market and connects you with like-minded individuals. This isn’t the shock-and-awe blitzkrieg that you might see from billboard or TV ads, looking to get the attention of any onlooker. This is a targeted social media presence, a completely different offering than Facebook or Twitter.
This site is also insanely interactive. Users are always submitting ideas and engaging in detailed discussions about their topics of choice. This allows you to discuss ideas and strategies, get a general public opinion on your idea, and see other peoples efforts and what it took to get to where they are.
Click to Tweet: How To Use Reddit To Grow Your Business
What You Should Check Out
Now to get started.
Sign-up is free, solicits no emails or spam, and is completely anonymous (if you choose to be). Just register and begin submitting links or reading material by other users.
But what should you check out?
There are already a great number subreddits to choose from. Try checking out /r/business to get macro-level analysis on current market trends and landscapes.
Head on over to /r/entrepreneur to see what over 66,000 new business owners are already excited about.
Want to get a more specific experience? See what other options the site offers. Starting a new brewery and need ideas on how to sell to taps in your market? Subscribe to /r/craftbeer and speak with other enthusiasts. Whatever you choose, you make your own experience.
Here are suggestions on subreddits to get familiar with:
- /r/business – An overall community perspective on the business landscape
- /r/entrepreneur – A community of self-starters discussing ideas on their projects
- /r/startups – Primarily focused on start-up companies and is full of suggestions and questions
- /r/smallbusiness – Small business owners and enthusiasts
- /r/growmybusiness – Small business focused, tools for developing leads
And a list of popular subreddits you can utilize (and are fun to read):
- /r/todayilearned – Fact sharing subreddit, post trends or analyses here to generate buzz on your research
- /r/iama – (Ask Me Anything) this is a great subreddit for information as well as a chance to talk with the community about what you are doing in your business.
- /r/askreddit – Post a question and see how the community feels about it
The former list are not necessarily business focused, but you can utilize their hive-mind thinking to gather feedback and suggestions (after a few visits, you’ll know why I chose to use the term “hive-mind”).
Kick Starter Campaigns
Perhaps the most significant tangible effect a crowd sourcing site like Reddit offers is the ability to generate funds.
You probably have heard of Kickstarter, an online market for a large number of users to submit funds to the development of a new business. It’s a great tool for up-and-coming businesses to generate missing funds to get their ideas on track.
Reddit can be a supplementary tool for businesses looking to get off the ground. Used with loans, local business grants, and other avenues, this can be a great way to finalize the financials on your project.
Jasco Games, a board game company looking to finalize their project, raised over $400,000 for their Kick Starter through a combination of social media buzz and investor activity. Much of that influence came from the Reddit community themselves.
The benefit of Reddit is that it can generate buzz for your idea and allow users to discuss the merits of your endeavor. It’s one thing to get a dollar from a random stranger, it’s another to get a dollar and a suggestion.
/r/kickstarter allows users to discuss their opinions on the submissions, to support the efforts towards their particular choice, and to offer feedback on the ideas themselves. Many people post their favorite campaigns as a way to generate more interest. If you’re already utilizing crowdfunding, having an extra forum to generate interest is invaluable.
Start-ups aren’t the only ones who can benefit from an enhanced social media presence. Reddit is another opportunity for people to connect with your company.
Social Media has taken on a sort of necessity for businesses. The absence of a social media presence draws a red flag for users. Connectivity is validation.
As I mentioned earlier, people have used Reddit to gather more interest in their blogs or podcasts, and in effect, more interest in their companies. Amy Schultz, blogger for MythBustingMommy, posts to parenting subreddits and has gotten the interest of thousands of new parents. If you have something to offer the community, they will give you their attention.
But let me be clear: Reddit is not a “golden ticket” to lead generation. The forums on Reddit can be difficult to make headway in, not everything is seen by the people who want to see it, and you may not get completely positive feedback. Matthew Schmoldt makes a good point of this in his blog on SocialMedia Today.
The main take-away is that this is another opportunity to create a touch point for potential clients from a site that has a number of people already congregating and interested in specific topics. Your job is to engage that audience.
Tips For Successful Posting
While Reddit can be a powerful tool to generate interest in your brand, it can be just as powerful at blocking you if you are not careful. Spamming is not permitted and the moderators are quite good at identifying spam and restricting your access if you do things they consider spammy. Here are some guidelines to follow to prevent that from happening:
Choose a catchy title- This should go without saying, but you are limited to a small band of text to hook in readers. If you wouldn’t click it, they won’t click it.
- Post to the proper subreddit- As discussed earlier, finding the right platform is as important as finding the right words. Choose from the suggestions above or go searching and find your own niche.
- Post material other than your own- Posting from the same URL repeatedly draws red flags. This is an information sharing site, not necessarily an advertising site. Share posts from other blogs you find interesting, facts you would like to share, the works. The wider the variety, the more interest you gain for your future posts.
- Do a little bit of everything- When you do want to share your stuff to the world, put some work into it. These are people you’re talking to, and if a person would think you are submitting boring information, Reddit will also. Make podcasts, do a funny blog, share infographics on interesting market trends, just make sure it is engaging. Really sell it. Make comments on similar threads, do an Ask Me Anything and answer questions from strangers.
- LEARN- Don’t go in with a blind eye. See what has been done and what the community responds to. Chances are, you might pick up a thing or two in the process.
Matt Silverman makes some strong points in the success of your points as well, so don’t forget to read through his guidelines.
You can also advertise straight to the site. You can buy spots that are displayed throughout the whole site or direct them to specific subreddits. The sheer volume of traffic makes Reddit an appealing opportunity if you just need clicks and are willing to pay for them.
Common Mistakes, and Tips to Make Reddit Work Better For You
Reddit is like any other interactive online medium: it requires work.
Just like Twitter feeds and Facebook updates, you have to keep working on engaging customers. If you want your content to be viewed and reviewed, you have to submit it.
Be careful to follow the rules and requirements. Each subreddit has its own set of rules, and all are against spamming. If you fail to adhere the site will bury you, and they are remarkably good at stopping what they deem spam.
Understand what this site offers most is education. Reddit is first and foremost an information sharing site, so use it as such.
The security of anonymity leads to detailed and open interactions. Discussions between users are one true benefit of the site.
The collective experience of like-minded individuals is an invaluable tool for entrepreneurs. Reddit is another way of getting to that information… as long as you can sort through the cat pictures.