How to use reddit for Business Communications

10/06/2015

Karl Wiseman, Digital and Content

How to use reddit for Business Communications

As social media becomes ever integrated into all aspects of how businesses communicate, one topic that crops up frequently is that of ‘influencing the influencers’, i.e. how to get your message shared by the people that everyone else follows and trusts. One of the many ways that can be done is through reddit. I wanted to share a bit about reddit, why it can be great, and some of the things to be aware of.

What is this ‘reddit’?

We’re familiar with the most popular social media platforms that businesses and individuals use: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, (maybe) Snapchat. But it surprises me how many people have never heard of reddit. You may recognise the logo:     

                  

Wikipedia describes reddit as “an entertainment, social networking service and news website where registered community members can submit content, such as text posts or direct links”. Thanks Wiki!

Reddit’s worth comes from its over 174m members, of varied expertise, background, geography and interests. Everyone can make simple text posts and include links (to videos, images, articles, any other web page) within subreddits. People can ‘up vote’ the posts they like, and ‘down vote’ things they don’t, and can contribute comments.

Subreddits are essentially mini forums in which the posts are grouped to specific areas of interest and communities from within. And it’s within these subreddits and communities that you can come across some of the most knowledgeable, friendly and interesting people in any given field.

So why is it a good tool for connecting with influencers?

There are over 250,000 subreddits on almost every topic; and should you find a niche that isn’t catered for, start a subreddit. They tend to be thematic, such as /r/business, /r/AskScience, and /r/PersonalFinance, rather than about a specific person or company. The subreddits of sectors, subsectors and expert niches attract the most progressive and forward-thinking people in their fields to share information and thoughts openly.

The people that read reddit also tend to be content-hungry and seeking new views and information they can share within their own networks. They will be tech-savvy and more likely to have social media accounts through which they can share your opinions, particularly if it is presented in an interesting visual, audio or article format. If you initiate an interesting discussion by sharing a good piece of content, it is likely to gather significant attention from those in the field, thus helping to achieve media attention.


How can businesses use it?

As with all social media, when posting on reddit you must consider whether this is the right time and place to post something. Actively engaging with other users means you are likely to be asked tricky questions and there is always the risk of trolls appearing. However, that alone should not deter you from giving it a go (after all, these things can happen with or without your involvement).  

  • Ask Me Anything interviews – an open-session Q&A that often prove very popular as a way to openly promote yourself and company. There is an art to making them successful and rewarding.

 

  • Poignant articles – highlighting a contentious issue can stimulate interesting debates and the sharing of ideas; this will help to get the article and enclosed opinion noticed.

 

  • Comments – most reddit readers don’t just read the main topic, they will also look at the most up-voted comments (unsurprisingly, they are shown in order of most votes). If a comment is thoughtful and appreciated, you can get good traction through citing sources to back-up your points.

 

  • Insights and information – use reddit to stay up to date – or even ahead of the curve - with interesting online content which you can share with your own social networks. This includes identifying issues that are being discussed about your brand, and head them off with customer communications.

 

  • Create communities that you can engage with your fans and followers. Although rarely achieved overnight, it can be rewarding to own and manage thriving subreddits.

 

Before considering using reddit as a business communications tool, you must understand the reddit culture: what’s acceptable, what works, and what will fall flat.

I always think that the best way to learn about something online is to have a click and a play to see what catches the eye. You can’t break anything. I would recommend looking at some of the posts on the front page, then searching for subreddits that fit with your interests.


 

Enjoy: reddit.com

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