Reddit for business

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Welcome back to our award-winning blog on using social media to boost your business’ online profile. This post details the benefits you can enjoy by using internet juggernaut Reddit to increase site visits, sales and clicks. Reddit calls itself “the front page of the internet”, using categorised forums called ‘subreddits’ to separate content into easy-to-manage sections. Users subscribe to the subreddits they’re interested in, whether that’s politics, videogames or cat pictures. Because of its structure and rules it can be tricky for newbies to get the hang of using Reddit for business, so let’s take a look at some best practices to follow.

Reddit uses a user-voting algorithm to decide whether posts rise to the top or sink down. If users like a post, they can upvote it and reward it with ‘karma’. It is this system that can be a barrier to using Reddit the same way businesses might use Twitter or Facebook. If a post doesn’t contribute to the conversation, or is heavy-handed in its promotion of your business, it will be labelled ‘spam’ by moderators and removed from the feed. Spamming Reddit can also lead to a ban, regardless of how much you believe in your product. A good rule of thumb is that if you’re wondering whether your post is spam or not, it probably is.

The story
The best way to promote yourself on Reddit is to tell your story. Talk about the history of your company –  what is it that makes you different from the hundred others providing the service you do? Telling a good story is what will humanise your business and drive customers to your site. Again though, it’s a skill. One tactic you might try is to use the subreddit ‘AskReddit’ to try and begin a conversation. Not one on your business specifically, but perhaps on the industry you work in – there will be users who do similar jobs, willing to engage in a conversation. By participating in a natural back and forth, it will be possible to bring up your business in an organic way. If you create your very own subreddit to operate from, you can reuse interviews and material you created for other social media channels –  it’s not spam if the subreddit is clearly labelled as being a business page.

Customer service
If your brand is big enough, you can use Reddit to improve your customer service by using it to direct queries to your own pages, FAQs and helplines. Customers who engage with your Reddit presence in this way will “increase the interaction in the community and is more likely to create brand advocates,” according to social media expert Ben Beck. “A big benefit of improving customer service is that it helps keep customers happy and wanting to stay with your brand.”

Buying ad space
If all of that seems like too much hard work, there’s always the possibility of buying ad space on Reddit. Because of the subreddit categorisation, your ads can be targeted at users who are actually interested in the product or service you’re selling. Although not as beneficial as gaming the system and spreading news via word-of-mouth as detailed above, Reddit ads have been proven effective at driving business time and time again.

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