Why It Matters by Lis Clouter
Once a mere niche bookmarking site and forum, Reddit has become increasingly mainstream over the last two years. However, it’s not usually included in digital strategies and is still new ground for a lot of major brands. Direct engagement on the platform may not be brand-voice appropriate, but monitoring for mentions and tracking activity over time may help a brand with digital trend identification and issues management.
Here are five reasons brands should pay attention to Reddit.
1. Reddit hosts active and interested communities
Reddit has a more motivated audience than most platforms. As sub-forums can host “hacktivists” and other such communities, brands should be aware of what they’re walking into. Reddit’s audience consumes a great deal of content and if a brand can appeal to the masses, it will do well.
2. Reddit is a place to find niche audiences
Reddit is vast: 50 million unique visitors per month. Users visit diverse sub-forums, including various topics and interests. It’s as likely to find astro-physicists on Reddit as mothers exchanging cooking recipes, which means Reddit is an interesting place for brands with niche audiences to monitor.
3. Reddit is a trend-breaker
Reddit reflects and responds to the preferences of its audiences that collect content from all across the Internet. Looking for the next big meme? Reddit is probably talking about it already. Mashable even started tapping into Reddit’s content generation with a weekly article titled “Five Fascinating Facts We Learned From Reddit.”
4. Success on Reddit can have a big impact
Attempts to use the platform for traditional marketing messaging should be avoided. When engagement is done right, however, it can pay off. Within 24 hours of Obama’s question and answer session “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) in August 2012, 5.2 million people had read the interview.
5. Reddit identifies issues
Reddit isn’t currently picked up in traditional monitoring tools like Sysomos, Radian6 or Crimson Hexagon, but the platform itself is real-time and reflective of what’s being talked about across the internet. A brand paying attention to what’s being said about them on Reddit could allow for early intervention and prevention of a full-blown crisis.
Reddit may not be a place brands wish to interact directly, due to the tonal differences in Reddit’s sub-forums and because traditional marketing and public relations messaging is largely unwelcome. However, clever and honest communication from brand spokespeople can be received well if that spokesperson is well-prepared. Additionally, AMA guests are expected to be entertaining as well as informative.
Is Reddit a place for your brand? Knowing that Reddit is not a place for direct brand promotion, how do you think brands can benefit from the fast-paced community and incorporate this platform into their digital strategies?
Image credit: Scott Beale