ELI5, TIL, /s— don’t worry, these aren’t new slang terms teens are using to communicate with friends about how unfair their parents are being about a 10 p.m. curfew. IIRC they’re common abbreviations used on the social media platform Reddit. More to come on them in a minute…
For the unfamiliar, Reddit is a social platform that refers to itself as the “front page of the internet,” a “community of millions of users engaging in the creation of content and the sharing of conversation across tens of thousands of topics.”
The platform is broken down into subreddits (subs), or Reddit communities, that are dedicated to specific topics and each sub is run by its own group of moderators (mods). From local communities (r/RVA) and world news (r/worldnews) to personal finance (r/personalfinance) and pets (r/dogs), Reddit has a community for just about anyone (and that has created some issues for the platform in the past).
Users share content and posts that are organized in terms of popularity as “voted” on by other users — they can upvote content they like and downvote content they don’t.
This video gives a good explainer of the platform:
Who uses Reddit?
According to a June 2019 report from Pew Research, Reddit users skew male, younger (18-29), are more likely to live in suburban areas and have some level of college education. Overall, the site averages ~21 billion screenviews per month.
Reddit averages more than 330 million monthly active users and houses 130k+ active communities. And redditors spend an average of 16 minutes per day using the platform, making it a highly engaged user base.
How can brands and organizations use Reddit in their marketing strategy?
Just as you might monitor conversations about your brand on other social platforms, you should include Reddit in your regular monitoring. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to purchase an expensive monitoring service (unless you want to). Periodically searching for conversations about your company using the site’s search function can help you gain a better understanding of your online reputation.
Mine for content ideas
One of the reasons why Reddit is so popular is that there’s a subreddit community for just about everything. This also means that there are focused conversations happening about both very broad and very specific topics. In many cases, users are asking questions about these topics which can be a great way to mine for content ideas. Use Reddit to search for the pressing questions in your industry and turn those questions into content for your blog.
Do you have a subject matter expert that has a unique perspective or a niche focus area? AMAs or Ask Me Anything threads allow audiences to directly engage with SMEs by literally asking them anything. There is also a r/IAmA dedicated solely to this type of content, but an AMA can be done on any subreddit that doesn’t explicitly state that they are unwelcome. Some AMAs happen on a one-off basis, while others happen on a regularly scheduled basis. And depending on where you’re starting the AMA, you may have to abide the subreddits’ specific rules for this type of thread.
Pro tip: Don’t make your posts too focused on selling your company, product or service. Additionally, redditors are known for doing their homework on the subjects of AMAs so make sure your SME is squeaky clean. Here are two great AMA examples, one from NASA and one from Cookie Monster.
Let your brand advocates do the work for you
In many cases, customers are often our best brand advocates, and Reddit can be a place for these brand advocates to connect, encouraging them to be even more engaged with your organization. Case in point: r/orangetheory, “The unofficial Reddit community for anyone interested in Orangetheory Fitness. Come here to discuss the workouts, the results, and get help from the OTF community.”
In this community, the brand is really hands off and there is no real policing of content posted by users, even when the content becomes critical or negative of the company. Orangetheory corporate has had more of a presence in the subreddit around things like big product launches and policy changes to ensure accurate information is being shared and from time to time gather users feedback.