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How to cultivate community on Reddit


By Hannah Bowler, Senior Reporter

November 21, 2023 | 6 min read

With the advertising slowdown at Twitter and Meta, Reddit has been ready to swoop in for SMEs, but there’s a knack to the platform worth learning. Here it is.

Reddit logo on pink backdrop

Using Reddit to engage new audiences

The so-called ‘front page of the internet’ has around 70 million daily active users and around 46 million daily searches. Brands and products are already hot topics on the site, with millions of people engaged in debate, like Mexican Coke being better than regular Coke, KFC chips being the worst and Skittles getting rid of the lime flavor.

It’s a natural fit for many brands, both for ad placements and community building. An IPA study earlier this year highlighted the platform’s potential as a media owner, awarding it a score of 79.5% for quality of service, which was higher than Mail Metro Media and Snap.

Why market on Reddit?

  • Active Reddit users are typically highly engaged, are open to learning and educating themselves on a product and fans of tech.

  • The platform lends itself to organic marketing, which means it can be used for community building without an ad budget.

  • A lot of Reddit users don’t use other social media apps. According to Reddit’s research, 23% of its users don’t use Facebook, 47% don’t use Instagram, and 69% don’t use TikTok. Meaning you can reach new audiences.

Ways to market on Reddit

Marketers can use Reddit for organic marketing, which involves thoughtful community engagement with users. There are a few options: marketers can create a subreddit for their brand to share updates about new products and get customer feedback. You could host an AMA (ask me anything) to get customers to react and engage with a topic and share and comment on useful content.

Reddit Promoted Post

For paid ad placements, Reddit offers advertisers takeover ads on specific subreddits, categories or even the entire site. Then, there are promoted posts.

Examples of brands using Reddit

The Book of Mormon production team turned to Reddit earlier this year, looking to drive ticket sales for its musical and tapped into the platform’s entertainment communities to drive both awareness and conversion objectives. The result was a 6x return of advertising spend between September and October.

Other campaigns have included ITV’s Love Island taking over the official u/LoveIsland Reddit profile, which tapped into the 74,000-strong community. The partnership ran Reddit-specific competitions, polled Love Island production staff and dropped exclusive behind-the-scenes footage.

Blink Cat Food utilized Reddit’s keyword and community targeting features, zeroing in on conversations mentioning Cat food prices and Cat healthcare, as well as communities like r/cathelp and r/whatswrongwithyourcat where cat owners are actively seeking recommendations around top products for their pets.

Top 5 pieces of advice for SMBs venturing into Reddit

Reddit’s new business sales lead for EMEA, Nina Mogensen, says the platform “has a place for every conceivable interest, creating a unique opportunity for every kind of business to cultivate a loyal following, foster genuine engagement, and drive meaningful action.”

Mogensen talked up the site’s trust among users within the communities. “The result is an audience that’s ready to take action and possesses considerable buying power,” she says.

Here are Mogensen’s tips...

1. Bring Value to the Table: “Reddit users, or ‘Redditors,” are hungry for information. Don’t be afraid to get into the weeds – they love that! Share the nitty-gritty details of your brand, be it product specifics, competitive advantages, or fun facts. Building a narrative that resonates and adds value to the conversations already happening on Reddit (and believe me, they are already happening!) will help build connections with users and set your brand apart.”

2. Dive into the platform: “The best way to understand Reddit is to experience it firsthand. Whether it’s skincare (r/skincareaddictionUK), reality TV (r/LoveIslandTV), sports (r/rugbyunion) or something else entirely, pick a topic that interests you, enter it into the search bar, and explore the communities that pop up. This not only helps you understand the platform but also aids in identifying spaces relevant to your business. Start by observing the conversations taking place and then join in. Promoted posts with engagement prompts are also a great way to drive community conversation around your product or service.”

3. Join the conversation: “Want to understand what consumers are thinking or feeling about any given topic? Look no further than Reddit, a goldmine for consumer insights thanks to rich discussion constantly refreshing in 100,000+ communities. Better yet, join in the conversations yourself. By actively participating in communities, asking questions, and genuinely engaging with your audience, you can build trust, which drives loyalty.”

4. Experiment, track, and adjust: “The Reddit Ads Manager simplifies the process of experimenting with different formats and creatives. With features and tools specifically designed to optimize for ease and efficiency, small businesses can track their results in real-time, identify what works, and make adjustments accordingly. This iterative approach ensures optimal campaign performance.”

5. Build community: “The key lies not just in advertising but in building a community. By immersing in the diversity of Reddit's communities, small businesses can cultivate customer loyalty that goes beyond transactional relationships.”

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