Mastering Reddit for Brand Awareness & Reputation Management

First, think of how vast the internet is, and how impossible it is to reach every crack, corner, and crevice.

Now, imagine a place where millions of people endlessly sift through this vastness, promoting what’s worthy of the front page and removing what’s rubbish.

That’s Reddit.

If you’ve spent only a few minutes redditting, you may be thinking it’s a place for cute cats and ridiculous memes…

However, Reddit is also a place for the president, for customer support, and just about anything else you can imagine. Reddit pulls at least two billion unique visitors a month and normally powers thousands of active communities per day, ranging from science, music, and politics to specialties like tech support and homebrewing.

If you are not paying attention to your niche subreddits, you don’t know your audience.

But there is more to Reddit than its own huge audience you need to be listening to. Reddit is getting a huge visibility in Google’s organic search.

Reddit is becoming an inevitable part of just about any buying journey. Just about any brand triggers [PRODUCT/BRAND NAME REDDIT] suggestion in Google’s Autocomplete results:

[Reddit] comes up in many brand-driven Google’s Autocomplete suggestions prompting consumers to search it even if they didn’t initially intend to.

There’s also a new SERP feature for Reddit called “Discussions and forums”:

Not being on Reddit means missing this huge organic search opportunity and failing to control this narrative.

Four More Reasons to Use Reddit for Digital Marketing

1. User-testing and New Product Feedback

Do you have a new website or product coming out soon? Is there anything in the beta stage? 

Reddit is a great place to get quality (and free) feedback.

Continuing from the previous example, find the proper subreddit relevant to your business. Make sure you are operating within the subreddit rules and guidelines before submitting anything. If you’re unsure, consult one of the moderators by sending them a private message.

Here’s an example:

Further down the comment section, we see real feedback:

Boom! Redditors are happy to help each other in more niche subreddits – pretty cool right?

2.  Extend Customer Service Reach

In the same vein, we can extend our customer service efforts by researching threads where our business or product is mentioned.

Be optimistic – sometimes Redditors are complimenting your service! Find them, thank them, and contribute to the positivity. This ties into increasing brand reputation as well.

A word of caution: do not jump head-first into the comment sections, especially if you’re representing a company. Instead, get your feet wet by observing how people talk about brands and how a representative responds. 

Practice reddiquette (which is often different from subreddit to subreddit) and combine this with your observations. There are many stereotypes about redditors, but these only apply to the masses. 

When you’re in a niche subreddit it’s much easier to identify the tone of voice and sentimental atmosphere. Plus, we’re able to target potential customers who have already expressed interest in our industry.

3. Community Building

Creating a subreddit (a sub-community) is practical for many reasons. We can create private subreddits for an internal office team or an exclusive community for your clients. Public subreddits allow anyone to view content and comment if you allow it.

With an active subreddit, businesses can provide useful information (such as resources, advice, guides, and feedback) to current and new customers. Expect to see a detailed post on creating and maximizing a subreddit from me in the future.

4. Increasing Awareness

While not every business will adopt a whale and host a naming contest, Reddit is a vast opportunity mine.

Take note of which content gets upvoted the most and ask your team, “Can we do something like this?” If the answer is yes, go for it.

There’s even a subreddit for small businesses where you are allowed to promote your business.

Step 1: Start Monitoring Reddit

Products and brands are being talked about in every corner of the internet. Identifying all of these mentions is a pretty simple process; it just takes a bit of time to set up.

Reddit is an excellent medium for providing current social monitoring tactics to aid in brand management and data collection.

I constantly see social media marketers saying they don’t “get” Reddit. They always say it’s too confusing or a place all businesses should avoid. If you call yourself a social media marketer and you don’t at least acknowledge the value of subreddits, you’re doing something wrong. It’s one of the top 50 websites in the world. The branding, social monitoring, and community benefits are undeniable.

Reddit is a medium that doesn’t have everything spelled out. So, some users give up easily after having a bad experience which could have been avoided if they had invested enough time to learn the social norms and history of the platform. By dismissing the platform, they’re dismissing target audience groups that are:

already bunched together
already talking about relevant industry topics
asking questions YOU know the answer to

There are inside jokes, thematic content (i.e.; weekly contests), in-depth quality discussions, beginners looking for help, and much more. A local business – a plumber or an HVAC, for example – can be incredibly useful on subreddits. It’s an extension of customer service.

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The challenge: Social media marketers and business owners need to be flexible when experimenting with new platforms. Becoming a community member in a subreddit is the perfect way to get started. It’s such a simple concept but it gets twisted when you try to approach it from a traditional marketing perspective.

The benefits of being a contributing member include being able to extract social data, learning more about potential customers, the market, the interests, and demographics, and once you’ve gotten your fill, putting it all together in an accepted form of advertising. Or a contest. Or a game. 

Every subreddit is different.

Take advantage of free tools. Here are some useful options:

Google Alerts and Search Operators + Google Sheets/Excel
Buzzsumo Alerts

Start off by opening up your preferred spreadsheet program. I recommend Google Sheets because it’s free and in the cloud, but Excel is also fine.

Let’s say your business is a homebrewing supply store – a local business with a large enough operation to handle online orders.

Run searches using site:reddit.com “keywords” in Google. Record each thread link on Reddit that you can contribute to, such as offering expertise, solving a problem, asking your own questions, or being a part of an event/evolving discussion. Then make a column to keep track of which threads you haven’t responded to yet. For more collaboration capabilities, consider using tools like Slack to make Reddit marketing a cross-marketing strategy.

The tools you can use are:

Here’s a screenshot of creating a new alert using Buzzsumo:

Step 2: Create a Brand-Driven Subreddit

Owning a subreddit is your first step to owning a brand-driven narrative. Luckily anyone can create and moderate a subreddit.

If your customers are going to discuss your product on Reddit, they’d better do it in a space you can control.

Here comes the SERP management benefit of that: This should help you control [your product name+Reddit] results better. Some brands are doing that very well, e.g.:

Comcast-driven search triggers “Reddit” suggestion at #2.

As a result, Comcast owns those search results thanks to their official subreddits:

Controlling your brand-driven SERPs is the only way to ensure your customers will end up buying from you. It is your ultimate digital business card.

Additionally, they also successfully show up in Google’s AI snapshot (SGE) answer:

That’s your goal.

It takes time and effort to maintain a quality subreddit but your customer support team will likely enjoy it because it has a rewarding community-building aspect to it.

Make sure you set up your GA4 correctly to be able to measure the traffic from your new subreddit.

Step 3: Participate Outside of Your Subreddit

After you do some thorough reddit monitoring, set up your brand-driven subreddit and learn to talk to your customers in that space, you can start participating outside of it, in other relevant subreddits.

Reply to questions, make comments, and be genuinely active. Consider hosting an AMA (“Ask me anything”) to tell your story, use Reddit for content brainstorming, and learn more about your target audience.

Reddit is great for link building once you get a feel of it and understand what your niche reporters and bloggers are looking for when monitoring Reddit. It is great for competitors’ evaluation, product gap analysis, email marketing strategy and so much more. Stop ignoring Reddit as a marketing tool but approach it with care.

Results

We have been doing all kinds of Reddit analysis and strategy implementation for clients. We managed to control [brand name reddit] search results within 2 months of setting a brand-driven subreddit. For another client, our Reddit-driven viral marketing campaign brought in hundreds of clicks, links and shares, as well as positioned it as a trending search in Google:

Our client was a brand-new startup that barely produced any results for brand-driven searches. Google associated our client’s brand name with the biggest brands in the industry within a week of the Reddit-driven marketing campaign. This is the strongest signal you can build.

Reddit is one the most powerful tools you can use for brand awareness and beyond!

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