Reddit – also known as “the front page of the internet”. This is mostly where hot, viral internet phenomena happen first. Someone on reddit stumbles upon something good, shares it on the site, and it explodes. Before you know it, nearly the entire world wide web is talking about that something. With that sort of power, why not also use it for your online business, right?
The answer is both yes and no.
Yes, because you can capture a wide audience that loves to discuss and engage with different kinds of content. But also no, because people on reddit (called redditors) can smell online marketers from a mile away. If you apply typical online marketing tactics on reddit – for example, just posting your links with not much added information – redditors will shoot you down. And the moderators will most likely ban you forever.
Reddit is all about the discussion.
It isn’t a site meant solely for backlinking. Redditors love to talk about things. They are all about informative discussion. In fact, if you go to the right subreddits (aka sections of Reddit that have a particular topic), you can definitely learn a lot from the discussion threads. And these aren’t company representatives trying too hard to sell you their stuff. These are real people, with real knowledge and experience on the topics they’re discussing. Most of the time they aren’t looking to buy things; instead, they want to know things.
Because of that, they hate spammers and those who contribute nothing to the conversation. If you act like that lot, I can assure you that they will kick you out. Most subreddits even have explicit rules against that sort of behaviour.
So then, how do you take advantage of Reddit for your online business? Turn your thinking around.
Don’t be a marketer. Be a Redditor yourself.
In other words, don’t be a business owner with a reddit account. Instead, be a proper Redditor who happens to own a business. Your role in reddit is to contribute useful information to the community. Redditors don’t need an influx of what your business has to offer; they can easily look elsewhere for that. Instead, they want to know what you know. They want you to share your knowledge with the community.
How? Pick the right subreddit, look for a discussion thread that interests you, and tell them what you know. Most discussion threads are questions, so if you have the answers, share them away.
Additionally, you yourself can post questions and initiate discussion. Just make sure that they’re relevant to the subreddit you’re posting in. Also, keep the rules of the subreddit in mind. They’re always in the sidebar anyway, as you can see below.
Otherwise, the mods will delete it. Redditors really don’t like those who pay no attention to the rules.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t share the content you wrote with the reddit community. Just remember this rule of thumb.
No more than 10% of your reddit posts are links to your own content.
And when you do decide to share your own content, give it a proper introduction. What is it about? What can readers expect out of it? Simply plugging in a link just will not do. Redditors always see that as spam, and they won’t even bother to click the link. Worse, they would even downvote your link, pushing it further back into the bottom.
Reddit is a very unique environment, therefore you must also treat it in a very unique way. Don’t be a marketer; be a redditor. Participate in the conversation, and contribute to the community. In turn, the reddit community will like you back.
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