My college friend—an aspiring musician—was attending school to become a teacher, having given up on the dream of a musical career. Then her boyfriend posted one of her songs on Reddit. Within a week, she had the number one song on Bandcamp and was billed an “overnight music sensation” by Yahoo! News. The lesson of the story? Reddit has marketing power.
While many companies are already taking advantage of social media sites like Twitter, Pinterest, and of course Facebook, the idea of Reddit as a marketing tool has been slower to emerge. However, as a recent Mashable article points out, Reddit has plenty to offer the world of digital marketing.
Billing itself as “the front page of the Internet,” Reddit is a social news website launched in 2005. Registered users submit links and text posts, which are then “upvoted” or “downvoted” by other users. These votes determine the post’s visibility on the page. Users can then add their own comments to each submission.
In addition, users can create “subreddits,” or subforums, based on a particular area of interest. To date, the site contains more than 67,000 subreddits on everything from books to bourbon to politics.
So how does this setup lend itself to marketing research? First, subreddits can provide excellent insight into consumer opinions about your product. Many subreddits are brand specific, ranging from Coca Cola and Starbucks to Sony and Amazon.
Think of it as a free focus group with an added bonus: anonymity. Reddit places a high emphasis on anonymity and free speech. Unlike other social media sites, such as Facebook, Reddit enables its users to post anonymous comments, thus inspiring a more honest dialogue.
Another valuable feature of the website is “AskReddit.” This subreddit encourages users to ask questions of the general community. For marketers, this forum can be a gold mine of information. For example, one user recently posted the following: “I work the Front Desk at a hotel. What are some simple ways I can make your stay amazing?” For those in the hospitality industry, the candid comments generated by this question may prove invaluable.
If you’re looking to expand your social media presence, join the ever-growing Reddit community. The website has 43 million users; one of them just might hold the key to your next marketing campaign.
Laurel Reese – Project Manager