How Should Brands Use Reddit for Social Media Marketing?

Learn how to improve your digital and social media marketing strategy with Reddit.
Ilia Markov
June 22, 2021 - 6 min. read

Reddit is not your usual social media platform. It’s a mixture between a news feed, a webform, and an online community — and this makes it a completely different beast to tackle.

It’s entirely based on user-generated content that gets upvoted or downvoted by other users, thus reaching star popularity — or getting forever lost in the ocean of posts.

And that’s exactly what makes it so exciting and challenging — and a must for any quirky brand that wants to connect with its audience.

While different and complex, Reddit is certainly a critical outlet to consider for your brand’s marketing. The platform has 52 million daily users, with 58% of them in the 18-34 age group. So it’s certainly not an opportunity to miss.

But how to go about your social media marketing on Reddit when it seems like a tough nut to crack? Here are our top tips — with actionable examples from successful brands.

Dig into the vast amount of user-generated content

Your first step is to understand how the front page of the internet’ (as Reddit calls itself) functions by exploring how user-generated content gets up- or downvoted on the platform.

Next, you need to get a good grasp of why the most popular threads in your field rise and why users find it worthy to create discussions around them.

This is an excellent research exercise to discover whether and how Reddit users talk about your brand. If they do — that’s great, as it’s solid social proof.

The Reddit LEGO community

The Reddit LEGO community has over 700k subscribers.

If not, don’t despair — this is your best shot at understanding how people talk about similar products and brands. By doing this, you can gather priceless insights for your Reddit marketing strategy.

Build up an authentic Reddit account

After you’ve got a good idea about the Reddit world, it’s time to pour efforts into creating a solid account on the platform.

First, you need to build up your profile as an active user who participates in community discussions with valuable input, whether you opt in for a corporate account or a personal account speaking in the name of your brand.

Both approaches can work, especially if you have a strong personal brand. For example, the governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger has a very active presence on Reddit, and not just during election time.

This is essential to instill trust in your audience — so that “your people” do not take you as just another spammer.

To achieve this, it’s vital to accumulate relevant posts and shape up your feed in a way that showcases your expertise. Yes, this takes time, but that’s the way to go. Platforms that are made up of user-generated content rely heavily on trust and community building.

You should always strive to be authentic and ‘human’ in your messaging, avoiding a promotional style that would just put people off. Reddit also has a clear policy against self-promotion, so it’s in your best interest to play by the rules and adapt to the platform’s style.

A cool example of the right communication style on Reddit is Lemonade Inc.’s video that illustrates how affordable insurance payments are — by comparing them with fast food items’ prices.

Focus efforts on social listening

Once you’ve explored the basics about Reddit and have started building up your profile with unique and useful posts, it’s good to add social listening to the mix. This is one of the most special perks of the platform that can greatly benefit your brand.

Reddit threads are a goldmine for learning what’s important for people when making a purchasing decision. Users freely discuss their needs, which is a fantastic source of first-hand information for tailoring your product or service and how you market it. Don’t forget that handy tools like Falcon’s Listen tool, now powered by Brandwatch, help you make the best of your social listening.

It’s also a good idea to regularly explore industry-specific groups and forums (or subreddits in Reddit lingo). This is how you can keep an eye on top trends in your field, so you’re always one step ahead in your marketing efforts. 

Post the right content

Coming back to building up your authentic Reddit profile, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of original and helpful content for sparking attention to your brand on the platform. Instead of repurposing something old and randomly posting it, think about your Reddit posts as a carefully curated marketing program.

Certain types of content perform better on Reddit, and it’s good to keep that in mind. Your best bet is to craft thoughtful and practical posts — but don’t just share your blog posts because that won’t work.

It’s always a smart idea to accompany the text with visuals. Pictures are great, and GIFs are even better. Posting links to external video platforms wouldn’t lead to much engagement, but you can always make a quick GIF from the video to go along with your post.

And most importantly — get a grasp of AMAs (ask-me-anything) and use their potential. AMAs usually are in the subreddit r/IAmA where you can invite other users to ask you their questions. It can be a challenging experience, but the risk is worth it, as AMAs have proven to bring many benefits to brands on Reddit.

One of the top AMA examples comes from Audi. It hosted live streams with celebrities driving fast in its newest cars — and answering questions on Reddit.

Extend your customer support on Reddit

While you can certainly use Reddit for marketing, many brands have successfully turned the platform into their second customer support hub. This is often a winning move, as Reddit is all about valuable information and authentic recommendations.

One way to go about it is to create a subreddit community for questions and troubleshooting for your customers. This would be your dedicated place for handling support issues.

Another option is to keep tabs on customer complaints through social listening. That way, you’ll be able to address their concerns — even if they don’t expect it, and the wow factor from stellar customer support is not to be underestimated.

The whole idea behind doing customer support on Reddit is to be where your customers need you. If you’re already pouring time and effort into building up your marketing on the platform, providing support to users shouldn’t be too much extra work — but can do miracles for your brand.

You can also save time and optimize your resources using a tool like Falcon’s Listen, now powered by Brandwatch, and integrate it with your social inbox. In this way, you can keep tabs on what people are saying about your brand and respond to them quickly, even if your brand hasn’t been tagged.

A great example of mixing marketing with customer support is how Uniqlo positioned itself on Reddit. Arielle Dyda, an e-commerce manager at the clothing company, used a mixture of social listening and customer support to improve the brand’s image authentically.

A great example on how to use Reddit to provide great customer support comes from Xbox. Even though the Reddit community dedicated to the gaming console is not owned by the producer, the company still uses it to answer customer queries and provide help:

How Should Brands Use Reddit for Social Media Marketing

Get help with your Reddit marketing efforts

Ready to give it a go? Mastering your Reddit marketing can be challenging, but let us know if you need help.

With our social media tool, you can ace your social listening because you get actionable insights from the large pool of user posts out there.

About the author

Ilia has been writing about digital marketing for over 7 years. He occasionally shares his thoughts on his site. When not blogging, he likes to run and listen to audiobooks.