In June 2005, the cyber-culture phenomenon known as Reddit was born.
Marked as “the front page of the Internet,” Reddit has boast-worthy statistics. With 60 to 70 percent of Reddit’s front page containing images, it’s an appealing place to be.
Not only is the front page visually appealing, but it influences the way we communicate, our purchasing habits, and our perceptions of events, people and companies.
As strategic communicators, PR professionals have already integrated social listening into their toolkits, and Reddit is an optimal place to source honest, valuable opinions and measure dispositions.
A successful PR strategy that uses Reddit as a viable communication channel can:
- Drive traffic to a website or philanthropy campaign.
- Increase awareness about an event or brand.
- Improve brand reputation.
- Extend social media reach.
- Fuel communication objectives.
Reddit is more than half the size of Twitter, and it shows no sign of slowing down. If you are already active on the visually appealing social network, you may find it to be the most promising in terms of return on investment.
How to get on Reddit’s front page:
1. Know your subreddit.
It’s just like your PR professor taught you: Research your target publics and know your audience.
Do you have a photo of a cute animal? That belongs in “Aww,” not “Gaming.” Are you trying to feature something finite such as software for contractors? That belongs in “construction,” not “technology.” (In this case, while the submission is relevant and may be helpful to users—and even drive a few sales—it’s never going to make it to the front page. Small subreddits hardly ever hit the front page.)
2. Really know your subreddit.
I can’t stress this enough. We have complete access to a medium (the subreddit), and all of its users (subreddit subscribers). Spend at least an hour noting the most successful submissions, reading the comments, and thinking about why they are successful.
3. Bring something new to the table.
Reddit is not a place for the faint of heart. If you’re submitting a photo that was already submitted, is monotonous or is in the wrong subreddit, there are two possible results:
- Reddit users will downvote your submission into oblivion, pointing out every reason your submission is terrible.
- Your submission will quietly vanish into a void of nothingness.
Avoid these scenarios by following steps one and two when you plan a submission.
4. Be yourself.
Be a real person. From the link headline to the comments section you must come across as a human. Popular Reddit headlines are “This [picture] [did something] to me” and “This [picture] is why [problem exists].”
5. Have luck and patience.
Many Reddit users suggest there are optimal times to post content for higher visibility. This is more applicable for the less popular subreddits where the majority of subscribers might fit a certain demographic.
Always remember that luck and patience are factors in the front-page equation. If at first you don’t succeed, try 20 more times.
What type of content gets on Reddit’s front page
The reality is clever memes, absurd photos and other types of funny content will always be on Reddit’s front page.
Consider this: According to the Google Ad Planner estimate, as of May 2013 the median Reddit user is male, 25-34 years old and connects from the United States.
Understand that Reddit is lenient in its preferred content and worldviews. That being said, it’s also important to understand that subreddits have their own front pages. This means the demographic listed above only applies to the general community-not specific subreddit communities.
An example of a popular subreddit is “PhotoshopBattles.” In this subreddit, users provide a non-manipulated image, and others will submit a Photoshopped version in the comments section. These are the top three photo links from the front page:
That’s cool, but why should you care?
Learning how subreddits operate allows you to participate appropriately, which increases your chances of reaching the front page.
Take action for Reddit popularity
Does one of your clients have an album of high-quality photos of a funny staff member? Find the best photo (something hilarious), and get permission from the person to submit it to a subreddit. (Make sure the person understands what will happen to the photo.) If the photo performs well on the subreddit, it has a much higher chance of hitting the main front page.
Where’s the value?
Create a post on your client’s blog and feature all of the submissions from the comment section (the suitable-for-work ones). Mention this feature post in the comment section on Reddit. As long as all parties involved give you the green light, this is a great way to boost the fun side of a client and drive some extra site traffic and possible sales.
On Reddit there are hundreds of ways to hit the front page. Images are the most popular. Retrace the steps of front page images and ask yourself, “Is this something we can do?”
Do you have any suggestions on how to get a photo on Reddit’s front page? Please share in the comments.