If you’re not familiar with Reddit, it’s a social news website that allows users to post content and vote submissions “up” or “down”. Submissions that receive more upvotes are displayed on the front page in reverse chronological order says Peter Decaprio. You can then comment on these posts as well as start discussions based on the topic of each post.

The site is broken down into subreddits. A subreddit is basically a forum or category where content can be posted about specific topics, such as news, science, music and so forth. While all subreddits are created by users, reddit maintains control over how new subreddits are added to the website.

Reddit has 1 billion monthly page views and 46 million monthly unique visitors (as of May 2013), with 6% of its traffic coming from the U.S. alone.( 1 ) Reddit has incredibly high potential for marketing your brand but should not be considered lightly; it’s not like running an ad in Craigslist! With great opportunity comes great responsibility—there’s no room for error when you market on Reddit because you can easily get negative back-links from Redditors.

What scares people away from running a marketing campaign on Reddit is that they view it as an evil site controlled by Internet trolls who will destroy your brand in a matter of minutes. In reality, you can find supportive communities on Reddit if you deliver quality content and follow their rules to the letter. Think of it this way: when someone posts something good in a subreddit, most Redditors will upvote for visibility alone. If you want to receive karma, all you have to do is provide value with your submission or comment—it’s as simple as that!

Here are 10 tips for marketing on Reddit successfully:

1) Do not directly market without engaging first

Many marketers make the mistake of posting their website link without any context to the subreddit they’re advertising in says Peter Decaprio. Redditors are not stupid—they will quickly realize that you’re only there to market and downvote your post into oblivion or reply with something like, “This is spam, please don’t advertise here.”

2) Get familiar with subreddits so you can become an active member

Many marketers fall into the trap of trying to establish themselves as an authority figure by creating a new account and commenting on posts under their username. For instance, I could create an account and start commenting on articles related to skiing. If I do this every day for the past year, what will happen is that people will recognize my name. But not really know who I am—they will start to wonder who this person is and why they’re so interested in skiing. I’ll also be flooding the website with identical comments. While not interacting with Redditors and giving them nothing of value in return.

I hate seeing companies on Reddit that don’t take the time to understand. What’s going on in their community before getting started! At the very least, you should search for other subreddits where your target audience hangs out. For instance, an outdoor apparel company could search for keywords. Such as “hiking” or “backpacking” and subscribe to those categories says Peter Decaprio. This way you know what content people are looking for. And can provide helpful information by pointing them to your website. Or, you could be really nice and engage with these users. By offering advice or pointing out other useful resources they can check out! Don’t just jump in and start selling!

Reddit works well when you provide valuable content on top of the links you post. If you create an account and participate as a Redditor (not as a marketer). People will see that you not only know what’s going on but also care about the community. When I first started submitting content several years ago, I was downvote into oblivion. Because people didn’t trust me yet and assumed I was trying to market my own website. I had several posts removing and was accuse of spam! I didn’t fight it and just waited for karma to come around says Peter Decaprio. Then, I would up vote comments that were helpful or submit links that engaged the community—eventually; people saw my name pop up all over Reddit. And realized that I’m not just a marketer but also a Redditor 🙂

5) Use Original Post (OP) as your submission title: keep it simple

The link you submit should be easy to find on Google: if your headline is “Lululemon pants 50% off at lulu.com”. There’s absolutely no way someone will search for that keyword and find your post in the top results. If you write something like “50% off Lululemon pants at lululemon.com. It will not only look more natural to Redditors but also be easier for Google to rank in search results.

Conclusion:

Always start your headline with the exact name of the product or link you are submitting.

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