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Why Reddit Is Relevant To Marketers [CHART]

Stephen Streich
Senior Director of Product Management

Canadian astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield boarded the International Space Station in December, preparing to take over as commander of expedition 35.  In the last few weeks he has posted a steady stream of fascinating pictures to Facebook, Google+ and  Twitter, conducted the first Google Hangout from space, uploaded YouTube videos of experiments, performed a live song with the band Barenaked Ladies, and conducted an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, which garnered nearly 8,000 comments.

The well thought out social media campaign raises interest and support for manned space exploration, and from a marketing perspective, has surpassed other efforts of NASA, and cost the agency practically nothing.

Successful Modern Marketing takes an integrated approach to social media. Beyond Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, marketers can tap into Reddit for a thriving source of community.

As the self-proclaimed "Front page of the Internet", Reddit has a massive community continuously aggregating and curating content across hundreds of topical areas (sub-reddits) with the power to drive substantial traffic.  But is that traffic relevant to B2B and B2C marketers or is it all just pictures of funny looking cats? To measure engagement with consumer related topics versus general interest, we analyzed the average number of comments on submissions across a broad sample of categories — including an index of 20 brand specific sub-reddits comprised of manufacturers, consumer products, retailers, and sports.

Reddit Engagement

Not surprisingly, we found that the volume of submissions in the popular general interest categories related to humor, photos, and video far outstripped those in categories related to business, politics and our brand index. However, as shown in the charts above, actual community engagement with the submissions was significantly higher in the more targeted and topical sub-reddits, including the brands we examined.

As with any good content marketing strategy, if it’s relevant and interesting to your target audience then it promotes positive word of mouth buzz. This would appear to hold true for Reddit, as well. But proceed with caution, as a lack of authenticity or spamming the community could open you up to serious negative sentiment. Note that because of the high level of engagement, targeted ad buys to relevant sub-reddits also may be an effective strategy to consider.  Have you ever thought about using Reddit as a channel for your marketing efforts?

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