Founded in 2005, reddit is a social news-sharing Website allowing users to interact with others by submitting, commenting, and voting on stories. Submissions are organized by areas of interest and are called “subreddits”. Members who submit news stories and post comments are call “redditors,” which was derived from the two words, “reddit editor.” With the endless amount of information on the Internet today, reddit is a social news and bookmarking Website that helps you find, read and share the most interesting and popular stories on the Web.
As of August 17, 2012, reddit had 39,747,323 unique visitors last month and on August 16, 2012, reddit powered 4,138 active communities. Some members use reddit as a social bookmarking site to compile their own collection of the news, while others use it as news aggregator, counting on the crowd-sourced reviews and ratings of other people’s submissions. Let’s see how this news-sharing Website can benefit your business.
reddit is a tight-knit community, and brands can find it difficult to infiltrate and gain access to meaningful customer interaction. Although redditors can “friend” one another and is a very interactive Website, reddit’s community is not the most welcoming platform for businesses to engage with their consumers. The community is typically unreceptive to outsiders, especially brands, and demands new members follow the rules and prove themselves before being accepted. This makes is hard for brands to break through and find their target audience.
While difficult, the basis of reddit is a community of interaction. Members can create a subreddit, as well as customize the content that appears on their personal front page by subscribing to reddits. “Friending” redditors who share your industry’s interests and subscribing to their reddits allows members to engage in conversations on their posts. Focusing on the site’s categorized reddits that are relevant to your brand provides some opportunity to reach small niche communities who are more likely to engage with your links and give you valuable feedback.
As with customer interaction, reddit is very selective in the stories and images that gain popularity, limiting a brand’s opportunities for exposure. Besides news worthy related stories, many of the entries that appear on the front page are images or internet memes, which are typically uploaded to Imgur, an online image hosting service used to share photos between Social Networking sites and online communities, before being resubmitted to reddit. Being a social news-sharing Website, most entries are submitted through major news sites or Imgur leaving many brands scrambling to try to be included.
Members’ activity on reddit continues to increase, and as a result the potential for traffic is excellent; if you are favored by the reddit community. There is an entire page dedicated to etiquette, “reddiquette,” that the reddit team expects all members to uphold; these terms are written by redditors themselves. By not abiding by these terms, you can expect to be shunned by the community.
Reddit, like many other types of social bookmarking sites, is great for content discovery, though as we’ve stated throughout this article, it is difficult for brands to break through and be accepted in the reddit community. When submitting to social bookmarking sites, it is important for your content to be original and have unique, catchy headlines to catch the community’s eye.
When a story does get accepted into the community, it still faces an uphill battle in reaching the front page. In general, the front pages show newer submissions that have been rated highly. Users can rate stories and discussions by voting for (“upvote”) or against (“downvote”) them; the more votes a story receives, the farther it will rise to the top of the reddit homepage. Votes are supposed to signify relevance and importance to the topic, not popularity. Therefore, a downvote doesn’t necessarily mean that the user dislikes the story; they just don’t feel that it’s worthy of being on the front page.
The age of the submission is also a determining factor for whether it appears on the front page or not. This makes it important for users to make frequent submissions containing up-to-date information in order to increase the chance of receiving a front page ranking. An article from The Daily SEO Blog unveils reddit’s front page ranking algorithm. By understanding these ranking factors and focusing on individual reddits, you’ll find greater opportunities to reach a more targeted audience of fewer, more interested viewers.
The SEO opportunities from reddit are limited. While the potential is huge, the resources a brand must invest in the site are daunting. In order for reddit to offer your Website sustainable SEO benefits, your articles need to appear on the front page, which is no easy feat. redditors can also submit your images to Imgur first, and then submit the links to reddit which eliminates the link back to your site. This practice eliminates the SEO benefits to your Website.
Have you created a reddit account for your brand yet? How are you using this Social Media platform, or what’s holding you back? Let us know by using the #SocialMediaStage on Twitter, posting a comment to our Facebook Page or leaving a comment below!