It’s so easy to lose a few hours on the internet.

One of the easiest traps to fall into is to watch a video on YouTube, see something interesting in the related videos section, and go down a path you had absolutely no intention of following.

The sheer amount of content available on the internet is staggering; so much so that there’s a real worry that the internet is running out of room.

You’ll find a lot of that content on Reddit. The user-generated site is more like a huge community of like-minded people, posting things that interest them in different categories.

Give Respect To Reddit And It’ll Respect You BackWith a lot of the main social sites requiring that you have a financial budget to make the most out of them, Reddit’s free nature has attracted a lot of marketers using the site to attract traffic and generate brand awareness.

Play your cards right and you can be a global success. Most viral stories you see in the press originate on Reddit and spread thanks to its strong sense of community.

Try to take advantage of that community, though, and your name will be mud!

Have you ever used Reddit on a consistent basis to attract traffic and targeted consumers? How well has it worked for you? Let me know in the comments section below.

Hail to the chief

There are tens of thousands of subreddits on the website which are essentially communities broken down into their purest form.

But one subreddit that’s gaining a lot of traction at the moment is HailCorporate, a community of people so fed up with advertisers trying to manipulate Reddit for their own good that they’ve decided to take action.

They do it by highlighting posts were a corporate has tried to act like a normal user, pointing out the hidden ad and naming and shaming. There’s a real sense of justice amongst the 50,000-strong crew, with the moderators underlining in an interview last year that they’re trying to stop people being hoodwinked.

“As the site grows, the quality, along with the average user’s intelligence and age, drops. Marketers are swooping in on an increasingly fertile environment.

“Today there are many marketers, employees, community managers, game developers, and so on who interact on Reddit, but fully disclose who they are. This kind of advertising is good. There is absolutely nothing wrong with someone advertising for a company if done openly and honestly.

“The big problem is deceptive marketing and pretending to be something you aren’t. While I think it would be arrogant for r/HailCorporate to take credit for the rise of honest advertising on Reddit, I do think the subreddit played a part in exposing the negative forms of advertising.”

Deceptive or creative?

Negative advertising’s quite a strong accusation though, isn’t it, so what exactly are they fighting against?

 

the Reddit community isn’t soft.

 

Honesty is the key word here as the mod team highlighted in their interview. Two of the top posts on HailCorporate are very telling, as they highlight users allegedly created by employees of McDonald’s and Facebook trying to hide bad press and manipulate other users.

Some advertisers are also hiding advertising messages in pictures, uploading them to the most populated subreddits, getting staff to upvote them and send their way onto viral popularity.

Not only is it unfair that companies with large resources can invest in people to manipulate Reddit, but it’s pretty disingenuous to hit so many people with stealth advertising. Orwell would be horrified.

But the Reddit community isn’t soft. Befriending them and being transparent is worth more of your time as an advertiser than a quick photoshopped ad spot for quick views.

What’s the best way to maximise content with social media for free? Is the best way to do it with a budget? Let me know below!

Shelf the stealth

It’s easy to see why marketing on Reddit is an attractive prospect for marketers. It can be highly targeted, you can build a solid community, people can share your content, and it’s all for free; the perfect antidote to Facebook diluting the power of its likes, et al.

But the community is very intelligent and sensitive. If you want to post on a subreddit about car parts, then you’d better know a hell of a lot about different types and how they work.

But as the HailCorporate team underline, if people are up front about who they are, what they’re doing, and why they’re doing it and contribute to the wider community then they’ll be welcomed with open arms.

And it’s not just the HailCorporate team that have this message. It’s pretty much the rule on Reddit; the more you actually contribute and interact with people then the more successful you’re likely to be.

the more you actually contribute and interact with people then the more successful you’re likely to be.

A rule that can be applied to all social media campaigns, and those that do it right – especially on Reddit – have seen new investors directed to Kickstarters, gotten their content out to a wider audience, and exposed their brands in the right ways.

Those that do it wrong, though, get exposed quite brutally and dig themselves quite a deep, very public hole. Why put your reputation on the line for a few extra visits when damage can be limited by taking a bit more time to reach out and speak to people?

Small businesses especially can use Reddit in creative ways so long as they’re open and creative. Good news too; there are lots of regional and local subreddits that people can join to help get them exposed to a hugely relevant audience instantly.

Advertising in general should be about reaching your audience in new, creative ways that excites and resonates with them. Trying to sneak ads into people’s consciousness isn’t just unethical, but it’s unimaginative and just a little bit scary.

There’s no better example of this than what you can find over at Reddit. Treat it well, and it will be kind to you in return.

 

If you’d like to know more about social media marketing and how it can further the reach of your content contact the Webpresence team today!

 

(Images: Themindunleashed, Onewomansview)