Reddit is a beast of a content curation tool, and it’s certainly not for the weak willed. It has the potential to put hundreds of thousands of eyes on your content overnight, but you must be armed with confidence and clad with knowledge to come out of the Reddit arena victoriously. You’ll also need some serious fight in you to claim ultimate exposure for your content.
Reddit users, lovingly called Redditors by the online community, are given a massive amount of power for the shockingly low price of free when they sign up for a Reddit account. Each person can vote for or against a piece of content once per piece, and they can comment with the loftiest praise or the foulest criticism as often and loudly as they see fit. Redditors determine what other Redditors see and with what they interact, and their hammer of judgment is mighty.
How do you walk amongst Internet titans and stake your claim on the pages of Reddit? You follow these 5 tips for pushing content to Reddit, and you start on them early.
1. Know Reddiquette
Redditors have composed an extensive list of guidelines for all users to follow that help govern an otherwise completely lawless content board. The Reddiquette document is available anytime to anyone on the Reddit website. Ideally, all users would follow the rules set forth as a token of loyalty to the community ethos, but as you spend more time on Reddit, you’ll see the rules uncannily broken on a daily basis.
But if you want to be taken seriously and would like to see others fairly criticize your content, take the high road and follow the rules. The people you want to impress are those who understand the value and power of a content curation machine on the scope of Reddit. The people who read, understand, appreciate, and share your content that follows Reddiquette are the thought leaders who will push your content to the top – provided it deserves to be there.
Read and Follow Subreddit Rules
Community rules don’t begin and end with the almighty Reddiquette document, though – you’ll also need to read and adhere to the conditions set forth in each subreddit, a forum within the grand Reddit framework. Most subreddits will have an easy-to-spot link at the top of the page to their rules or will list them in the sidebar so you can easily access them.
Most forum moderators will also direct you to the subreddit guidelines just before you post a link or comment so you can make doubly sure that you’ve checked off every item on their wishlist. Take advantage of this opportunity – your content may fall off immediately if it violates a condition of the subreddit.
2. Develop a Reputation
As in any other community, every member has a reputation, but Reddit actually records your reputation and puts it on display in the form of karma points. The higher your karma count, the more reputable you may be considered, though the actual mileage of those Karma points is negotiable among Redditors.
Even if you’re representing a company, you’ll need to develop morally righteous Reddit skills and experiment with posting, commenting, and sharing knowledge and insight in areas that you feel comfortable speaking as an expert. Start building your reputation by:
- Helping people with their problems
- Providing courteous responses to simple questions
- Politely and fairly participating in hot discussion topics
- Genuinely critiquing the work of those in your field
- Contributing to community content curation with upvotes and downvotes
Take a moment each day to do one or more of these and you might be shocked at how quickly your karma and reputation builds.
Remember also to keep things as fresh as possible. There are some Redditors who have dedicated almost all of their free time to Reddit, and they may have considerable influence over how well-received your content is. Karma is divided into link karma and comment karma, so you’ll need to take 2 separate approaches to your reputation growth.
Post a Variety of Content
Don’t stick to blogs or articles exclusively – there’s so many ways to consume information on the Internet, and those who spend a lot of time in the digital world become bored quickly.
Spice up your content cocktail with fun videos, infographics, interesting products, and even animations to really grab the attention of your fellow Redditors. Though they may not realize it, they’ll be quenching their thirst for entertainment and knowledge and see your name next to their favorites.
Comments get buried by other comments fast. Eager Redditors will leave replies in the desert of feedback miles away from those few relentless commentators that make it to the oasis.
If you want to make an impact on readers, have a large footprint. When you have something to say, comment, and do it with confidence. Above all, never be rude, and don’t participate in digital tantrums.
3. Strike a Balance Between Self-Promotion and Community Interaction
In most cases (and is so written as a rule on many subreddits), Redditors don’t want to see content posted by someone who has a connection with the content’s host. At the very least, they’ll expect you to contribute articles from sources other than the ones you’re associated with much more regularly than you post your own content. Accordingly, you’ll have to balance self-promotion and community interaction.
The 9:1 Ratio
Reddiquette recommends that for every link you place on Reddit to your own content, you should also post 9 links with which you aren’t affiliated. The rule has 2 functions:
- Prevent spam – In an openly linkable world like Reddit, it’s easy for users to post unreasonable amounts of articles and blogs in a bid to gain karma points and page views. The 9:1 ratio helps keep posts thoughtful and engaging rather than spammy.
- Encourage interaction – The 9:1 ratio pushes users to explore content that isn’t their own. This helps open the gates of your chosen subreddit to opinions that force you to think outside your own carefully crafted box.
Corralling one’s ego is tough, but the 9:1 ratio provides users with a great excuse to learn what competitors are up to and how they’re failing and succeeding. Armed with the knowledge of your 9 community posts, your 10th post that promotes your own content will enjoy rapid evolution every time you post.
4. Decide Which Content is Worth Pushing
In accordance with the 9:1 ratio, provided that you follow it, you won’t be able to push out absolutely every piece of content that you create. Choose carefully the stuff you want the world to see, then run it through this checklist:
- Is it new?
- Is it worthy of discussion?
- Is it well written, drawn, or edited?
- Will Redditors care?
Keep in mind that digital age youth are now becoming adults and will soon become thought leaders in the very industries that create your salary. Young men and women in the digital age have an attention span averaging no more than 8 seconds. It doesn’t stop there – the age range for those with waning attention spans is also swelling.
Consequently, there’s a new need to limit the content you promote to ideas and thoughts that will challenge the 8-second attention limit. Hook your audience with powerful messages and witty writing and keep them coming. Don’t sit all of your engaging thoughts on the shoulders of your content. Let the body of your work share the burden.
Once you’re convinced that Redditors will select your content, put it out at that same quality or better regularly. You’ll gain the trust of Redditors, and they’ll start to promote your content for you. Congratulations, you’ve engineered some serious brand awareness.
5. Learn to Deal with Difficult Feedback
Redditors are real human beings with genuine thoughts, but the shield of anonymity provided graciously by the Internet gives them the keys to the criticism machine, and their fuel can be anything from jealousy to wonder. You’re not likely to post anything without hearing about how terrible or wrong it is, so get an approach to criticism ready before you share your content.
Spot Fake Experts
Everyone knows better than you. The legions of subject matter experts on Reddit will be sure to let you know that as often as possible.
Keep in mind that the community in which you’re posting content is opinionated and will transform their opinions into facts if they can pull it off. Fake experts are quick to criticize and cite anecdotal evidence without prejudice. Know your content back to front and be ready to back it up with real facts if you choose to reply.
Some folks just relish in pushing people’s buttons, even if that person is across the world. When a Redditor tugs at your emotions, always take a step back. Set your ego aside and take personal attacks at face value, which actually amounts to nothing. If you overcome the instinctual need to bicker, comments from Internet trolls will meet the grave and fertilize real discussions with meaning.
Pick Your Battles
Don’t ignore your critics, just vet the ones that aren’t contributing to thought evolution. If someone has an interesting idea or a new take on what you’ve provided to the community, engage with that person in an enlightened discussion. You and many other fellow Redditors will enjoy the exchange and you’ll earn karma, page views, and exposure.
Never forget – Reddit is not and never was a marketing tool. It’s a place to share groundbreaking content with a captive audience, and marketers would be wise to treat it as such. Respect the community, share new ideas, and overcome the negativity, and you’ll learn to walk one of the brightest paths to success in awareness and engagement.
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