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Is Reddit Right for Your Brand’s PR Strategy?

UnknownDespite being founded 10 years ago, Reddit is still a mystery to even the savviest Internet users. Reddit is an online community where users vote on content using up and down votes – often called the “front page of the Internet,” Reddit gives users the ability to share stories, links, photos and videos. Also a platform for discussion, Reddit comments and content with the most “upvotes” rise to the top of the pages for its 169 million-plus unique monthly visitors and 7.55 billion monthly pageviews. “Subreddits” also exist – specialized discussion forums on specific topics for interested Reddit users, or “Redditors.”

So how can brands get involved? Let’s look at the pros and cons of this unique platform.

First, subreddits have the ability to reach extremely targeted audiences. For example, there are several subreddits about franchising, public relations and other specific industries. At any given time, you can see how many users are viewing or engaging in the discussion.

All Points PR has used the Freebies subreddit to promote different free client events, including Free Croissant Day for la Madeleine Country French Café. Redditors were able to comment and share the message of la Madeleine’s giveaway, spreading the news across multiple platforms and increasing buzz for the client.

Additionally, Reddit can help familiarize the public with a brand. The site has AMAs, or Ask Me Anythings, which are forums for Redditors to interview a person and ask any questions they want. Hundreds of celebrities and CEOs have had Reddit AMAs that have boosted their brand image – including President Obama!

Reddit also has a younger demographic – the average user is between 18-29 and is extremely tech savvy. If this is your audience, Reddit might be a good choice for your brand.

However, there are some negative aspects to Reddit use as well – primarily, the possibility of negative comments. Commenters can be extremely harsh and critical. On the plus side, this forces authenticity for your brand with very little opportunity for smoke and mirrors.

Second, there is a certain lack of control to Reddit – after all, Redditors control the popularity of a story through up or down votes. This means that a post could totally exceed your expectations or fall flat. But if it falls flat, there’s not much harm to your brand. Zero interaction on a post isn’t the end of the word on a site with such enormous amounts of content. It’s less visible than, say, launching a Facebook contest on a brand page with zero interaction.

The first step is determining which brands should use Reddit – it’s not for everyone. Can your brand contribute something or begin an interesting conversation? Does your company have a well known or intriguing CEO or spokesperson? Are you trying to promote giveaways or freebies? Are you working with specialized industry leaders?

The most important thing to keep in mind when considering using Reddit is having someone on board who can effectively use and moderate your company’s interactions. All Points PR uses Reddit for our franchise industry clients to promote events and news through the platform, eliciting positive responses and, in some cases, even viral content. Click here to see how the All Points social media team can draft a strategy to utilize the unique audience and reach of Reddit as part of your brand’s social media package.

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