Is Reddit Worth the Effort for Marketers?

A laptop displays the sign in screen for Reddit while the Reddit logo is superimposed over the scene

Reddit promotes itself as the “Front Page of the Internet” and once you learn to maneuver it, you can see why. It offers varied content and is usually the origin of much of what you see on your other social media channels.
Boasting a progressive and diverse audience, Reddit is consistently one of the most visited websites on the internet. On top of that, the audience on the site is highly engaged, spending an average of thirteen minutes on it, more than any other website to date.
So as a marketer, this seems like the perfect place to advertise and promote your product or service, right? Wrong.
Reddit is a great website for an individual to use and visit, but as a business, it is almost always recommended that you stay away.
Here’s why:

Reddit is Scandal Prone

If you ask the average person about Reddit, you’re likely to get two responses. They will either talk about some memes they saw on there, or they will bring up one of the site’s many scandals. There were some creepy things with leaking pictures of celebrities, a brief time when they were attacking people violently based on their weight, and we can’t forget how the Donald Trump subreddit behaved during this past election. These are just a few examples of the hot water Reddit has found itself in.
It turns out that while an open platform like this is great most of the time, bad apples can slip through easily. There could be some serious damage control if your brand accidentally gets caught up in the next scandal.

The User Base is Smart

Well…not always. However, they are collectively more aware than the rest of the internet. The way this impacts marketers most is that they know how to use ad blockers. Chances are you won’t get to reach those you want to when advertise on Reddit.
There is a second option to promote natively on the platform. This is rarely done with success, and the generally anti-consumer user base won’t be afraid to call you out when they notice your intent. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but it requires a sense of genuineness and commitment of time that isn’t seen in all brands.

It’s Rejected by the Masses

While Reddit is extremely popular, it hasn’t broken out like other social platforms.  When the average user goes there with no prior knowledge, it looks ugly and difficult to use, and many people don’t have the patience to figure it out. Reddit has tried to fix this with a recent redesign of the website, but that has received just as much negative feedback. Until it can bring in more users, it won’t grow as useful as its contemporaries.
Reddit is a great platform when you know what content to curate for yourself, and how to use the interface. It isn’t so great when you’re trying to promote something. That isn’t to say it can’t be done. If you think that’s where your audience is, we can help you figure out how to reach them. Depending on your goals, we can also recommend other effective tactics. Contact us and let’s chat.

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