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How to Use Reddit for B2B Marketing

September 29th, 2010 :: Monika Jansen

Because I think the B2B marketing world does not revolve around the social media megasites of Facebook and Twitter, I decided over the summer to start devoting a blog post every month to unsung social media platforms.  In August, I turned the spotlight on Digg.  This month, I’ll be looking at Reddit

But first, what is Reddit?  According to the home page of their website:

reddit is a source for what’s new and popular online. vote on links that you like or dislike and help decide what’s popular, or submit your own!  [The all-lower-case thing is their doing.]

Here’s how it works:

Like Digg, it’s a user-generated news site. Once you create an account, you can submit stories that others can vote and comment on.  (Reddit is a play on words: “I read it on reddit.”)  For the first few hours, the stories do not display a vote tally. This helps prevent manipulation, ensures more organic voting, and dissuades the lemming effect.  The more up votes (as opposed to down votes), the higher the ranking and the more visibility your story will have.  Reddit has a lot of sub-categories (called communities) that users have created.  As a registered user, you can subscribe to the categories/communities that are most appealing to you.

They have a feature that I really like: The more items you submit that people like, the higher your karma score.  I know that sounds a little hokey, but a good karma score is actually validation that you are submitting good content that is worth reading.  The karma score lends you credibility, and it will attract people to your submissions.

Though Reddit is a news site like Digg, I would use it differently, as they really emphasize the news part.  Submit attention-grabbing industry news to help position you as a go-to source for information, and submit legitimate company news that would be of interest to your community’s members.  You can repurpose press releases, surveys and polls you conduct, and articles and white papers you write.  Because of the community emphasis, be sure to comment on other people’s submissions. 

After spending some time on Reddit, I’ve learned that it’s less of a free-for-all than Digg, very community-oriented, and more civilized.  They have etiquette guidelines, which discourage vote-grabbing and campaigning in favor of community preference.  (The guidelines were actually written by community members, not Reddit employees.)    Each of Reddit’s communities also has moderators to set parameters and, well, moderate comments.

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