How brands like Glossier, Rhone, and FirstBeauty are tapping into the exclusive Reddit community to organically grow their brand
Instagram and Facebook have become the go-to social media platforms for any business. But, as these platforms are becoming increasingly crowded spaces, brands have started to look for less-saturated platforms to engage their consumers. Believe it or not – Reddit is emerging as the new platform for brands to market their products, with more than 500 million monthly users. It is definitely a tempting opportunity, but also a tricky one.
Reddit calls itself “The front page of the Internet” and very rightly so, as the website is a fascinating mix of news, cool links, social commentary, etc.
According to Adam Bridegan, CMO of men’s activewear brand Rhone, Reddit has a completely different community when compared to Facebook. There is a whole culture of authenticity. You can not simply make an account and start promoting your brand. Spamming the users with brand content is an absolute no-no on Reddit. There is also a huge possibility that your account will be banned if you’re there to just advertise your product. So, if you are a brand trying to hop on the Reddit bandwagon, you need to do it extremely carefully and follow the community guidelines.
Reddit is one platform that is completely moderated by its users. It might seem like a small platform when compared to Facebook and Instagram which has 2 billion and 1 billion active users per month respectively. But, Reddit is the 18th-most-trafficked site in the world and is among the top six in the U.S, according to Amazon’s web traffic analyzing platform, Alexa. Because of its popularity and relative lack of brands present on the website, brands like Rhone have stepped into the world of Redditors.
Please understand that Reddit is made up of a bunch of subreddits. These subreddits exist for every possible category. Then there are communities like /r/hailcorporate that call out instances of obvious advertising or brand messaging. The moderators of the largest fashion subreddits have very strict policies against advertising.
Adam Bridegan from Rhone has been successful on Reddit only because his strategy was to be completely transparent and reactive when engaging with communities. Rather than spamming the users with posts from the brand, Bridegan, and his team concentrated on only showing up when the brand name was mentioned organically by the user. Their strategy was to only answer questions and respond to feedback rather than trying to sell it via advertising, which would end up with the brand getting banned from the website.
Bridegan said, “The subreddits for male fashion and male fashion advice –those are ones where our product gets posted organically, and when people upvote it [the Reddit equivalent of liking something on Instagram] so it gets more visibility, it’s huge. That’s actually how we stumbled onto Reddit for the first time. It’s so big and organic. We were getting mentioned in conversations naturally, and we just started going on there and answering questions. A lot of the other brands are ignoring Reddit because it’s an intimidating place. The users there are incredibly vocal if they don’t like you. But we see a lot of value and growth in that area.”
The real value you get on Reddit is via conversation. Beauty brands like First Aid Beauty and Glossier have been able to crack the code to market their products on Reddit. These brands have been able to receive organic media coverage via posts and discussions that go viral on the website without ever having to pay the platform.
According to Kaitlyn Roche, a brand strategist for Reddit, brands simply cannot just go on the website and promote themselves since communities have strict rules against brand promotions. But, when brands go beyond that and support the interests of the community, mutual trust and credibility are built. So, brands have to think of creative ways to target different communities as all the communities are not similar.
Furthermore, Brands can also run paid ads within the subreddit communities and can choose whether they want the user to comment or not but, it is always safer to engage with the audience and know them. In addition, Reddit also provides with blacklisting and whitelisting which means ads can only be allowed on some particular subreddits. Brands can create their keyword list and avoid ads from appearing next to them.
Ultimately, Reddit has a huge potential for both paid advertisement and influencer marketing. Knowing the conversation around your brand can help you to organically allocate resources. Customer interaction and answering questions is the most valuable on Reddit. As more and more brands are trying to discover less saturated social media platforms, Reddit might be on top of that list.
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