In June 2005, the cyber-culture phenomenon known as Reddit was born.
Marked as “the front page of the internet” Reddit has the stats to boast.
With 60-70 percent of the front page containing images, it’s an appealing place to be.
Not only is it visually appealing, it influences the way we communicate, our purchasing habits, and our perceptions of events, people, and companies.
As strategic communicators, PR professionals have already integrated social listening into their toolkit, and Reddit is an optimal place to source honest, valuable opinions, and measure dispositions.
A successful PR strategy that uses Reddit as a viable communication channel can:
- Drive traffic to a website or philanthropy campaign
- Increase awareness about an event or brand
- Improve brand reputation
- Extend social reach
- Fuel communication objectives
Reddit is more than half the size of Twitter and shows no signs of ceasing growth. If you are already active on the visually appealing social networks, you may find Reddit to be the most promising in terms of ROI.
Earn Front Page Reddit Status
- Know your subreddit. Just like your PR professor taught you, research your target publics and know your audience. Is your photo a cute animal? That belongs in aww, not gaming. Are you trying to feature something finite such as software for contractors? That belongs in construction, not technology. In this case, while the submission is relevant and may be very helpful to users (and even drive a few sales), it’s never going to make it to the front page. Small subreddits are virtually impossible to hit front page with.
- Really know your subreddit. I can’t stress this enough. We have complete access to a medium (the subreddit) and all of its users (subreddit subscribers). Spend at least an hour taking notes of the most successful submissions, reading the comments, and deeply thinking about why it is successful.
- Bring something new to the table. Reddit is not a place for the faint-hearted. If you’re submitting a photo that has already been submitted, is monotonous, or is in the wrong subreddit, there are two possible results: Redditors will downvote your submission into oblivion, pointing out every reason your submission is terrible, leaving you with a mediocre insult or your submission will quietly vanish into a void of nothingness. Avoid these scenarios by following steps one and two when planning a submission.
- Be yourself. Really, be a real person. From the link headline to the comments section, you must come across as human. Popular Reddit headlines are, “This [picture] [did something] to me” and “This [picture] is why [problem exists].”
- Luck and patience. Many Redditors suggest there are optimal times to post content for higher visibility. This is more applicable for the less popular subreddits, where the majority of subscribers might fit a certain demographic. For all purposes, always remember that luck and patience are factors in the front-page equation. If at first you don’t succeed, try 20 more times.
What Gets on the Front Page of Reddit
The reality is clever memes, absurd photos, and other forms of ridiculousness will always be on the front page of Reddit.
Consider this: According to the Google Ad Planner estimate, as of May 2013, the median Reddit user is male (59 percent), 25–34 years of age, and is connecting from the United States (68 percent)
The key takeaway is to understand Reddit does have a leniency in its preferred content and worldviews. That being said, it’s also important to understand that subreddits have their own front page; meaning the demographic listed above only applies to the general community, not specific ones.
This is an example of a popular subreddit, PhotoShopBattles. These are the top three photo links from its front page. In this subreddit users provide a non-manipulated image and other users will submit a photoshopped version of the original image in the comments section.
That’s cool, but why should I care?
Learning how subreddits operate allows us to participate appropriately, which increases our chances of reaching the front page.
Take Action for Reddit Popularity
Do one of your clients have an album of high quality photos or a funny staff member? Find the best-fitting photo (something hilarious) and get permission from them to submit it to this subreddit (make sure they understand what’s happening to the photo). If it performs well on this subreddit, it has a much higher chance of hitting the main front page.
But where’s the value in that?
Create a post on your client’s blog and feature all of the submissions from the comment section (the suitable-for-work ones) and mention this feature post in the comment section. As long as all parties involved give you the green light, this is a great way to boost the fun side of a client and drive some extra site traffic (and possible sales).
On Reddit there are hundreds of paths to hitting the front page. Images are the most traveled. Retrace the steps of front page images, stop, and think, “Is this something we can do?”
Was this useful? Do you have any suggestions for others wondering how to get a photo on the front page? Please share in the comments below!