by Jessica Malnik | Featured Contributor
Whether you are a college student or recent graduate just starting to build your personal brand or a entrepreneur launching a new venture, it can often be really daunting to build any sort of brand awareness and momentum at the get-go. Sure, you can start with Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or start your own blog. However, that’s what the vast majority of people will start with. The race for eyeballs to your content is fierce. It can be demoralizing when you realize the only people reading your content is your mom and two of your closest friends. However, there’s another way to start to generate traffic and attention to your brand. It’s probably a site that you frequent almost daily. It’s Reddit.
Now, I know what you are thinking. You are probably envisioning Reddit – as it’s been stereotyped- as a place for geeks, hardcore video gamers and people, who still live in their parent’s basement, who hate the world and angrily troll strangers. Yes, there is a little of that, but there is also a tremendous amount of value and potential. It’s not only a fantastic tool to learn how to build communities online. But, it’s also one heck of a market research and awareness tool.
I wanted to share 5 tips for how to use Reddit to build your brand.
1. Identify subreddits relevant to your niche.
There’s literally a subreddit for anything and everything. To prove it, one of my favorite resources to find subreddits is to peruse the findareddit subreddit. So, meta I know.
If that doesn’t lend any results, you can run a few broader searches by checking out one of these three resources.
As you are just getting started, I would recommend limiting yourself to 2-3 subreddits to concentrate on initially. Also, avoid the ridiculously large hodgepodge reddits like pics, videos and funny. As a newbie, you stand a much better chance of standing out in a subreddit with 5,000 Redditors as opposed to 5 million. Trust me, on this one.
2. Use Reddit as the ultimate keyword research tool
In addition to the vast array of subreddits on anything and everything, Reddit can be an incredibly powerful keyword research tool. I would argue it may even be better than Google Adwords Keyword Planner.
You can use it to help write SEO-friendly headlines, craft meta descriptions, write product descriptions (if you sell anything) and even just to give you a better sense into how your target audience searches for this type of content online. All of which are incredibly valuable characteristics.
3. Start to build street cred
On Facebook, you have likes. On, Twitter, you have followers. And on Reddit, you have karma points. You have a chance to earn karma by submitting links and commenting on others’ posts. The more link and comment karma points you get, the more perceived credibility that you have on Reddit.
The quickest way to get karma points is to add value – be it utilitarian, informative or sheer entertainment value for other redditors.
You can do this by submitting content from around the Web and by commenting on other people’s content. While it may seem like a great idea to just submit content from your blog to Reddit, this is an ill-advised strategy. You don’t want to piss off Redditors, as they can wreck havoc on your brand- personal or professional.
Just be nice and generally provide helpful content, it will pay off in dividends.
4. Generate new ideas for blog posts
This is a bit of an extension of the second tip. An unintended very awesome side effect of doing keyword research is that it’s an amazing way to cure writer’s block. You can generate so many blog post ideas by seeing what types of content come up and do well on Reddit.
5. Use it as a large focus group to generate feedback
Just like you can use Reddit to generate post ideas, it can also be a great sounding off board to see if your ideas will stick. Just be careful that you don’t abuse this.
If fact if you are an entrepreneur or blogger, the r/entrepreneur and r/blogging subreddits are great places to seek advice and get feedback. Often times, this will result in much more honest and critical feedback than what your friends and family will tell you. (i.e. make sure you have a thick skin before posting, Redditors are generally a tough crowd to impress.)
Have you incorporated Reddit into your brand strategy. If so, what has worked for you? Please share in the comment section below.
Jessica Malnik is a community builder, content creator and an avid blogger. She blogs regularly on her own blog, jessicamalnik.com. Her blog focuses on community management, social media, PR and a little bit of marketing.
Her work has been featured in a variety of online sites and publications, including Convince and Convert, PR Daily, Spin Sucks, SocialFresh, 12Most and TheCommunityManager.com