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How to get Reddit right

Mike Khouri, CEO, Tactical writes how brands can leverage Reddit's untapped potential

Credits: Tactical

In a world of content and advertising overload, brands are under increasing pressure to find meaningful ways to engage with their audience.

Enter Reddit, an untapped goldmine of consumer insights and an unconventional way for brands to connect with communities.

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For many, Reddit is considered a discussion forum, but for the few who know it well, it’s so much more than that. As a platform, it’s where passionate communities connect and share opinions both niche and wide, giving Marketers a front row seat to the hyper-specific, culturally-relevant conversations of their dreams.

However, despite serving up a highly engaged user base of more than 55 million daily active Redditors, as well as being credited as the birthplace of community conversations and sentiment online, many brands are still unsure how to take on this exceptionally vocal community platform.

Fortunately, for brands willing to do their homework to better understand this underutilised media channel, unparalleled real-time insights will follow.

Community is where the gold sits

Authenticity is what sets Reddit apart from other platforms because content is prioritised by community sentiment, not algorithms.

With nearly 140,000 daily active subreddits and millions of users sharing their thoughts, opinions, and advice – Reddit has a unique way of surfacing the unfiltered public perception about literally anything across all pockets of the globe.

This gives brands a chance to tap into real-time customer experiences on everything from product features to price point woes, turning these listening nuggets into golden insights to act on.

Think of it as community management and listening at scale.

Milking it

A great example of a brand utilising Reddit – and getting it right – is Oatly, the dairy alternative brand.

By listening to the Reddit community’s Oatly-related grievances, the brand was able to address common misconceptions through 100 unique text-only ads that drove the largest-ever conversation about oat milk.

Speaking directly to Reddit’s captive audience, the brand sparked a 9,037 per cent increase in comment engagement, debunked myths, and drove significant traffic to its F[redacted] Oatly fact-checking site.

Not only did Reddit give Oatly a window into industry and product-related conversations, they used those insights to reshape a narrative and broader sentiment, as well as drive meaningful business results.

Don’t be afraid to tap the untouched

From an advertising perspective, Reddit offers unignorably high conversion rates and efficient use of media budgets. Despite attractive numbers and audience stats, many brands are yet to venture into Reddit’s uncharted territory, mostly because they don’t understand the opportunity the platform presents and how best to utilise it.

Given communities within Reddit control the narrative and are the first to call out the things they don’t agree with or see as tone deaf – it’s understandable how conventional brands would rather stick to conventional channels.

However, now is not the time to be conventional. For brands who are willing to be bold and experiment beyond routine channels and media plans, Reddit offers the chance to speak ‘to’ instead of ‘at’ an audience in a personable, relatable way.

Ultimately, progressive thinking brands want to play a bigger part in social commentary and culture, and to do that, they need to go to the source of where these conversations begin. Reddit is often that playground.

But remember, brands don’t create culture, communities do. Sometimes, if a brand really listens and starts to speak the same language, they get the opportunity to jump in and play a part in shaping it.