Reddit is a marketer’s dream and subreddits – or online forums about various topics – attract 330 million users every month. With a choice of 1.2 million+ discussions, prospects and customers in your target market are waiting to hear from you. But, how do you use Reddit effectively to gain business, and then use guerilla marketing connect to the right audience?

Let’s back up. Are you on Reddit?

Considering Reddit is the number three website in the world, you’ve probably at least dabbled on it. If not, here’s a great beginner’s guide to learn the lingo and understand the nuances of the community. Keep in mind Reddit isn’t about direct marketing for your business. It’s about being part of an authentic community that will hopefully seek your business out.

Here’s how to start

Create an account using your company name as your user name, and start reading through subreddits (topics) to see where your audience hangs out. Check out some of the posts to make sure you’re in the right place, then subscribe to the subreddits that make sense for you. Posts from these forums will show up on your home page. It’s best to sort your page by “Hot Posts.” This will put posts with the most conversation at the top your feed.

Before you jump in, make sure you read the rules for each subreddit. Each little community has its own guidelines for what you’re allowed to post and how to post it. If you don’t follow their rules, you’ll get kicked out of the sandbox. If enough people report you, whether it’s justified or not, you’ll get shadow-banned. The worst part is, you won’t know it because it looks like your posts are fine. The reality is no one else can see your content.

Next, start commenting on conversations. This will help you understand how users in your subreddit interact with one another and what type of content they like to comment on. Start posting to subreddits to spark conversation. The more interaction you have, the better. This is where you establish yourself as a subject matter expert.

So, how is this going to help your business?

First of all, you’re putting yourself in front of a community who will be interested in your product or service. When they see your name over and over again and have a need for your business, they’re more likely to seek you out.

Second, you can advertise on your personal page. Talk about your business, posts ads, and discuss specials you’re running. When you post and comment on subreddits, people will click through to your profile, and that’s where they’ll see your business-specific content. If people follow you, your posts about your business will show up on their homepage.

Note: Don’t go to Reddit to just post business promotions to your profile – You’ll get shadow-banned. And, no one will see your posts if you aren’t authentically posting. Follow this general rule of thumb; 1 business-related message to every 10 interactive posts on the platform.

Not sure if this is for you?

Start on a personal level. If you love golden retrievers, join a related subreddit. Get involved with the community. Once you get comfortable, include your business. Forums provide untapped potential to build an online audience, create a community, and gain awareness for your brand.

Golden Retrievers. Small business marketing. Gardening. Zombies.

It’s all there.

Give the Reddit platform a try. You may be unexpectedly surprised.

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