I started using Reddit in 2012 and have been wasting time on the site ever since.
I browsed it while the site changed. Some parts of it became repetitive and dull, and some parts became exciting and interesting.
Additionally, if you know where to look, there are also parts that give you a front-row view of someone’s life completely changing.
Reddit is a social media medium that most think is gimmicky because it’s mostly anonymous and the types of posts are somewhat pointless depending on which subreddit it’s posted to.
But the benefit of Reddit is the system of subreddits sort all types of audiences, large and small, into the easiest way to find a niche just by assuming there is a subreddit for it. And some of them are eager to hear what you have to contribute.
There is a reason it is known as the front page of the internet.
If you’re unfamiliar with Reddit, the best way to describe it is like a school cafeteria.
In the cafeteria, there are lunch tables (subreddits) with all sorts of people who sit by those whom they share an interest with.
Anyone can sit anywhere, anyone can get up and move anywhere and the staff at the school have no enforcement of who goes to what table. Unless you do something against the rules.
Replace lunch table with subreddit and that’s pretty much it. There could be a table already formed talking about what you want to talk about. And if there’s not, you can be the first one to sit at that table and see if anyone comes to join you.
You could say, the point of subreddits being organized and created is the same exact methodology of tags.
That’s essentially what they are. With the exception that tags might be a word or two, but Reddit has the capability to take an inside joke with one subreddit and form an entirely new subreddit around that joke and take a deeper dive. There isn’t an end to subreddit trees.
In the cafeteria, there are unlimited tables. Someone in the room can and wants to help you. Someone else is already interested in what you have to say before you’ve said it. You just need to learn how to find them.
So how can I self promote?
The best way to explain how Reddit works for a business is by assuming there are people interested in what you are sharing. There always will be.
The benefit of Reddit is everyone has already sorted themselves out, you don’t need to form a specific targeted group like you would in a Facebook ad campaign.
The problem comes when you want to share something without making it seem like self-promotion and finding who would be most interested. That’s when someone experienced with the site can tell you where the best place would be.
If you’re trying to get some eyes on your newly designed website that talks about science, there is an audience for that. Now, you might ask yourself a few questions.
Is there a subreddit for science? Is there a subreddit for new websites? Is there a subreddit for websites about science?
The answer to all three is not surprisingly yes. But which one would be the one to post because spoiler, all three is the wrong answer. Some will get you banned from the sub for self-promotion and a lot of negative feedback might come from posting to the wrong place.
I’m also not trying to say that being deceptive about why you are posting is the goal. Discussion and feedback from someone are might be more beneficial than just baiting people into the website.
We want a discussion because if we just post and leave it, we can do that, but people won’t come unless we show that we are interested in talking about it with not just an audience, but to them as well. Show you want feedback and criticism because you genuinely should want that.
Let’s take this scenario and I’ll walk through my thinking that should lead us to the right place.
I checked on Google and the best science subreddits that can spark a discussion and get people to see what I wrote might include r/asksciencediscussion.
While r/science may be the place to post, it can get buried if it doesn’t get popular quick because of the subreddits size. And the likelihood of something similar having already been posted might get the post taken down in a matter of seconds.
The difference between r/science and r/askscience is discussion and r/science would quickly call out self-promotion if detectable and r/askscience is more one-off questions had by users with no additional poster discussion, just a question post so no links.
However, r/asksciencediscussion has users post a question, one that I can form from the latest piece of information I published on my science site, and ask for more information and give my site as context. I can say I’m working on this part of my website and want some additional ideas or information.
The likelihood of that discussion existing is much higher and the audience size of r/asksciencediscussion, while smaller than r/askscience, is an audience that may be more into science, willing to overlook something appearing close to self-promotion and with a smaller audience rules out the obvious attempt at sharing something with as many people as possible.
That is the conclusion I came to for the most beneficial place to share and by searching other subreddits, more specific articles can be shown to even more specific audiences.
Some I think would fall under the umbrella of science if related to the site include things like r/geophysics, r/biophysics, r/technology and pretty much any other sub category or sub sub category.
Not to mention, maybe you are just starting out and first want someone to look at your website for design purposes. There’s a subreddit for that. There’s a subreddit for the coding of your website if there was another extension or widget you wanted to implement that you needed help with.
The point is, by using Reddit to spark discussion, a friendly conversation can lead to conversion. If you share what you want to say and find the person who is interested, they are more willing to support the ones that came to them.