Ask Me Anything: Brand Marketing Ideas from Reddit
Marketing Social Media

Ask Me Anything: Brand Marketing Ideas from Reddit

Reddit is a website that frequently appears in news headlines, whether it’s with the latest viral sensation, Internet movement, or controversy. With millions of users, a constant stream of content, and a seemingly endless supply of “subreddit” communities based around every imaginable interest, it’s no surprise that digital and social media marketers have begun to notice Reddit’s marketing potential. But for all the marketing ideas surrounding the platform, there are also plenty of pitfalls to avoid, particularly with a community that has as stringent and unspoken an etiquette as Reddit.

One particularly popular arena of Reddit is known as the AMA, which offers great opportunities for savvy marketers. These “Ask Me Anything” posts allow a person or group of people (or a brand) to be interviewed by Reddit users. Questions and comments can be upvoted or downvoted, allowing the community to decide which questions are of primary importance, and to some extent, grade the answers of the person being interviewed. A recent infographic from Udemy provides some excellent insight into just how strong an AMA can be, which brand marketers can take advantage of with a careful approach.

The Difference Between AMA Fails and AMA Wins

Before you hop on Reddit and share all your blog posts and give an AMA about how great your brand is, it is important to note that failure on Reddit is, in many ways, permanent.

The infamous example of AMA failure is when Woody Harrelson refused to respond to questions that weren’t about his soon-to-be-released film. The community quickly picked up how contrived the conversation was, and Redditors expressed their dissatisfaction, ridiculing Harrelson’s inept PR team.

For more sound Reddit marketing ideas, take a look at Ronda Rousey’s recent AMA. While answering questions about herself and her career, she also plugged her fashion line and fundraising for the Didi Hirsch Foundation. Through hundreds of comments, ranging from MMA fighting to Pokémon to identity issues and general fitness, Rousey was able to effectively connect with Reddit’s audience and garner a ridiculously impressive response (especially compared to Harrelson).

Poking around past AMAs is a great way to give you more specific ideas for how your brand can take advantage of this medium. What types of questions should you respond to? Which ones should you leave alone? What’s the right amount of brand placement?

Reddit may seem like excellent source of marketing ideas, but marketers will quickly find that treating the platform like social media can lead to woes.

AMA First Steps

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to Reddit, but here are a few primary guidelines to help you avoid common mistakes:

  • Use your account: Don’t just hop on, make an account, and hope for the best. Create an account months in advance, and contribute in small ways to communities of interest to your brand. If you work for a company that develops apps, consider contributing to Reddit’s “Apps” or “Android Apps” subreddits. No sales pitches—just contributions.
  • Answer the hard questions: AMAs almost always include hard questions. It is far worse to not answer a tough question than to provide an honest answer.
  • Strive for quality, not quantity: Unlike many social media platforms, consistently posted content is less valued on Reddit than rare quality content. Don’t use the site as another place to dump blog content. Spend the time to find something unique and exclusive for your community, and users will hopefully thank you by upvoting your post and starting a conversation around it.
  • Timeliness is godliness: While every platform has its own ideal timescale for interaction and response, Reddit particularly favors a quick turnaround. Only post if you can keep up with the conversation.

Looking for other ways to improve your online community? Check out Skyword’s guides to content amplification for more ideas on expanding and engaging your audiences.

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