Social Media

Have You Reddit? Surging Social-News Site Can Help Merchants

Reddit is a social media site that allows anyone to submit links to news articles, blog posts, pictures, or other web content. Once submitted, Reddit users vote content up or down, potentially driving hundreds or even thousands of clicks and visitors.

Reddit has been around since 2005, but has tended to trail, first, Delicious and, more recently, Digg in social media’s crowd sourced news segment. But now that trend is changing, possibly creating — or at least enhancing — another social media marketing opportunity for ecommerce entrepreneurs.

Reddit’s Growing Influence

In February, Mike Schiraldi wrote on the Reddit blog that the service had exceeded one billion monthly page views from some 13.7 million unique visitors. According to other published reports, Reddit’s February performance represented a 200 percent boost in monthly traffic in just one year and an increase of 20 percent from the prior month. And the site has continued to perform very well.

Even more recently, Mashable reported that Reddit had passed Digg in terms of web traffic and page views. This is something that data from Alexa and confirms.

Reddit Demographics

In addition to increased traffic volume and popularity, Reddit offers a marginally different demographic than Facebook and Twitter.

For example, Facebook has nearly twice as many female users as male users, according to new data from Ignite Social Media. Twitter, likewise, has approximately 25 percent more female users than it has male users. By contrast, Reddit users are predominately male — although the service does not have as many total users as either Facebook or Twitter.

Reddit also tends to be more focused on North America, in terms of the region as a percentage of its total user base.

Marketing Opportunities on Reddit

Ecommerce marketers may use Reddit in at least two ways to engage new potential customers: advertising and participation.

First, Reddit offers a self-service advertising option. The service places sponsored links in the Reddit link flow. The ads are identified as sponsored links, but users can still comment or even vote on the ad. Like similar ad programs, Reddit advertising is bid based. Marketers can set budgets and track results too.

Second, in a fashion similar to marketing on Digg or even Twitter, ecommerce marketers can join and contribute to Reddit as users.

A common analogy for social media imagines a massive cocktail party wherein business users and individuals mingle, meet, and chat. On Reddit, users, whether individuals or companies, that consistently post interesting or informative links will get follows. In social media marketing, when you have followers you have an opportunity to build a relationship, which in turn can lead to more business. It is a classic example of word of mouth marketing.

It is often best to get started in a community like Reddit by just reading and following links from users with interests that align with your businesses niche. Be patient, spend at least a week or two just observing the community and learning the etiquette.

After you are comfortable with Reddit, begin to post comments to posts that would be of interest to your store’s customers. As a benchmark, try to comment on 20 links each day.

Finally, begin to post links. Most of what you post should be aimed at providing good entertaining or educational links that will interest your store’s potential customers. For example, if you sell power tools, post about do-it-yourself construction projects. Some portion of your links should aim at items posted on your store’s blog, driving traffic and, perhaps, earning new customers.

Summing Up

Reddit is a surging social-media-linking site that may offer an additional marketing channel for some ecommerce businesses. The service offers a good advertising program and the opportunity to participate in a community, possibly building relationships with potential customers.

Armando Roggio
Armando Roggio
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