How To Mine Reddit for More Website Traffic
How do you use a vibrant, passionate and rambunctious social network to drive more website traffic by marketing your brand, business and product?
If the social network is Reddit, the answer is:
The reason is because Redditors hate marketers.
Let me qualify that statement.
Reddit users intensely dislike those who waltz into their forums and pitch their wares or spout marketing hype without caring to be a part of their online community.
It boils down to the reason why Reddit is such a thriving social network that racks up an incredible 8 billion page views per month.
Redditors are there
- to indulge their curiosity and
- to be entertained
They like to discover or learn things. And enjoy themselves. Not buy stuff from you!
That’s why a blatant marketing approach is doomed to fail on Reddit – and many people who have tried it left, bruised and scarred.
So how can you mine Reddit for more traffic and sales?
By taking a different approach which adds value to the community while subtly projecting your offer, content or services. That isn’t difficult, but it does take some time, effort and patience before it pays off.
You can’t just drop in, post a few images or profound words, toss in a link back to your website and hope for a flock of new visitors to arrive at your domain.
You will have to participate actively on the network, answer questions, share your passion, and build up trust (by racking up ‘karma’ points) – and then, you’ll reap rich rewards from Reddit.
Is This Worth Doing?
Look at the data and you’ll know the answer.
Reddit gets 85 million unique visitors every month. Its predominantly male audience is mostly under the age of 30 years and comes from around the world.
And they visit Reddit for two reasons above all else:
1. To find information
2. To be entertained
The secret to cracking the Reddit code and getting a ton of traffic from this vast, passionate and engaged community is hidden right there in plain sight. If you figure out how to help Redditors find useful information or if you can deliver them entertaining content, you’ll win popularity and friends on the network.
So keep these tenets firmly in mind as you join Reddit:
- have fun
- solve problems
It’s easy to sign up for a new account at Reddit. Just click on the blue ‘Become a Redditor’ button and enter your personal information (email address, username and password) to open a new account.
Make sure your username is related in some way to your business or brand, so that you gain from exposure across the network.
You’ll be invited to subscribe to subreddits, which are groups of people interested in specific topics. It’s where you’ll spend most of your time on Reddit, so pick subjects that are relevant to your business and where your target audience is likely to hang out.
Inside the subreddits, you’ll be able to
- comment on discussions
- answer questions
- vote up other people’s comments and posts
Reddit is a virtual community, so ensure that all your engagement is in line with this fact.
Get to know others in the community and let them know more about you. As you keep doing this, you’ll gain more attention among users which will translate into more website traffic, brand awareness and sales.
Reddit has a unique metric called ‘karma points’ which is awarded to users depending upon their engagement with the community.
Every new user starts with 1 Karma point in their account. You can earn Karma for making new posts or for commenting on older posts.
Each time another user feels your post is valuable, he or she will vote it up – and you’ll earn Karma points.
The more Karma you have, the greater visibility your posts and comments will receive across Reddit. This eventually will translate into more traffic, leads and revenue for your business.
Ways To Influence Reddit
Let’s begin by getting one thing out of the way… You can’t game Reddit or hack it for quick results.
Sorry, that’s not how this network works.
Reddit loves transparency. And is ruthless when it discovers scammers, cheats and charlatans who try to pervert it.
But don’t let that bother you because there are many legitimate ways to use the network in an ethical, honest and transparent manner while still establishing positive relationships and attracting referred traffic from the thriving user base of Reddit.
1. Ask Questions
Reddit users come to the community for answers and information. So it is perfectly natural that you would ask questions, too.
Just be honest and authentic about what you ask. People can easily see through a sneaky attempt to project yourself, or your website/blog, or your product/service through a question. So don’t do it.
If you raise a genuine query about a thorny problem or tricky issue that’s holding you back, you’ll find many users willing to answer it and help you out. You can use this to your benefit.
When you choose the right subreddit where your target audience hangs out, you can ask questions that help you learn more about your ideal clients. As you gather helpful information, you’ll also make people aware of your brand.
- You might ask for assistance with a marketing problem where you’d like suggestions about how to present your offer to a specific segment or niche of your audience.
- Or seek feedback on a proposed new extension to your product line or an extra feature you’ll be including with your product soon.
- Or if you’re an author, you could request ideas for developing the plot of a story you’re writing, or ask for clarifications on a technical point in your story from experts.
The key is to never pitch anyone on whatever you’re selling. It is mentioned, subtly, in the context of a question you’re asking. But it is not the focus of your question itself.
That’s appreciated by Redditors who’ll be glad to help you out, and even buy your product later.
2. Participate in Conversations
After asking a question, you cannot simply disappear from Reddit. You must stick around to
- thank people who answer you
- engage in discussions about their answers
- ask any follow up questions
- just chat casually with everyone involved
You can’t afford to ignore the community because that’s something Redditors hate. You should be ready, even eager, to support subreddits you join.
Your goal should be to
- offer solutions and experience
- share information, resources and links
- support and assist anyone who needs help
… and not to sell or promote or market anything on Reddit.
If you get it right, your conversations and questions can easily attract dozens, or even hundreds of responses. At least some of these people will take the next step to visit your website or buy your products.
And you can help make this happen by directing users to a helpful blog post or informative article that you publish on your site.
When your motive is to help them understand something or solve a problem, rather than luring them into a sales funnel, Redditors will welcome it even when you say “This blog post can answer your question clearly” or “Here’s a tool which might be of help”.
The important thing is that you are seen to be extending the conversation with helpful suggestions, not hijacking it by tossing in an external link back to your website, with ulterior motives.
3. Keep it Entertaining
Redditors like to be entertained. If you can do something fun with them on the social network, you’ll win plenty of Karma.
You can share images, ads or quotes that are funny, inspiring or that provoke curiosity.
- You could tell interesting customer support stories, or highlight a unique or special use of your product or service.
- You might even start something weird and creative, and it’ll resonate with a section of your audience (but make sure it matches your brand identity).
- You could run an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) session and offer to take questions about anything.
All of this can be a load of fun and simultaneously win you fans among subredditors.
Boost Your Karma – And Your Traffic
Now you know how to leverage Reddit for more website traffic.
If you ask questions, engage in conversations and keep things entertaining on Reddit, you’ll soon accumulate Karma points that raise visibility of your content on the network.
But be constantly aware about not marketing yourself overtly.
Redditors don’t mind the occasional self-promotion, but if you sound as if all you want is to take their money, you’ll feel the backlash – and it won’t be pretty!
When you come to think about it, that’s not really strange. Anyone would want you to build a relationship with them before trying to sell anything.
That’s why anyone who storms into the network with a special deal or discount fails miserably at generating any sales. Worse, they end up annoying fellow Redditors and losing credibility.
You can avoid these mistakes by participating with authenticity and establishing a relationship with Reddit users first. Then, use subtle marketing to invite them to your website or blog, show them your wares, and close a sale.
That’s the right way to tap into the incredible potential of Reddit.