My Reddit cake day (the term used for 1 year anniversaries) is almost upon me. Having been on Reddit for almost a year, I thought I would take the opportunity to immerse myself more into Reddit – not as a community member, but as a marketer.

It’s important when trying to use social media to reach out to your target audience and see it from their perspective. Understand how and why they use that particular site, get the inside scoop right from them. So that’s what I did.  I took the idea to r/marketing and asked my fellow Redditors how they felt about their marketing efforts on the Reddit site.

It’s sad to say, but I didn’t get much love from my post. From all the comments I gathered, most, if not all my fellow marketing Redditors said “JUST DON’T DO IT!”. Reddit is a hard social site to get penetration on for your brand. The community is so different from that of Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler and Google+ that it takes a certain type of person to pull it off. Redditors are a very loyal community and  numerous times respondents of  my post stated that the number one rule is that you need to be a Redditor first and a marketer second.

My favourite quote from this post was from Modern_Caveman who said “deciding to do marketing on Reddit is a little bit like deciding to swallow swords. Unless you’re really experienced and know what you’re doing, just don’t”.

Well this doesn’t sound good, right? Not necessarily, I’ve come up with a few pointers on how to maintain a brand presence on Reddit without disturbing the force of the community.

1. AMAs: What is an AMA? The acronym stands for “ask me anything”.  This is a Q&A Redditors can participate in and ask you questions and you answer.  Many film companies have used this method for promoting up and coming movie releases by having the cast answer the AMA.  You can utilizes this by having a special guest or expert from your brand answer your fans questions.  Talk about new promotions you’ll be having or use the AMA to open up to a new contest.

Upside: It’s very simple and can be extremely successful.  Downside: You need to make sure your brand/product is appealing to the Reddit community or it will get lost in the hundreds of failed AMAs.  Researching top tending AMA topics can be very beneficial to avoid this issue.

2. Subreddit properly:  A subreddit is a subform; it’s different categories Redditors can post their content in for example: r/marketing, r/baseball, r/pics etc. For us this is important. We post a few blogs for some added showcase on marketing subreddits.  This can be key to promoting your content and there are hundreds of subreddits out there to choose from!

Upside: the subreddit you post in will likely be people with a similar interest to your brand.  Downside: some subreddits have very few subscribers, so do your research and find one that would best fit your brand or product with lots of subscribers.

3. Participate!: Reddit is like a giant pool of really neat ideas, pictures, videos, articles etc. Use this to your advantage and get interactive with the community.  Comment on topics that resonate with your brand, post in r/freebies to give users a chance to sample your product, post about a product or idea you have, buy some Reddit gold and give it to people who comment on your post and ask for advice.

Upside: You aren’t necessarily marketing on Reddit you’re delving into the community to ask for advice and helping users, which, with patience will help you and your brand out in the long run. Downside: It may take a long time for you to gain a big presents on Reddit, but keep at it and it will pay off!

Overall Reddit is a great community of people from around the world and even though they are potential buyers, clients or fans they are still Redditors and love their site.  Unlike Facebook, Twitter or Google+ there aren’t many advertisers so be respectful of that and have fun.  Reddit can be a greatest asset to you as long as you use it properly, so enjoy all the wonders that Reddit offers!

If you have any more suggestions or ideas on marketing and Reddit let me know in the comments below!