Before You Post to a Subreddit
There are lots of considerations to make when you're posting to a new subreddit, especially when you're posting for the first time.
Consideration #1: Reddit Content Policy
To keep its community safe and law-abiding, Reddit has a content policy about what you can't post.
As a marketer, you probably won't run into problems with Reddit's content policy. After all, you represent a company, and if your company is already somewhat successful, then you're probably not selling something sketchy.
Still, it's important you know what is and isn't acceptable on Reddit.
Reddit actively patrols its site to remove content such as:
- Anything illegal
- Involuntary pornography
- Encouragement for violence
- Threatening, harassing, or bullying posts
- Personal or confidential information
- Impersonation, misleading content, or deception
That last point — spam — is the most important for marketers. If you only (or mostly) contribute content to Reddit that takes users back to your site or business, you can be labeled a spammer.
Reddit's definition of spam is slightly different from email or social media. You can be a completely genuine marketer with the best intentions in the world. But if your post history only includes links to your company's site, moderators and Reddit's staff will start to get wise.
You can also be flagged as a spammer for posting content and then not participating in the comments of your post. This is because it looks like you're just posting content to get people to your site and then leaving right away.
Also, you could be a spammer if your posts aren't relevant to their subreddit, if you target a single subreddit with lots of posts or comments, and if you continually post regularly-downvoted content.
Plus, each subreddit has its own posting rules, and if you break any of them, you could be labeled a spammer.
The best way to make sure you're adhering to all of Reddit's content guidelines is to contact a subreddit's moderators if you have questions. That way, you can avoid accidental spamming and become a productive member of a subreddit community.
Consideration #2: Content
The second consideration is probably the most obvious — is your content relevant to the subreddit?
Don't just base your content off the subreddit's name either. Sometimes, a subreddit could have very specific rules on the content it accepts.
So whenever you go to a subreddit, make sure you read their guidelines for posts.
For example, r/infographics is a great place to post a new infographic that your company has made. But if you go in there with a long infographic that just adds up costs (like the cost of being Batman), you could get banned.
That's not because infographics about cost are inherently bad — that's just not what the r/infographics community wants.
Instead, they're looking for visual representations of data. Statistics, fractions, ratios, educational graphics, and how-tos are generally well-received.
But r/infographics is just one example. There are thousands of subreddits online, and users create new ones every day. Each one has its own rules, and it's important that you read them before posting.
Consideration #3: Tone
Next, you want to match the subreddit's tone. How do people title their posts? How do people reply in the comments?
For some subreddits, the entire purpose of the subreddit may be irony, meaning it may not be a good place for your content. There are also some subreddits that are aggressive or even hostile by their nature. It goes without saying, but it's smart to avoid any subreddit that's outwardly negative.
Consideration #4: Reddiquette
Reddit has its own set of overarching standards for interacting with subreddits. It's called reddiquette, and if you want to succeed on Reddit, it's important that you adhere to the basics.
Most of the content in Reddit's etiquette guidelines focus on things like remembering that you're interacting with people, linking to canonical URLs, and remaining objective when you create the title of a post.
But a few of these guidelines are important to marketers.
Don't "linkjack" stories. That means don't add links to your blog posts in the comment section of someone else's content.
Don't use link shorteners. These shorteners hide the destination website from the preview section of a post's title, which causes distrust and suspicion. If you're not linking to anything malicious, you can just link straight to your site.
Don't sensationalize. Basically, don't overstate what you're offering. If you have a link to an infographic about startup statistics, just say that in the title. Don't say that it's "the best resource on startups in the world."
Don't use time-sensitive wording. Eventually, someone is going to see your content long after you posted it, which means it won't be "breaking" or "urgent" anymore.
These are just a few of the most important reddiquette guidelines to remember when you're posting and marketing. Still, it's important to read all of them. If you haven't already, check out Reddit's list of reddiquette on their site.
Now that you've done your homework, it's time to create your actual post.