While public relations professionals value staying on the cutting edge of social media trends, when it comes to Reddit, some PR pros and companies are still at a loss for how to best utilize it. Founded in 2005, Reddit is “a type of online community where users vote on content,” according to its website. “Redditors” cast their vote on what they think about stories and discussions, and the best ones rise to the top for more exposure. In June 2014, Reddit had approximately 114 million unique visitors. The site allows anyone to create a community (called a “subreddit”) or comment on a story they see. Not to mention, it’s an open source that allows community members to contribute their own content and discover others’. As it relates to PR specifically, the platform gets mixed reviews. Before you decide whether or not you’re interested in using it professionally, here are some risks and rewards when using Reddit for PR:
- Negative comments – Some redditors tend to comment on stories and discussions with slaughtering feedback. For the responsible PR pro who cares about community engagement, responding to redditors may be a challenge, they are quite critical.
- Lack of control – Once a story is posted, it takes on a life of its own. With redditors controlling the popularity of a story through positive votes and comments, a post could exceed your expectations or completely fall flat.
- Spam – Deciphering which comments are useful and constructive for your business may be difficult. Many people use Reddit to drop spam and inappropriate comments, links, etc. Beware of what you click on.
- Familiarize publics with the brand – AMA (or Ask Me Anything) is a special forum for redditors to interview a person and ask whatever questions they want. By organizing AMAs with company execs or a representative who is best fit to answer the public’s burning questions, PR pros can build understanding, community engagement and support for a brand.
- Reap the benefits of doing your homework – As with any new social media venture, you’ll need to do some research on where your content will fit in and who your audience will consist of. Check out how redditors have responded to similar posts and curate a plan.
- Reach target audiences – With subreddits on everything from gaming to fitness, Reddit makes getting your messages to the right people easier. Tailoring your content to the readers’ interests will help it get more votes and move it closer to the top stories.
- Generate interest online – As the self-proclaimed “front page of the Internet,” Reddit boasts being a source for what’s new and noteworthy on the web. Because users can boost their favorite posts by voting, Reddit users influence the popularity of stories.
- Reddit Live – Create your own ongoing thread with this newly launched live-blogging platform. Your blog threads will update in your browser automatically and in real-time. While obviously useful for reporters and news outlets, PR professionals can use it to stay up-to-date on breaking stories.
Do the rewards outweigh the risks for your brand? Before deciding, educate yourself further with PR Daily’s breakdown explaining how to use Reddit in your strategic PR efforts.