Trying To Game Reddit As A Marketer

In the first ever user submitted post on this blog, Mr Reddit (as he wishes to remain anonymous) explains how he manipulated Reddit to get over 7,000 visitors in a single day to his clients website.
Gaming Reddit
Trying To Game Reddit As A Marketer

Message From Charles:

This is a user submitted post, it’s not written by me and the author of the post wishes to remain anonymous, I thought it was an absolutely awesome post and wanted to share!


 

Reddit – it’s a beast. No sorry, it’s a Hydra.

Hi my name is … let’s not worry about my name. I run the marketing for a big brand and I prefer to disclose my name for many reasons. One of which, Reddit loves to hate on my brand and I’m sure they wouldn’t like to see a post about me trying to game it.

Recently, Charles wrote a HUGE guide to marketing on Reddit. I’m going to expand on that a little, based on my experience, and share some case studies. Hopefully you can take the ideas that I have shared here and apply them to your own marketing campaigns. So let’s get started.

Brief Overview –

For those that haven’t read Charles’s post, go over there and check it out. He’s jumped to the top of the front page of Reddit a few times and has some good tips.

Now, why did I call Reddit a Hydra? Simply because it was the most accurate analogy I could think of. In Reddit, there are a ton of subreddits. Each one with their very own culture, mods, and rules. You defeat that one and try to replicate it in another and you’ll get crushed when it doesn’t work. So one tip that I have to give you is to READ THE RULES of each subreddit.

What happens if you don’t? First of all, some subreddits will moderate new posters to their subreddit. If you’re breaking any rules, they’ll delete it before anyone sees it. If you are able to squeak by the moderation, users and mods are still on the lookout for rule breakers and they’ll flag/delete your post.

The funny thing is, you won’t even know they deleted it sometimes. It’ll still be visible to you but not others. The way I check this is to load the subreddit in a private browser to see if it’s still there.

As Charles mentioned, the first few hours of a post will make or break you. If it doesn’t gain traction quickly, it will die and be buried – never to be seen again. So you need engagement. You could try to fake it and by upvotes, but that hasn’t worked for me. The best thing that has worked for me is responding to comments. Definitely helps keep it alive.

Something to keep in mind – Reddit is smart as heck. They’ll dig into your account to find out who you are if they can and call you out on it, just for fun. Never ever underestimate Reddit.

Tools To Use –

There are a ton of tools you could use here. But I’m going to share the ones I’ve used and had success with.

Buzzsumo – For finding awesome content that is being shared a lot. Use it to generate ideas for creating content

Meta Reddit – Reddit search sucks. Use Meta Reddit to search for subreddits in your niche. Sometimes the results are unrelated, but I’ve found some hidden gems here.

Reddit Later – The purpose of this was to schedule Reddit posts. But I noticed it had another cool feature. You can enter your subreddit and it will scan the top posts of that subreddit and tell you the times that are popular. This helps show you what time you should post your content to that subreddit for the greatest chance of success.

Reddit Top – This isn’t some site. Just go to the “Top” tab of your selected subreddit and see what kind of content is doing well there. Don’t copy it, but use it for inspiration of your own posts/content.

Case Study 1 – Building up your account

You can’t just signup for Reddit and go crazy immediately. Reddit hates spam with a passion and they have a lot of things to attempt blocking you. New accounts can barely do anything. Some subreddits won’t even let you post as a new account. Then Reddit itself stops you from commenting too much to quickly.

I posted an article that I knew was going to do really well. Within minutes it had several upvotes. But it was new and I received this:

Reddit Warning Message For A New Account

Post vanished and had no more traction.

So I needed to build up the account to look like I wasn’t there to spam. 5 days to kill and all I can do is comment. Let’s do a few comments.

One perfectly placed comment can give you a lot of Karma quickly. Knowing this, I wanted to find something a post that was new and I thought had the potential of blowing up. If you look at the front page, you’ll see some of the most common subreddits to be on top regularly.

From there, I went to a popular subreddit called /wtf. I clicked the tab “Rising” to find one that was getting upvotes but no comments. Found this funny video and I left a short sarcastic comment. Since I was first on a popular post, I was getting most of the comment upvotes. Within a few hours, the post had thousands of upvotes and my comment had over a thousand upvotes. Thank you for the Karma!

Now after a few days, I wanted to post, but I didn’t want to spam my stuff yet. The easiest thing I could recommend is going with a subreddit on a topic I knew. I know cute animals. And the perfect place for that is /aww. I posted a few cute animals here at various times and collected some upvotes.

Then I found /politics and the rules were easy. Plus I didn’t need to be creative since it was pretty simple – use the headline of the article you’re sharing. I used Buzzsumo to find the top posts being shared on the web around politics and Bernie Sanders was a hot topic. So I searched for him and found something posted a few hours ago and was getting a lot of shares. I took that and put it in /politics. Replied to comments and that baby kept rising.

Using these ideas, you can easily build up a brand new account.

Now you have an account that looks legit, so let’s move to the next case study.

Case Study 2 – Niche Content Marketing

As a marketer and SEO, I have a ton of niche sites. For this example, let’s call this niche Web1. I wanted to create the Web1 site to break into a very competitive industry. One that has content marketing but it isn’t being done correctly in my opinion.

For promoting the content, I wanted to use Reddit of course. For the content, I used Buzzsumo and Reddit Top to find what people already liked and shared. I noticed these people of listicles (articles of lists).

So I’m not an expert at Web1, so I just curated the heck out of content and created an awesome listicle based on the information I found from my research.

Now need to find the perfect place to post my new article. Using Meta Reddit, I found a really popular subreddit for my niche. Then I used Reddit Top to figure out what kind of titles they liked. And these people liked educational content.

Putting all the together, I created a post and linked to my article. Minutes later, I received a comment from a mod that it wasn’t educational and was seen as spam. They deleted it and said to retry.

This time, I recreated it as a text post, with a quick intro and the whole list from my article – but without the descriptions. The names didn’t really explain what they were, so I put a link at the bottom with “if you want more information, check out (brand anchor link)”.

Posted it and I immediately started receiving comments, upvotes, and traffic. Some of the comments were “thanks for this” and I simply replied “thank you for checking it out!”.Then people asked if they could share it and asked questions. Spent about an hour or two just keeping the post alive with comments.

This was a brand new site and I was seeing traffic coming from Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Reddit Case Study

You can see that it shot up out of nowhere, session durations spiked, bounce rate dropped, and it was great. All from one post in a small niche specific subreddit.

Now that post is the second top all time in the subreddit, so I still receive some traffic to that article. And I’m kicking myself in the butt for not adding email capture, Adsense, retargeting pixels, or anything to the site. I didn’t think Reddit would work. Dang was I wrong.

Case Study 3 – For Brands

Gaming Reddit is hard. Especially when they hate you for various reasons. But I wanted to get some of that traffic.

For my research, I went to Reddit to see what kind of posts from our site were already doing well. You can easily do this by going to https://www.reddit.com/domain/domain.com (replace domain.com with your own domain).

I noticed that the top posts were from our blog about random topics and being posted in subreddits that were niche related to that article. But I noticed that another kind of post did well. We offered something free and it got shared on Reddit. Hmm… people like free stuff – no surprise. What was surprising was that it wasn’t filled with hate comments about our brand. Interesting.

After getting approval, I got another free giveaway setup. Then I created a page for the giveaway with all of our retargeting pixels on it (I’m not just giving something away to be giving it away). On the thank you page, I added a call to action to get a deal for our services.

Once I got it all setup, I posted to Reddit. God help us.

Within 2 minutes, several of the free items were claimed. Within 10 minutes, 20 items were claimed. Less than 30 minutes later, 100 items were claimed.

Traffic was increasing quickly. Within minutes, it was the second most popular page on our site.

Cheating Reddit for Marketing

Oh god, I underestimated the power of free. All my free items were claimed but I was still getting traffic. I updated the post to show that the deal was over, yet I was still getting traffic… and upvotes! And yes, comments that I was replying to.

Then I noticed traffic from random websites and from social. This was the only place I posted this and it was an orphan page on our site that nobody would have found on their own. There were scrapers that were following that subreddit and we were getting traffic from their followers.

Overall, we received over 7k visitors within a few days. And I gave away something free to get that traffic. But that’s okay with me. Why? Because now I have all these freebie / deal lovers in retargeting audiences and Black Friday is right around the corner. I’ll make some money off them no problem.

Now you’re probably thinking that you can’t give away free stuff to get this traffic for your brand. That’s fine, it was just one example. Remember when I said that the other popular posts were from our blog in niche related subreddits for those blog posts? You can find those subreddits easily.

Have a post about Facebook? Find the best place for that post. One about Google updates? Find the best subreddit for that one.

But don’t forget, Reddit is smart and they’ll figure out that you’re trying to push your content. It wouldn’t hurt to have a couple of friends to post for you or if you want to create multiple accounts, go for it. Be smart about it though.

Conclusion –

Reddit is an amazing place to promote content, your brand, and more. It’s also fun to use for killing time, and learning new things. One take away that you should leave this post with, is that Reddit is a collection of communities. Learn how to infiltrate the communities properly and you’ll see some wonderful results, don’t spread your yourself too thin, and learn about specific communities tastes.

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