An Introduction to Reddit

Over the course of the last few months, Reddit has stepped into the national spotlight, earning time on each of the major news outlets during the GameStop stock craze. For many people, this coverage acted as their first exposure to Reddit. The quickly-growing, online discussion board ranks 18th on the list of most-visited websites and acts as an aggregation of all types of web content. As more people flock to the site, many are unsure of how to use the platform and how to conduct themselves as a user. In this blog, we will cover a number of key features of Reddit and answer a number of frequently asked questions we receive from our clients about what their engagement should be with this platform. 

What is Reddit?

Reddit is, at its core, an online discussion board that features a voting system that is meant to reward meaningful comments and interactions, and punish the opposite. Users can “upvote” or “downvote” comments and posts as a means of promoting the best content. However, as with any online forum, this user-driven valuation method has potential for vote manipulation, or “brigading” as it’s referred to in Reddit terms. 

How do I get to Reddit? 

You can access Reddit from any computer-based web browser, or download a Reddit application on your phone or tablet. Reddit has an official application, but there are also third-party applications that you can use as well. 

What is a Subreddit? 

Subreddits are individual pages unified by a specific topic or function. In the URL of each subreddit, the name of the subreddit is preceded by “r/”, so you will often hear people refer to them as “r/NBA” or “r/worldnews”. There are subreddits for virtually anything you can think of, but here are a few of the most common. 

  1. r/AskReddit – This forums is used to ask questions to the Reddit community
  2. r/funny – Funny pictures
  3. r/Gaming – All things video games
  4. r/WorldNews – A forum for posting and discussing news stories from around the world
  5. r/NBA – A forum for discussion and posting about basketball
  6. r/IamA – Often used for celebrity Q & A sessions, this subreddit acts as a discussion board to interact with a wide variety of different people. Celebrities such as Bill Gates, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former president Barack Obama have all done interviews on this platform. 

When a subreddit gets large enough, a moderator team will often form to facilitate interaction, remove span, and cultivate a healthy community. 

How should I interact on Reddit? 

Man on his favorite subreddit

As a user, you can find a subreddit for almost anything you are interested in. I have personally done everything from trading used computer hardware to asking for local recommendations when traveling. Reddit truly has a niche for just about everyone. As a general rule of thumb, don’t be a jerk online, and Reddit is no different. If you have something interesting to post, post it! Many communities will require you to have a certain amount of post and comment score, or “karma” in Reddit terms, in order to do certain things like buy or sell, so having an active account with a history of positive feedback is beneficial. 

How should I use Reddit for my Business? 

This is a tricky question to address, as blatant business promotion or “corporate shilling” is quickly downvoted and often removed by moderators if it comes across disingenuous. If anything, the best way to promote your business is to forge good relationships with users first, then if the opportunity arises, present your business as an answer to a need more than a blatant shout-out to yourself. Businesses can pay for advertising space on Reddit, but due to formatting differences between a typical post and an advertisement, it is easy to spot where the ads are and subsequently ignore them. 

We hope these answers help give a better understanding into the fascinating Reddit community! While this just covers the surface of what Reddit is, many subreddits have wikis or rules posted in their sidebar that help explain the community, so don’t be afraid to jump in. 

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