Reddit for Franchises: An Introduction and an Example
As your franchise searches for more and most importantly different sources of traffic to drive to your website, the conversation will likely eventually turn to Reddit.
In this article I want to accomplish three things:
Introduce what Reddit is and how it works
Differentiate between paid and unpaid advertising on Reddit
Give you an example of a particularly powerful post I saw that should make all franchises envious
What is Reddit and how does it work?
Reddit bills itself as “the front page of the internet” and based on the fact that it had become the #9 website in the U.S. (as of December 2014), that’s probably not the worst way to describe it.
The easiest way to conceptualize what reddit does is to compare it to bulletin board. Essentially, users come to the site and post interesting facts, links, pictures, videos, etc. for the purpose of being shared with other visitors of Reddit.
The bulletin board is displayed in a ranking format, in order to further promote whichever links are at the top of the rankings. The order of the posts is determined by the users themselves, as they have the opportunity to “upvote” or “downvote” the posts based on their opinion of the contents. As posts get more upvotes, they move higher and higher up the bulletin board.
Additionally, there are subreddits which are essentially bulletin boards designed to tackle specific topics rather than compile everything. For example, there is a bulletin board specifically designed for posts about small business. You can check it out here.
What’s the difference between paid and unpaid advertising on Reddit?
Similar to some of the other sources that we’ve explored (Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), there are two different ways for you to drive visitors to your website using Reddit, paid and unpaid.
To orient yourself, here’s what Reddit looks like:
And here’s how it’s broken down in terms of paid vs. organic:
That’s right, there’s only a single ad per page! No wonder people enjoy it so much.
Anyway, if you’re interested in buying that ad space on Reddit, you certainly can. You can target by subreddit or choose to buy impressions on the homepage. It’s similar to buying display advertising on any other site.
To organically advertise on Reddit, you have to post something to the bulletin board hoping that it will organically get upvoted to the or near the top of the board.
A caveat: the Reddit audience tends to be fairly young and pretty ruthless on “Corporate America,” so achieving success with an organic strategy seems unlikely for most franchises. (Just being honest!) that being said, it’s definitely worth a shot.
An example of a powerful post relevant to franchises
On the morning of December 8th, 2014, I was persuing the front page of Reddit when I came across an article that set off a light bulb in my brain.
The article posted to Reddit was titled, “I am a single mother. I run a happy household but I have been struggling financially. Earlier this year I started a small business that is doing pretty well. This has allowed me to bring my two son's on their first Disneyland trip. I was one happy mom!”
(It turns out that the contents of the post simply read, “Sorry for the lack of substance to this post, I am just very happy and wanted to tell someone :-D http://i.imgur.com/Zakx52d.jpg?1)
It had been posted to the TwoXChromosome subreddit, which is a bulletin board specifically for women. By the time I had read it, it had over 2,000 net upvotes, propelling it near the top of the Reddit homepage! This means that that post was likely seen by millions of people around the world.
Now…use your imagination and see if you can invision the post reading like this:
“I am a single mother. I run a happy household but I have been struggling financially. Earlier this year I started a <INSERT YOUR FRANCHISE NAME> that is doing pretty well. This has allowed me to bring my two son's on their first Disneyland trip. I was one happy mom!”
I certainly can’t guarantee it, but I think you would drive so many inbound requests. Sometimes that’s all it takes! I think you can imagine how powerful of a tool Reddit could be.
Since Reddit is fairly new compared to some of the other sources out there, its importance is only likely to grow.
As we come across more tips and tricks for using Reddit, we’ll pass them along to you. If you want to speak about how Reddit can help your franchise today, let us know.