5 ways small-business owners can use Reddit as a secret weapon to build niche communities and dig up new trends

5 ways small-business owners can use Reddit as a secret weapon to build niche communities and dig up new trends
Reddit has over 13 billion total posts and comments, many of which are from customers discussing brands and industries they care about. By engaging with customers directly on this platform, you can strengthen existing customer relationships, form new ones, and take your marketing to the next level.
May 01, 2023 — 4 min read
5 ways small-business owners can use Reddit as a secret weapon to build niche communities and dig up new trends
 This article was contributed by Erica Sweeney at Business Insider.


To spread the word about its end-of-life services, such as wills and funeral planning, DigitalWill.com starts and joins conversations in Reddit’s Death Positive group.

One conversation it joined recently centered around how to handle cryptocurrency in wills. The company also uses the social network to keep tabs on what people are talking about and discover topics that are most relevant to its customers.

This approach has led to a “significant lift” in brand awareness for DigitalWill.com, the company’s chief marketing officer, Joe Karasin, told Insider. 

Among its website visitors who spend more than a few minutes on the site, 14% of them come from organic marketing on Reddit, which allows the company to market to these consumers and entice them to download its app, Karasin said. 

“Reddit is an engaged platform with thoughtful and curious users that have a passion for specific topics,” he said. “It’s a great place to connect with potential and current customers, as the users tend to engage more with posts than they do on other social channels.” 

Reddit is a social network where users can post content, comment on posts, and upvote or downvote posts. It also offers many untapped marketing opportunities for small businesses.

Businesses can start or participate in conversations, target niche groups known as subreddits, share their stories via its Ask Me Anything, or AMA, page, or run ads on the platform. 

Reddit says it can help companies drive brand awareness, traffic, conversions, and app installations. The site has more than 57 million daily active users and 13 billion total posts and comments. 

While it takes time and dedication to market on Reddit, companies can get started with a small budget. Here are five reasons small businesses should consider adding Reddit to their social-media-marketing mix. 

1. Businesses can target niche groups

A unique Reddit feature is its subreddits, which totaled 2.8 million in 2021. Subreddits are communities centered around specific topics, such as the Death Positive subreddit that DigitalWill.com engages with, which focuses on topics like death-related industries and how different cultures handle death.

“These users are your consumers seeking honest advice and reviews, so it’s a great place to meet your target audience when they are likely seeking answers and ready to convert,” Jenny Bloom, an executive vice president at Jive PR + Digital, told Insider.

“There’s a subreddit for everything,” Brooke Cullison, the director of eCommerce at Liquid I.V., an electrolyte-drink mix, told Insider.

Cullison said the brand targeted several subreddits to reach consumers at different “usage occasions,” like runners in the r/firstmarathon group, moms in Mommit, “everyday hydrators” in Hydroflask, or HydroHomies. Using Reddit has helped Liquid I.V. improve conversion rates by 41%, according to Reddit for Business.

2. Companies can create their own communities 

The productivity app Todoist launched its own subreddit about a decade ago. The community, which has about 50,000 members, is devoted to sharing tips and tricks for using Todoist, as well as news, updates, and interesting ideas. 

“While this wasn’t a blockbuster campaign that drove a ton of downloads or traffic to our website, it served the purpose of humanizing our company and the people behind it,” Brenna Loury, the chief marketing officer at Doist, the app’s creator, told Insider. 

The subreddit enables the company to engage directly with its users and ask for their feedback. But running a subreddit takes time, dedication, and resources, Loury said.

“We can’t just post something and walk away,” she added.

Doist ensures that someone on its team monitors the subreddit and responds to questions and comments.

“Given the amount of people in the community, it can be voluminous and time-consuming,” she said. 

3. There’s a place for brand storytelling 

Businesses are most successful on Reddit when they think of it as a “two-way street, not a one-way relationship,” Loury said. “Any content that you share,” she added, “should be community-minded, valuable, authentic, and talk about topics that go beyond meeting a marketing goal.” 

For instance, posting in the AMA channel or the IAmA subreddit invites users to ask questions about anything related to a brand or industry and could give companies a way to reach millions of users. 

“It’s a great opportunity for new users to be introduced to your brand,” Bloom said, adding that businesses could also get “unfiltered and real reviews” about their products and services. 

Reddit users expect authenticity, though, Cullison said: “Reddit is a platform where audiences can tell right away if a brand hasn’t done their research. The platform rewards brands that show off their personality, are humorous, and show up authentically.” 

Reddit is also a valuable tool for businesses to discover what people are talking about and use this information to create content that taps into trends. 

“We mine subreddits we have identified for hot or trending topics and then craft blog posts around them,” Karasin said.

A recent successful DigitalWill.com campaign came from a post about leaving cryptocurrency in a will. 

“We participated in the conversation and, in addition, posted a blog on our site, which garnered tremendous response,” he added.

“Reddit is a place to assess real consumer sentiment, good or bad, around a subject,” Bloom said. Her company uses the platform to conduct research for clients, build marketing strategies, and create blogs and social-media posts.

5. It accommodates small marketing budgets 

Small businesses can post and comment on Reddit for free. The platform’s paid marketing and advertising features can also be inexpensive; the minimum cost to advertise on Reddit is $5 a day.

DigitalWill.com doesn’t run paid ads, but Karasin said the return on investment for the time and effort that the company put into engaging on Reddit was the best among all of its marketing efforts. 

At Liquid I.V., Reddit complements its paid social strategy. Cullison said: “Reddit is still a newer channel for us, but it’s clear there is still a lot of untapped opportunity on the platform.” 

“That makes it a valuable social-media-marketing tool for small businesses willing to experiment but that don’t have large marketing budgets,” Karasin said. “Companies just need to be patient and stick with it.”

“The best advice I can give is if you are going to put resources and effort into Reddit marketing, don’t take half measures,” he said. “Commit to it and be committed for at least six months in order to truly evaluate its effectiveness for your brand.”


This article was written by Erica Sweeney from Business Insider and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].


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