BY: AMY BLASCO
We all know social media is one of the most powerful tools for marketing and advertising in today’s fast-paced, customer-focused atmosphere. Countless Business Improvement Districts invest considerable time and money in heavyweights like Facebook and Instagram, as well as Youtube and TikTok. But there’s another platform out there drawing roughly 1.7 billion visits per month that you should know about: Reddit.
Launched in 2005, Reddit is an online community for sharing everything from breaking news to product reviews and adorable animal videos. However, new users can feel overwhelmed navigating its icon-heavy, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink format. Here’s Verdin’s road map on how to use Reddit to further your BID’s mission:
- How does Reddit work? Branded as “the front page of the internet,” Reddit is a website and mobile app that connects people based on their interests and hobbies. The site is broken down by topics into discussion boards called subreddits. Users can join groups to post content and “upvote” and “downvote” other people’s posts. Most Reddit users are young men between the ages of 18 and 49, but it can be used to your benefit even if that’s not your main target audience.
- How can I use it to my BID’s advantage? Because content on Reddit is controlled by upvotes and downvotes, rather than an algorithm, it can feel a little foreign. Plus, moderators (called Redditors) often have rules against self-promotion. Here are the best ways to use it for your BID:
- Social listening: Create a personal profile (not a brand profile) and start searching for topics that align with your location target audiences’ interests. For example, a tourism BID could follow topics like travel, wine tasting, foodies, surfing, hiking, and shopping, as well as the city or county in which they’re located.
- Building good will: Following these subreddits will give you insight into industry trends and peoples’ ever-changing needs, and engaging with each community builds good will with potential customers or visitors. Just make sure that the content you post feels natural, such as beautiful photos and videos of unique experiences. You should sound like you’re recommending a vacation spot or favorite business to your best friend.
- Targeted access to audiences: Joining the subreddit for your city or county is particularly helpful for property-based BIDs because it will give you super-targeted access to locals who live and work in your community. Read their posts to learn how their needs aren’t being met and position your BID to provide those products and services. Even better—ask them what would motivate them to shop in your district.
- Customer service and feedback: This is when making a brand profile is OK. Create a subreddit community in which customers can ask questions and provide feedback for your BID and stakeholders. The forum should be as open as possible—meaning you shouldn’t be the only user posting answers. Your goal is to serve as a moderator, providing on-brand responses when needed.
Check out this article for examples of businesses that are using Reddit to their advantage.
3. How do I advertise on Reddit and is it worth it?
Like other social media platforms, Reddit makes its money through paid advertising. To place an ad, you would start by following the same steps above—researching subreddit topics, authentically engaging, and posting content. Then you can start posting promoted content, which is tagged as paid and pinned to subreddit feeds.
So is it worth the cost for BIDs? It seems like the jury is still out on that one. According to Hubspot, large-name brands see the biggest paid advertising successes have been for. Though some smaller brands have been able to drive sales with posts that go viral.
Need help promoting your BID on social media? Let us know!