How To Reddit

A Practical Guide For Any Marketing Folks Thinking About Riding The Beast

Only, reddit hates marketing.

Examples of marketing fails on reddit abound (see more: r/hailcorporate, plus this in-depth opinion article). If reddit decides your brand is full o’ Scheiße, it can be a huge stain on your reputation.

REDDIT: The Front Page Of The Internet

Cool stats to convince you why reddit is worth it:
Alexa rank: 42
of American online adults visit reddit
70 million unique users
731 million unique visitors in 2013
114.5 million monthly unique visitors in 2014
37 billion pageviews in 2012
56 billion pageviews in 2013

Reddit is a self regulating marketplace of ideas.

Super basics:

  • Anyone can register for free with just a username and a password. It’s optional to link to an email. Most people are anonymous. It’s fine to have more than one account.
  • As a user, you have a front page that’s a feed of the current top posts in the subreddits you’re subscribed to. You can also visit the individual subreddits to see only posts about one topic. Anyone registered can post, comment, and vote.
  • POSTS should go in an appropriate subreddit. Posts are either text only with minimal formatting allowed, or a link to an external site.
  • The bigger the subreddit, the bigger the traffic, the more demanding the audience, and the more chance your post will be buried. The more niche the subreddit, the higher the chance of connecting with people who care about what you have to say (given that it’s relevant).
  • COMMENTS create threads within posts.
  • VOTING causes posts and comments to rise and sink. You can upvote or downvote once per post/comment.Posts/comments with high scores float to the top, those with very low scores will disappear.
  • The first 10 upvotes are weighted as heavily as the next 100. For visibility, quickly getting upvoted is more important than anything else.
  • You earn karma for whatever your content scores, which counts only towards your credibility on reddit (people WILL look at it). Be forewarned that your post history is also easily viewable to anyone curious.
  • Time decay means newer posts more easily show up higher than older posts. “A 12-hour-old post must have 10 times as many points as a brand new post to appear at similar ranks… any given story has a roughly a 24 hour max lifespan on any user’s front page.” — Erik Martin, founder

The absolute best way of learning HOW TO REDDIT is TO REDDIT.

As such, if you want to stop reading right now, groovy — here’s your homework:

  • Sign up for a reddit account.
  • Subscribe to subreddits. For the mobile industry, I’d recommend r/Android, r/AndroidGaming, r/iOS, r/iOSgaming… but reddit will work better if you also subscribe to subjects you’re genuinely interested in, so you can get the feel of how people actually talk there.
  • Note that you can also unsubscribe from any that you’re not interested in seeing. Personally, I’d keep ‘em all at the beginning just to see “what reddit talks about,” then get rid of ‘em as you go along.
  • Visit reddit for at least 15 minutes a day. I recommend lurking (aka looking without posting). It goes great with your morning coffee.
  • Click on all kinds of stuff. Reddit is full of discoverable layers. See how deep they go. Check out how people talk to each other. Look at what’s popular. Look at what gets voted down. Learn. There are mobile apps if you’d like to browse on the train or wherever. The official one for iOS is Alien Blue, and a decent Android one is BaconReader (or here’s a widget).

Reddit Culture

  • High emphasis on learning and auto-didacticism. Really famous subreddits are r/IAmA (“Ask Me Anything” — Obama spoke here!) and r/AMA.Figuring out the truth is really important, whether learning industry secrets about vacuum cleaners or uncovering hoaxes in the Play Store. Intelligence and well-written, thoughtful responses are highly valued.
  • Grammar/spelling is very important. People DO read every word of your post here.There are tons of experts on reddit, so don’t bullshit — you’ll be called out on it.
  • If you’re not teaching something, you better be funny. But, be careful — reddit has its own brand of humor. A good portion of it is self-referential. Lurk more.
  • Reddit loves free speech and generally believes in the power of the people to self-regulate. This results in some nastier corners of the internet finding a home here, so beware.
  • It also means every time you post something earnest and beautiful, someone is totally free to be a 100% jerkwad right back at you. That said, MOST redditors are kind, and if you didn’t do something flagrantly wrong, they’ll downvote the meanie and defend you. The official guide to reddiquette.
  • Redditors are 72% male. The site’s got an infamous problem with misogyny. This is true for much of the nerd-dominated internet in general — not to say it’s okay, just common. Most of the niche subreddits are fine and friendly and happy as Larry. Don’t worry actively about this point; just be aware of it, and don’t be shocked if you come across basement dwelling weirdos who think all ladies are the unholy spawn of Ursula.

Reddit’s Relationship With Marketing

Please don’t do this.

reddit HATES overt marketing. period. don’t do it.

Success stories despite the odds:


Things reddit DOES like:

  • Real people representing themselves and their projects honestly, especially if they’re providing something actually valuable for the community for free.
  • Mobile devs fall into this category — they’re generally very well received. It’s pretty simple to get people to test your stuff and give feedback, although they’re probably gonna be harshly honest (a good thing, if you can stomach it!).

My personal suggestions for Appszoom (and any small company/start-up) on reddit

  1. Do yer homework, as listed above. Personalize it. Settle in and get familiar. Then graduate to commenting on posts that legitimately interest you.
    Remember that your history is available for everyone to see, so don’t put up anything that would cause us to blush — but it’s much, much better if you’re a human rather than repping a brand.



Content designer. Sassy futurist. Ukulele plucker. Ottolenghi acolyte.

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Janel Torkington

Content designer. Sassy futurist. Ukulele plucker. Ottolenghi acolyte.