Recently, one of the world’s largest providers of social data – Gnip – was acquired by Twitter. With clients ranging from Microsoft to the Library of Congress, this acquisition helps validate the business adoption of social media monitoring.
Products and brands are being talked about in every corner of the internet. Identifying all of these mentions is a pretty simple process; it just takes a bit of time to set up.
reddit is an excellent medium for providing current social monitoring tactics to aid in brand management and data collection.
Let’s take a look at Gnip’s overview of reddit:
A key-point made here is in business intelligence:
“As companies are praised or condemned on reddit, the effect on sales and customer service are not only noticeable but extreme. Getting reddit data can give you the ability to quantify the impact of these moments on your bottom line.“
I constantly see social media marketers saying they don’t “get” reddit. They always say it’s too confusing or a place all businesses should avoid. If you call yourself a social media marketer and you don’t at least acknowledge the value of subreddits, you’re doing something wrong. It’s one of the top 50 websites in the world. The branding, social monitoring, and community benefits are undeniable.
reddit is a medium that doesn’t have everything spelled out. So, some users give up easily after having a bad experience which could have been avoided if they had invested enough time to learn the social norms and history of the platform. By dismissing the platform, they’re dismissing target audience groups that are:
- already bunched together
- already talking about relevant industry topics
- asking questions YOU know the answer to
These are communities – not an unresponsive Twitter list, vanity Pin board, or limited Facebook timeline.
There are inside jokes, thematic content (i.e.; weekly contests), in-depth quality discussions, beginners looking for help, and much more. A local business – a plumber or an HVAC, for example – can be incredibly useful on subreddits. It’s an extension of customer service. For example, if someone from RSC flexed their HVAC knowledge whenever posts like this turned up:
they would start developing recognition and appreciation within the Home Improvement subreddit. They don’t have to market their services – the only thing they’re marketing is their knowledge. In turn, they’ll discover opportunities to be able to contribute respectfully while having a brand presence.
The challenge: SMMs/businesses need to be flexible when experimenting with new platforms. Become a community member in a subreddit is the perfect way to get started. It’s such a simple concept but it gets twisted when you try to approach it from a traditional marketing perspective.
The benefits of being a contributing member include being able to extract social data, learn more about potential customers, the market, the interests, demographics, psycho-graphics, and once you’ve gotten your fill, you can put it all together in an accepted form of advertising. Or a contest. Or a game. Every subreddit is different.
Gnip and their titan clients solidify the value of reddit’s social data.
But what if you don’t have the budget allocation for an enterprise or even mid-level software solution?
That’s where social media hacks come in.
Take advantage of free tools. Here are some useful options:
- Google Alerts and Search Operators + Google Sheets/Excel
Start off by opening up your preferred spreadsheet program. I recommend Google Sheets because it’s free and in the cloud, but Excel is also fine.
Let’s say your business is a homebrewing supply store – a local business with a large enough operation to handle online orders.
Try to match it to this format:
Run searches using site:reddit.com “keywords” in Google. Record each thread link on reddit that you can contribute to, such as offering expertise, solving a problem, asking your own questions, or being a part of an event/evolving discussion. Then make a column to keep track of which threads you haven’t responded to yet.
The tools we use are:
Next, create a few alerts, specifically for your domain, keywords, and brand name:
This essentially creates a free brand monitoring report system. If you want to get the most bang out of Alerts, I recommend creating the exact same alert queries with Talkwalker alerts, which are also free. Talkwalker seems to extract a wider variety, while Google pulls in more “relevant and popular” posts – the debate is that even an unpopular post can still be right on target.
IFTTT Monitoring Magic
IFTTT (If This Then That) is a super cool – and free – automation tool.
Here, you create “recipes” which are simply conditions. For example:
If: we publish a new blog post
Then: tweet it
Which looks like this:
When popular recipes such as this one are already created, you only need to enter your RSS feed and Twitter handle.
Head on over to the recipes for reddit page to set up recipes for reddit. The pre-created recipes should give you an idea of the variety of things you can do.
For example, one person created a recipe that took all of the top posts from a subreddit and logged them in a spreadsheet in their Google drive. I tweaked it by simply changing the subreddit to /r/homebrewing:
Creating a custom recipe is very simple.
Start by selecting a trigger for reddit from the options below. I highlighted the three most likely to be used:
Let’s go with “New post from search” because this gives timely topics – you’ll never miss a beat.
Create a trigger using reddit’s search operators, such as: subreddit:homebrewing brewing supplies OR help brewing – this searches the homebrewing subreddit for posts about homebrewing supplies or help homebrewing. Next, log this in your spreadsheet. Just click on “Google Drive” in the next step and select “Add row to spreadsheet”:
And you’re all set, just finalize everything and you should be good to go:
Alternatively, you can always just tweak the most popular recipes:
These could simply be tweaked to any subreddit you want to monitor.
Capitalizing on relevant posts is only the first step. The biggest point to emphasize is learning when to offer expertise. Many redditors are information seekers. Don’t think this limits the viability for business variety. For example, APG Exhibits has an expert advice section that could be referenced in any posts about marketing, public relations, event planning, fundraising, charity, etc. This is why setting up alerts and monitoring is so vital.
What brands have you seen do a great job using subreddits?