Analytics and Sleuthing Tools for reddit


Analytics and Sleuthing Tools for reddit

A lot of my friends in the marketing world are, like me, pretty big data nerds. I mean, we have to be! Between Google Analytics, Moz tools, Ahrefs, Facebook, StumbleUpon, reddit, and Twitter advertisement tracking, I get my fill. I have at least 20 tabs open at any given moment – the majority  having real-time data updates I’ll export into spreadsheets to measure effectiveness, returns, and spot insightful patterns.

Even though physical/outdoor marketing budgets are still a vital allocation for businesses, the ability to track engagement remains supremely ambiguous. For example, we know billboards reach 93% of all Americans but we don’t know what a single person in that 93% has done as a result of seeing a billboard. We also don’t know if our target audiences are actually seeing the billboard – all we know is that it’s getting exposure. That’s it. A PPC ad shows us who clicks it and we can target specific demographics. We can even see our returns in real time.

When it comes to social communities – especially anonymous ones like reddit – tracking data can be a bit ambiguous but definitely not impossible.

reddit metrics

One of the most popular analytics sites for reddit is reddit metrics. The main attraction is being able to track the fastest growing subreddits:

redditmetrics 1

We can also sort by non-default subreddits, new subreddits that are trending, as well as the top new subreddits:


The interface is extremely clean and simple to navigate, making the learning curve very easy for unfamiliar marketers to master. The 7-day and 30-day tab of trending subreddits allow social media marketers to actively monitor increases in popularity and activity. It’s kind of like how a lion stalks it prey, hiding in the grass, waiting for the best opportunity to pounce.

For marketers, the “best opportunity” is always going to be subjective. If we sell women’s clothing we most likely won’t find value in knowing that /r/space is trending, but we might be pleased to know the /r/DIY subreddit is alive and well. We might put together a DIY guide for knitting a Christmas sweater in a pixel-art style; something that could align well with both the female and male demographics on reddit. But what if we have a business that’s seemingly boring and dull, or a business that sells B2B?

Well, since we can’t just go around spamming product links, we have to apply some creative content marketing. Maybe we have an interesting company history that would perform well on /r/mildlyinteresting – maybe our CEO was the first person to patent something neat -hey, that has a lot of potential to perform well on /r/todayilearned.


reddit observatory snapshot

Created by Isaac Lenox

Features include:

  • Moderators in the top 10,000 subreddits (about 28,000 mods) ranked by subscribers moderated and subreddits moderated.
  • Once a moderator is found in one of the top subreddits, his/her reddit user page is scraped to get exact numbers on subreddits moderated and subscribers moderated… as opposed to just using data gathered in listed the top 10,000 or even top 457,000 subreddits. At the moment, Isaac’s code hasn’t finished getting all the data for the 28k mods; the site will be automatically updated though as the data gets collected and processed.
  • Subreddits ranked by popularity (activity) and total number of subscribers. The lists on the first page only include 10,000 subreddits; however, Isaac have data (albeit a little old) on about 457,000 subreddits so far that you may view.

observatory individual mod stats

Individual moderator pages with the mod’s rankings, total number of subscribers moderated, total number of subreddits moderated, list of subreddits currently moderating, list of previous subreddits moderated (Isaac has little to no data yet though on previous subreddits).

Overall, 0bservat0ry is an excellent tool for moderator statistics and has also incorporated subreddit statistics. This offers an insightful avenue into how power is distributed among moderators, such as the example above where /u/kylde is moderating over 22 million subscribers. On reddit, moderators are essentially the gatekeepers of content.

Rules and regulations are enforced by them and while they generally do what is the best interest of their respective communities, there are occasions where this can be a bad thing for these communities, i.e.; mods who have hundreds of popular subreddits present an unfair distribution of power. The other side of this coin is that reddit admins – the official voice of authority – do not interfere at all with moderators except for extreme cases where content is breaking laws or moderator scandals occur.

Businesses can use this tool as a way to profile subreddits based on how active their moderators are. Generally speaking, subreddits with active moderators should result in a better experience for the s subscribers, while subreddits with little moderation allow spam and poor/irrelevant content to leak through.

reddit investigator

reddit investigator snapshot

Created by /u/Duiker101

This is the perfect sleuthing tool for unveiling everything activity related for any reddit account.

Features include:

  • A breakdown of user data: username, ID, mod status, gold status, exact data of signup and exact age of account
  • A breakdown of link data: their most upvoted (and downvoted) posts, their best (and worst) posts, their most recent submitted link, their total number of submitted links, and the ratio of karma per link
  • A breakdown of comment data: their most upvoted (and downvoted) comment, their best (and worst) comments, their most recent comment, their total number of comments, and the ratio of karma per comment
  • A breakdown of karma data: total amount of karma (including link + comment totals) and the ratio of link and comment karma
  • A breakdown of word data: total number of letters and words used, ratios of letters per comment and words per comment, as well as ratios of karma per letter and karma per word
  • A complete list of every subreddit the user has submitted links to and the total number of links per subreddit
  • The most active hours the user submits links or comments
  • Their link and comments karma over time
  • A list of every URL the user has submitted as well as the number of times they have submitted content for that domain
  • A graph of activity over time (includes submissions + comments)
  • A graph of link types and the amount for each type (self, external, images, videos, etc.)
  • Lastly,  there’s a fun section that guesses a little bit of data about the user, such as location, behavior, if they have children, etc.

This tool is exceptionally helpful for any business that is researching a subreddit and wants to collect actionable activity-based information about users in that subreddit. For example, you might be planning to run an advertisement in a car-related subreddit and sort the posts by “top”. Then, you investigate the users who submitted some of the best content to that subreddit. Just by looking at the info above, we’d be able to see some of the domains and type of content that are most popular as well as the best times to engage users.

This tool also has a Pro version for a very small fee (five bucks for 6 months) where users can scan as many pages as they want, hide their searches, have reduced loading times, and investigate specific subreddit posts and links/comments over time entries.

reddit insight

reddit insight controversy

Created by a team of programmers at Hack Reactor

This tool serves many uses. One function that many people will find useful is the ability to track users and posts:

reddit insight track user

The user tracking information resembles reddit investigator but is not as a stat-oriented. We can still sort by posts and comments and browse their history; however, this is easily achieved by manually looking at a users history and sorting that way.

Tracking a post is personally more appealing to me, especially if we are testing a creative campaign:

reddit insight track a post

We can see a nice visualization of karma over time, indicating the potential lift in real-time.

We can also see word clouds for 18 very popular subreddits, showing the most commonly used words:

reddit insight word clouds

This is more on the ‘fun’ side but does offer insight into the most popular brands, products, phrases, and subreddit-specific jokes used. Above we can see xbox, nintendo, ps4, and steam are the popular platform for playing games, with skyrim, mario, and battlefiield sticking out as popular games.

Jesse Aaron
This monthly Reddit column is contributed by Jesse Aaron. Jesse is a professional blogger with a passion for homebrewing. In his spare time Jesse enjoys redditting, brewing beer (as you may have guessed), slowly learning Python, and reading (currently reading Infinite Jest). His biggest inspiration is the satisfaction of building something from scratch. While challenging and time consuming, the rewards are unmatched. +Jesse Aaron
Jesse Aaron


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