Readtime: 5 min approx
Auth: Jessi Dimmock

In 2018, Reddit overtook Facebook to become the 3rd most visited website in the USA for a few months. It currently ranks as #6 according to Alexa, and has the highest average daily time on site of any of the Top 50.

But what exactly is it?

Reddit is referred to as the front page of the internet, and is a forum style website displaying threads of social news. It’s divided into thematic sections called “subreddits”. Within these “subs”, users can post links, images, and stories on that particular topic. Most stories, memes or viral videos start life on Reddit, it is arguably the home of original content!

Without exaggeration, there really is a subreddit for everything. For example, if you’re interested in football, there’s r/worldcup, r/soccer, and there’s likely even a subreddit for your favourite team too. You can discuss politics, cooking, music, computer programming, your favourite TV show/book… anything!

Two of the most famous subreddits are:

  1. r/IAmA – which is Ask Me Anything. In an AMA, someone well known or who has a unique perspective puts themselves forward for an interview with the whole of Reddit.
  2. r/todayilearned – sometimes abbreviated to TIL – Redditors share stories of little known facts they learned that day.

People who don’t use Reddit have usually only heard of it because of negative things; that it’s filled with trolls because of the anonymity it grants. While these users do exist, they are not representative of the majority of Redditors at all. You will find people giving free legal advice, comforting others in pain, helping members to organise surprises for loved ones, and many other kind acts.

Reddit: The front page of the Internet

Why is it referred to as a social network? How is it different to the others?

Let’s make a comparison. If Facebook is filled with people you know sharing things you don’t care about, Reddit is overflowing with things you care about shared by people you don’t know. As a user, you make the choice which subreddits to subscribe to, so your news feed is theoretically only filled with things you should be interested in.

It’s social because users have the chance to Upvote or Downvote a post. The more upvotes your post receives, the closer to the top of the page it will be, and therefore it becomes even more visible. Users can also comment on any post in thread style. If a post has become extremely popular, it will be added to the “front page” of reddit.com, which displays the most popular posts from across all the (SFW) subreddits.

But what can Reddit mean for businesses? Most brands and advertisers wince when you mention Reddit, and that’s usually due to one of two reasons: a) lack of knowledge – they’ve never used the platform before and have just heard about the negatives, or b) past failures – they tried it once and didn’t get a good response.

Reddit: The front page of the Internet

Reddit advertising is very different from any other social network advertising. You can’t just copy & paste your Facebook ads here. You have to be aware that Redditors don’t trust advertisers. Because the platform used to be ad-free, most users resent seeing ads in their feed. However if you are clever, honest, and are marketing something people actually want within the right, relevant subreddits, you can see a high return on a small advertising investment. With the copy; keep it real, keep it simple, and leave the buzzwords out.

It’s the dream platform for every marketer: a highly self-selected, targeted audience for any interest. Spend a little time researching which subs your desired audience can be found in, and use the Reddit Ads Platform to target your ads to these only.

At Carve, we’ve used Reddit successfully as part of our strategy for a number of client campaigns. We receive on average a CPC (cost per click) of $0.48, meaning it’s an extremely cheap way to drive traffic. We’ve also seen a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) of only $1.57.

Interested in how your company could leverage the success of advertising on Reddit? Get in touch with us. Carve is a global social agency. We help world-leading organisations build meaningful relationships with the people who matter to them.