Understanding Reddit Once And For All [Infographic]

The Reddit marketing guide

I can guarantee that for most of you reading, Reddit is probably one of the hardest social sites to understand.

You’ve probably heard so many things about how complicated it is from a marketing point of view, you might even find it a bit scary.

I don’t blame you. Reddit is very particular in how it works, its users and its etiquette. If you head over to the site for the first time, you’ll probably end up looking at the screen with a big question mark on your forehead. I know I have been there.

That said, you should probably also know the site is extremely popular and while it might be very different from other plattforms, it could, when used carefully, give you very good results in your marketing initiatives.

I’ll be honest, even though most of my site traffic, subscribers and even client relationships come from the social web, I can’t claim any success with Reddit. Hey, I even had a client I met through StumbleUpon

This Infographic from Prestige Marketing is a great starting point if you want to explore Reddit. What I can recommend is that, if you are willing to the work, you should pay extra attention to:

  • Understand who the Reddit user is
  • Get familiar with the etiquette
  • Understand how and where to post content
  • Be willing to put a lot more focus on others than yourself

Enjoy the infographic and share your thoughts in the comments.

Understanding Reddit once and for all

Infographic courtesy of Prestige Marketing.

  • Herrin Larkan

    Fantastic timing Francisco. I’ve been a new Reddit fan after joining about 2 weeks ago and noticed instantly how good the site is at filtering out salesy or pidgeon style marketing (fly in, drop something and fly away). However with a few experiments and a lot of social interaction it’s already become a good source of traffic.

    It’s actually very helpful initially to watch what get’s upvoted in your area (they call them subreddits) to get a sense of how to word your headlines which is a crucial part of submissions. Also using a text link with more of a story instead of just a link can be worthwhile too.

    Still learning but this was very useful thank you.

  • Dear Francisco,

    Boy oh boy, where to start with you?

    > “Boring, spammy, unintelligent, or reposted content often gets buried with downvotes.”

    Right there, I knew you were in hot water. I don’t know what color the sky is in your world or what alternate Spock-with-a-beard universe you found the good Reddit in, but it doesn’t apply to our reality.

    Sit down and brace yourself: Reddit lived up to its hippie Utopian ideal expressed on the rules and etiquette page for about five seconds after the site opened, and then the asstroturfers came. The vast majority of upvotes, resulting in front-page content, come from buy-a-vote outsourcing through sites like Mechanical Turk, Fiverr, and vWorker. These upvotes, in turn, are supplied by ‘bots’, automated scripts capable of logging in and out of hundreds of accounts in seconds in order to supply upvotes. Frequently these bots also downvote competing content blindly, because it doubles their effectiveness.

    Your link did post visibly in ‘/r/infographics’, a very small suburban subreddit with ~4000 readers. That’s probably more organic (I’d still suppose you submitted it yourself or through an agent), but my point is that you don’t see that kind of competition there. /r/infographics is a million light years away from default front page content, and the only way anybody ever sees it is if they seek it out and subscribe to that channel.

    The other concept you need to know about is ‘karma-whoring’. Individual comments and users *also* game the system, via stealing or fabricating content, in order to to increase their score from genuine grassroots upvotes. These high-karma accounts are then sold to, you guessed it, social media asstroturfers, who then use the accounts to submit their agenda. It is nothing for one account to steal a photo of a cat and post it saying they ‘rescued this little guy from a dumpster’, steal a photo of breasts from an adult dating site (behind a paywall, hence un-Googleable) and post it in /r/gonewild saying ‘it’s my first time, be gentle’, and then steal a full blog post about a boy dying of cancer and post it claiming that it’s them – and shamelessly link to a kickstarter campaign for donations so the boy can meat Nicholas Cage before he dies. You can easily get 9000+ karma in a single day this way, and then sell the account to the highest bidder. If you want your infographic to hit the front page, resubmit it saying your 8-year-old niece drew it and she hopes to be president so she can legalize pot and gay marriage.

    This has been going on so long, that not only are Redditors blase about it, but they get actively hostile to you when you point it out. Scams are caught and exposed every day; corporate asstroturf and political PAC manipulations on both sides happen regularly. Nobody even cares anymore – “Don’t spoil the fun!”

    “Submit material that is interesting or funny and Redditors will take care of the rest” – You honestly believe that you’re the VERY FIRST HUMAN to come up with this staggering epiphany? That strategy worked in 1998 on Slashdot for about three days until the asstroturfers showed up there, too.

    “Creativity is king” – Try this: Go to the front page right now. Check each image through Google’s duplicate image search. Now how creative are they again?

    I don’t know why nobody seems able to accept the fact that in any system of popularity contest in which somebody can profit from the outcome, there will be graft. In other news, most of the product reviews on Amazon are fake, gaming magazines routinely award a rating of 9.8 to every game made by one of their sponsors, movie reviews are bought, radio DJs were caught redhanded being paid to spin singles by certain labels in a scandal known as “payola”, political rallies turned out to be “rent-a-mobs” in Florida during the 1999 elections, corporations’ marketing departments determine a wide swath of what you see on the evening news, both Microsoft and Walmart have been caught hiring shills to write and send in thousands of letters protesting or advocating for a cause whose outcome benefits the company even *before* the Internet went mainstream, “think-tank” studies linking music piracy and juvenile delinquency are funded by the RIAA, and the sky is blue.

  • Ksavela

    This is such a helpful blog. I’ve been trying to understand Reddit for months and this put into perspective how to get the most out of this site. The graphics provided a very nice detail in the overall explanation of how to navigate the site. Well written with a nice flow, overall a nice story.

  • Alexis Long

    That said, you should probably also know
    the site is extremely popular and while it might be very different from
    other plattforms, it could, when used carefully, give you very good
    results in your marketing initiatives.


  • Scott Wexler

    Reddit has always been a name I’ve heard thrown around the social world, but never bothered to look into. As you mentioned in your article, it’s easy to be confused, even turned off, by the site’s unusual interface. Perhaps I’m missing something, but It looks to me as if it’s still living in an older version of the Internet and that a redesign is in order. If not, I wonder if Gen Z will see the appeal as they move into that 18-24 demographic.

    Scott Wexler
    Copy Editor, Mojo Ad

  • vu ninh nguyen

    reddit? that is a good idea, i will try it.
    i am develop this website: http//thietkewebchuan.vn
    hopefully , i can use reddit to make my website popular

  • Jessica Robertson

    I work for a small start up called Terillion, we help local businesses get real reviews from their real customers with our new iPad Kiosk App and then broadcast those reviews to FB, Twitter, Google+ and Yelp. Because we are a small startup, I finally signed up for Reddit a few days ago, hoping to get the word out. Unfortunately the site was super confusing. This post came at the perfect time and was extremely helpful. Great infographic and great advice. Thank you so much! Much appreciated! I will continually be learning from your blog!

    Jessica Robertson

  • Hey Francisco,

    I am a Co-Founder and the marketing man for a startup and with so many useful channels out there, it can be tricky to gain expertise in all of them. Reddit is one that I have found tricky but I have never come across a better and more concise article that displays its benefits and how they can be leveraged! AWESOME

  • Lynelle Hallman

    I don’t blame you. Reddit is very particular in how it works, its
    users and its etiquette. If you head over to the site for the first
    time, you’ll probably end up looking at the screen with a big question
    mark on your forehead. I know I have been there.


  • Where was this guide months ago?? I learned the hard way not to post your own links to Reddit. It’s certainly an excellent tool for marketing, just one that needs to be done in it’s own unique way. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reddit can be picky. You can’t submit too much in a short time frame. Reddit also wants you to be an active member of the community, not just posting your own links and that’s it. So, it takes time.

  • Nice article…I think sub-reddits can drive traffic really well if picked and not overused.

  • Hi Francisco,

    Do you thinh that Reddit, from a marketing point of view, is more interesting than Squidoo or Hubpages?

  • troublesometots

    I think of myself as geeky and web-savvy and yet I’ve never really figured reddit out. Thanks for sharing this great infographic! Which is doubly great because I’ve always suspected that reddit wasn’t the right place for me (my readers are new moms generally not so geeky) so this is now one less social media outlet that I need to get involved with 😉

  • Kimberly Winchester

    You’ve probably heard so many things about how complicated it is from
    a marketing point of view, you might even find it a bit scary.

  • Everyone at my agency (myself included) loves Reddit, but we understand that it has some serious limitations from a marketing perspective. What Reddit does offer is a model for community interaction and engagement, not to mention the cool factor and “future” knowledge.

    I think that Reddit is a good idea to be a part of for personal information sharing and that can be translated into professional. I repost things I find on Reddit on various social media channels, which is a way to develop thought leadership. If your marketing goal is to provide a service of thought leadership through conversions, then Reddit can help you achieve that goal.

  • Herrin Larkan

    Agreed. That’s also what makes it so cool. I’ve learned a lot and you can get a consistent run of traffic from people viewing your profile page if you stay within your topic as well. I find that hard though because I have so many interests but if you were marketing yourself you should stay within your main area of specialty.

  • Nice write-up..I’ve come through pinterest, like your infographics Thanks for sharing worthy post..