“What is Reddit?” Video Now Popular on Reddit and Five Reasons Brand Managers Should Care

“Reddit can be weird not because reddit is weird, but because humans are weird.”

If you’ve never really grasped Reddit, or how or why this social media site is one of the most powerful ones out there, let this You Tube video explain it.  This five minute vignette is one of the most clearly articulated teaching tool for beginners I’ve seen which fully addresses the question “What is Reddit?”

[At 9:49am PT the video is at 11,800 views on YouTube – let’s see what happens now]

From dabblers to die-hards, Reddit’s popularity is consistently growing, as is its content (which is as varied as the species on the planet).  Over the years it has maintained its signature, simple interface, completely void of editorialization. So when a video explaining Reddit becomes popular on Reddit, this is a community self-celebrating its culture, championing its cause, and as a result, giving Redditors an effective tool to promote the virtues of Reddit.

Here are five reasons why any Brand Manager should care about Reddit, also known as  “The Front Page of The Internet” –

1)     It’s truly, wholly democratic. There are no Google-like algorithms, SEO strategies, no         editorial agenda. Conspiracy theorists might venture to think otherwise, but Redditors typically         self-regulate their community and do so with fierce velocity.

2)     Anonymity of users can make for interesting focus groups. I know many people that         have secret Reddit lives. It’s where they feel free to express true opinion and want to give it         freely, to explore varied interests and fly their freak flag. There are polls on any topic, even         polls to stop polling. While this can be a maverick marketplace of consumer insight, it’s not         one to completely disregard, especially if the opinions of early adopters are meaningful.

3)     It inspires good content. A brand always has its best intentions at heart, but too much         inside baseball on content development can create unintentional blinders. Need a litmus test         on what may be considered “viral” or “shareable” and why?  Turn to Reddit.  What is popular is         generally likeable by a wide cross-section of individuals. It is a content inspired machine.

[At 10:10 PT, it’s at 33,816 views on You Tube- and now hosts advertising]

4)     Subreddits will help you find where conversations are taking place on your topic.         This is the quintessential listening tool, the New Republic in public relations. Discussions are         encouraged to shape the context of links and stories. Nothing is ever face-value. To take a         quote from the video, “Reddit is a lot like life: It is what you make it.”

5)     Influencer Participation. Reddit isn’t (just) Millennial Mark/Michelle living at home, cynical         and under-employed. But many people assume this. Reddit is a large community, and with so         many anonymous users, a relatively shapeless demographic.  It’s also one that hosts         politicians, actors, writers, CEOs – leaders and icons interacting with Redditors. Your top news         producers, editors and bloggers are guaranteed to be reading, reviewing and sourcing content         from– or sharing stories about what has become popular on Reddit.

[At 10:43 PT, it’s at 57,922 views on You Tube]

Love it or leave it, Reddit is a wonderfully weird place with a lot of good, a lot of bad and plenty of ugly. It is also where communicators and brands can learn by participating and listening. And what better venue than front row seat of the internet’s no. 1 content auction block? Reddit can also help build or bury brand news – good or bad. Here’s an example of Mashable’s report on Golden Corral’s PR crisis made popular by Reddit:

To know more about how Reddit views participants with a PR agenda, check out their post by veteran Redditors on “How Companies Can Properly Use Reddit.”

[Update: at 1:55 PT, views are well over 160,000]

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