Introduction

Once a mysterious corner of the web, Reddit’s since gone mainstream. Kind of. While today it’s the 18th most popular website globally (and the 5th most popular in the US), Reddit still maintains its community charm. And it’s precisely this feature, community, that defines the Reddit platform and represents a massive opportunity for brands. Let’s explore what makes Reddit unique and how businesses can use Reddit to deepen consumer understanding.

What Is Reddit?

Part news aggregator, part online forum, above all, Reddit drives community-based discussion. As of the latest, by the end of 2019, Reddit grew to 430 Million active users, a 30 percent increase in one year. 

Demographically, Reddit users are more likely to be male (67%) and young, with 64 percent of users between 18 to 29 years of age (Pew Research). Though nearly 50 percent of site traffic originates in the US, Reddit’s on the rise in the EU (Statista). As an example, The UK contributes 8% of overall site traffic. Respectively, Reddit is the 4th and 37th most popular site in the UK and France.

How Does Reddit Work?

Subreddits

Reddit’s divided into thousands of subreddits, a.k.a. online communities dedicated to specific topics. From r/HomeImprovement to r/PS5 or r/Corgis, there’s a subreddit for everyone. After registering as anonymous Redditors, users can post comments and interact across any number of communities. 


Marketers and Insight professionals should not discount the value of subreddits. Like no other platform, subreddits serve as ready-made audience tribes, distinct with their own culture and lingo. Immersing yourself in these industry-related communities can point to emerging trends and unique audience insights.

Upvote, Downvote

A defining feature of the platform, other users can then upvote or downvote a post. As a result, the most relevant and interesting content rises to the top of the thread. In many ways, due to this feature, Reddit serves as an incubator for online trends and viral content. Hence, that’s why Reddit’s dubbed itself the ‘front page’ of the internet.

Reddit-Upvote

Community Spirit

Beyond voting, there’s a number of other features that make Reddit unique and engender a culture of community:

1. Reddiquette‘An informal expression of the values of many Redditors,’ Reddiquette drives community spirit and high-quality discussion by defining the rules and do’s and don’ts of Reddit behavior.

2. Moderators – As enforcers, each subreddit enlists one or many moderators. Moderators make sure that users follow the rules.

3. Self-promotion Policy –“It’s perfectly fine to be a redditor with a website, it’s not okay to be a website with a reddit account,” states Reddit. For this reason, Redditors expect genuine conversation and frown upon users with ulterior motives.

4. Dedicated Topics – Lastly, as noted before, each subreddit focuses on a dedicated topic. For this reason, subreddits attract passionate conversations that connect individuals across shared interests.

Report: Unstructured Data to Intelligence

The Nature of Reddit Conversations

As noted, Reddit generates discussion. Redditors are looking to learn, understand, engage, and hear from others. Therefore, Reddit conversations are longer form and, compared to other platforms, less opinion-based. Consider the below example:

Reddit-Post 

Reddit and Advertising

Unsurprisingly, Reddit and advertising share a complicated relationship. With its self-promotion policies, traditional advertising runs antithetical to the Reddit spirit. In fact, although created in 2005, only in the past couple of years has Reddit launched CPC functionality and takeover ads.  More than anything, Reddit’s a community based on authenticity, composed of highly discerning users.

So, be careful. Becoming a successful brand among the seemingly infinite subreddits is no small task. Different from Twitter or Facebook, brands should spend more time engaging users by answering questions, posting polls, and educating consumers when appropriate.

Reddit and Consumer Insights

Despite its advertising challenges, Reddit represents a high-value opportunity for brands looking to understand their consumers.  Above all, Redditors are highly engaged and, on average, spend about 15 minutes per day on the platform. Given its unique attributes and user behavior, Reddit’s an ideal source for insights.

What Makes Reddit An Ideal Source for Consumer Insights

Longer form and clean

Unhindered by character limits, Redditors write long-form content filled with golden nuggets. Because Redditors follow a more straightforward sentence structure, posts are easier to follow.

Culture 

In representing online communities, each Subreddit enjoys its own unique culture. By immersing yourself in a subreddit, you can identify a sense of cultural norms, jargon, style, tone, and more. Again, due to its natural segmentation, Reddit is ripe with audience insights  

Functional

As noted before, Reddit is more functional than emotional. Redditors are looking for answers to questions. By analyzing these questions, brands can generate consumer-inspired strategy and innovation.

Authenticity

Lastly, Reddit is authentic. Ipsos itself plots social platforms on a spectrum, with some platforms representing the projected-self, and others representing the real-self. Along that spectrum, Reddit, more than most, reflects the genuine motivations, frustrations, and desires of real, authentic people.

The Types of Consumer Insights You Can Learn From Reddit

Gaining access to specific conversations about your field, along with unprompted consumer feedback about you and your competitors, is a massive asset for any brand. Now, let’s define the types of insights you can find on Reddit.

Product Feedback

Whether it’s unmet needs or specific product frustrations, consumers turn to Reddit to either vent or seek advice. Therefore, spotting these insights can help you identify white-space opportunities, improve product gaps, and inform product innovation.

Customer Journey

Similarly, before purchasing a product, consumers will turn to Reddit with questions about price, quality, service, etc. Thus, by understanding the common questions and roadblocks facing consumers, you can then proactively design a more seamless purchase path.

Trend Identification

The self-proclaimed ‘front page of the internet,’ Reddit is often the first to break a story, share viral content, or foster a new consumer trend. Indeed, by keeping your finger on the pulse, you can ensure that new trends don’t pass you by.

Customer Support 

Reddit helps Customer Support teams understand trending support issues and support performance. Below, we see a Reddit User complaining about PS4’s Support experience.reddit-customer-support

Competitive Intelligence

And finally, beyond your brand, Redditors freely discuss your competition. Thus, you can scan Reddit for competitive insights like brand positioning, perception, and strengths and weaknesses.

Spotting Reddit Insights With Synthesio

Like most social platforms, finding insights on Reddit is challenging and time-consuming. In many cases, it can take hours to identify the best subreddits to follow. From there, tracking insights, in real-time, remains manual. Without trying, you can easily find yourself going down rabbit holes.

At Synthesio, we are convinced that Reddit is an essential source for brands looking to capture genuine consumer insights. For this reason, over the past year we aimed to improve the quality of the Reddit listening experience, placing you on a quicker path to game-changing insights. 

Visual Content

First, a brand new release, we can now capture Reddit images and videos. As trends and viral content often start on Reddit, this feature will help you spot those trends sooner than the competition.

Interactions

Interactions on Reddit are a score, the difference between upvotes and downvotes (33.7K below). For a couple of months, Synthesio’s captured Reddit interactions, shown here at the mention-level. Using this data, brands can easily detect influential voices, either brand ambassadors or brand detractors.

reddit-interactions

Building Communities

After identifying the most engaging subreddit threads found on your dashboard, you can save these subreddits as ‘Publisher Lists’. Combined, these lists serve as trackable tribes, the community of people most passionate about your industry, product, or market. You can track mention evolution and engagement of these tribes over-time, methodically pulling insights from these communities using Synthesio’s insight-engine, Signals, or BI-styled module, Reports. Below, we’ve built a list of Kombucha communities.

reddit-

Dedicated Source

Reddit has long been mixed with forum data, making it trickier to isolate. It is now considered as a standalone source on which you can quickly filter.

reddit-sources

Quantity

We changed the way we crawl Reddit to be able to collect more Reddit data. For example, in a research dashboard created for a major Coffee brand, Reddit is the third source in the dashboard beyond Twitter and Instagram. With nearly 850k mentions over the last 12 months, the figure has doubled compared to the previous period in 2019.

Conclusion

Indeed, for brands looking to unearth unique insights, Reddit’s an essential data source. With its popularity growing to new regions and demographics – whether using a Synthesio-like solution or not – start tapping into Reddit today!

Request A Demo