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Communicate Levant | Advertising, marketing, public relations and media in the Arab world and beyond

What you need to know about Reddit


What you need to know about Reddit

Yesterday I asked my 90-year-old grandfather if he’s still reading newspapers and his response was: “LMAO m8, NO! I use Reddit.” Well, let’s be real… He didn’t say that, but he did mention that he hasn’t bought a newspaper since 2012. That’s hardly surprising, considering that newspaper readership in Lebanon hovered at around 5-8% in 2016, according to a report. That’s where social media underdogs such as Reddit come in.

What’s Reddit

Reddit, launched in 2005, is currently the top 21 most visited website in the world, according to Alexa. It quickly gained popularity thanks to its upvoting and downvoting system and, most importantly, its user-generated content and communities (also known as subreddits or r/{Community}). Its major redesign in 2015 gave it a serious boost, ushering in a friendly interface for new users. Before that, “users were being greeted by a Craigslist [an online sales advertising website popular in the US] dystopia,” Steve Huffman, Reddit’s co-founder, and CEO told Wired at the time. Since, the platform has been adding to its previously yearly reported 50,000 new users to around 200,000 new users per year globally, according to Statista – including my boss, retelling jokes he stole from r/Jokes…

What makes Reddit special, and increasingly popular, is the way it empowers its members in an actual democratic manner: while Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook use algorithms to push posts, Reddit implements a thumbs-up system that allows users to upvote stories up on the front page, making them more visible. As a result, it’s safe to say that Reddit is a powerful social media channel really run by regular people.

Wait, why should you care about Reddit?

More than 10,200 people have joined Reddit’s r/Lebanon thread, actively discussing a wide variety of topics, from politics (of course) to tourism, politics, history, politics, school recommendations, humor, politics, creative writing, tech or politics…

Administrators didn’t answer our queries for more information, but as social media users start to move away from Facebook (because of its multiple scandals in the past two years). Reddit’s numbers are growing and this tech-savvy, westernized and young generation of Lebanese is an untapped potential for marketers.

Marketing on Reddit (or modern social media websites) isn’t easy; users don’t usually expect a brand to be present on a forum-esque platform (albeit some American brands do exist).

However, there’s a whole new way to reach out to the Reddit community, for which SocialMediaExaminer gives great tips on. “The Internet is a big place full of highly social niche communities that might be relevant to the customers you’re trying to serve. Reddit is one of the largest and most underutilized social media marketing platforms,” says the report that also states that, although Facebook is big, people around the globe spend, on average, 11:29 minutes per user on Reddit, compared to Facebook’s average of 9:39 minutes. (Here’s the full article). Getting a dynamic and engaged community to discuss common interests and market ideas is what every brand looks for; in today’s age, we like to think that any resource, hard or easy, should be exploited.

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