Reddit is a tricky one to promote yourself with I’m not going to lie. For a long time it was actually the premier place that companies might try to push themselves online. To get your brand on the front page was a big thing, it meant that you were going somewhere and that people were starting to pay attention to you. Companies would pour, and probably still do pour thousands and thousands of dollars into achieving this goal. Now – Reddit has tried to shy away from some of this whilst simultaneously attempting to make themselves profitable. On top of that – Redditors have become increasingly leery eyed of corporate with subreddits like r/hailcorporate openly mocking brands who push themselves on the platform. That being said – some users, perhaps most notably, u/gallowboob have turned themselves into Reddit marketing machines building careers out of their ability to generate what seems to be infinite karma.
The first thing to realize, and this is key is that upvotes are not everything and that upvotes don’t necessarily work the way you think they do. While Reddit obviously has safeguards in place against spam and also against random posts blowing up because of trolls, the company has hinted that the algorithm which determines the content you see is a lot more complicated than just mere ‘updoots’. This does not mean you shouldn’t strive for upvotes – just keep be aware that paying some shady organization to push your content isn’t going to do anything beyond get you shadowbanned. Similarly – asking a ton of your friends to upvote your content isn’t going to work. There’s a reason that you see Instagram pod groups, but, as far as I’m aware, you don’t see groups trying to get more karma. Reddits admins are aware that accounts with high karma are worth a lot to the right buyer and they try to limit that behavior Hell – there’s a subreddit making fun of people trying to get karma for stuff like that, r/karmaconspiracy.
Now I’ve had some pretty big successes on Reddit, be it with super popular Askreddit questions or AMA’s that garnered hundreds of questions. One of the big things that I think made those posts so popular was knowing how to read my audience. When I created that content I hoped would get big I not only did a lot of research to find the right subreddit, but I also read the subreddits thoroughly to determine how exactly to phrase what I was going to post. A big part of this was already being an active part of the community. Quite frankly – Reddit requires a LOT of engagement if you want to be a major player in one of the big subreddits, to the point it’s probably not worth trying unless you have something unique like u/shittywatercolor. However – if you find niche subreddits that directly target the types of people who you want to interact with then regular posting there can in fact make you a goddamn king.
When searching for subreddits, especially for an underground band there are a few rules to follow. In many ways it’s like finding Facebook groups. You need to be sure that not everyone is there for self promotional purposes and you need to also ensure that there are enough people being active in the subreddit for it to cause a meaningful boost in your bands popularity if you invest the time. Many subreddits simply don’t have the infrastructure or are circle jerks. You don’t want that. You want to find subreddits where you can engage thoroughly and then when you are properly entrenched in the community promote yourself. There are so goddamn many subreddits out there, but it’s pretty easy to figure out the individual demographics of each one. Sure they almost all fall into that ‘edgy 20 something male’ thing, but if you read between the lines you can figure out what communities would be the most relevant and effective for you to talk too.
The final thing that I see Reddit power users doing and which I have had a fair amount of success with is using other peoples content. This can mean anything from finding content on more obscure subreddits and sharing it on more relevant ones or simply trolling other content sources like Twitter and imgur to find content you can share and grow your personal Reddit brand with. This is of course pretty tricky most of the time. You don’t want to be seen as a Karma whore you want to be seen as a positive member of your particular subreddit. The folks on Reddit are there because they are bored. This simple truth is going to get you more karma and a bigger following than just about anything else. If you cater to the fact that they are fucking bored and want someone to entertain them then you are going to find some of the success that many of your peers desperate for attention in ‘share your band’ threads are going to lust for.
There is no magic key to reddit. Odds are anyone trying to sell you one probably gets made fun of a lot. The people who are solid though do get a lot of attention. This requires constant use of the platform but reddit can be like Twitter. There is a weird sense of justice there and the people who are trying too hard to push it are going to make themselves look bad. I don’t recommend trying to break on Reddit unless you already have a huge following or you are willing to spend a lot of time studying the community. That being said it can be like the Twitter-sphere, if it’s taken care of properly you can vertically hack into worlds far beyond your initial reach.