What Is Reddit and Why Should Your Business Care About It?

When people think of the most visited websites in the United States they usually think of sites like Facebook, Amazon, Google, Youtube, Wikipedia, and other perennial favorites.

But among the top ten is a website that, despite its popularity, many people know very little about. This site is Reddit and its growing popularity for over a decade is perfectly summed up in the company’s motto – ‘the front page of the internet’. So what exactly is Reddit? And why should marketers care about it?

Forums: A Trip Down Memory Lane

At its simplest Reddit is really just a good old-fashioned discussion forum. The site operates in much the same way as other forums in that it allows discussions to be started by posting a topic, question, or piece of content and then people respond by adding comments underneath in a conversation thread. And it’s in these threads where the real value of the site can be found – the discussion, jokes, insight and camaraderie amongst Reddit community members really is something special.

There are some features to Reddit that blur the lines between bulletin board, news aggregator, content rating site, and discussion site, which help to create its unique magic, but for the most part Reddit is just a modern and very popular forum.

What truly makes Reddit unique though is its governance, or rather lack thereof. Reddit is mostly a self-governing body policed by its users, with few restrictions on what people can post or discuss. Anyone can sign up, post, view, comment, rate, direct message, create new communities, follow groups, follow users, and many other actions without anything except a login. In truth even a login isn’t required if all you want to do is lurk and consume content without engaging.

Reddit for Business Use: We’re Serious

Despite its enormous popularity, Reddit has largely escaped the attention of businesses. While other sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have long been the battleground of businesses vying for relevance in a social media dominated world, many businesses shun Reddit either because they don’t understand it’s potential or perceive involvement with it as not worth the risk and resources. At present, businesses involvement in the site is limited to banner advertising and running Q&A sessions in relevant subreddits as a PR activity. But there’s a lot more potential waiting to be tapped.

Beware: For Brands Reddit Is Nothing Like Other Social Channels

In its own native form, Reddit is a network that has more risk than reward for uneducated businesses looking to dive right in, create a profile, and start engaging with other users. Doing so would probably make a business realize immediately that Reddit users do not look favorably upon corporate influence into Reddit communities.

The unwritten Reddit values of self-governance, individuality, and non-corporate influence are held extremely highly by its user base and involvement by businesses usually results in the Reddit equivalent of a death sentence; aka being banned.

While you can easily find lots of marketing articles on ‘Brands Who Rocked it on Reddit’ or ‘Ten Tips to Marketing Your Brand On Reddit’, remember that you’re only reading about the times they got it right, and few brands are likely to tell you much about all the times they got it wrong. As with any marketing activity, there’s a learning curve and it often takes a little experimentation so it’s a good idea to start off with baby steps.

With that said, let’s look at starting out with Reddit as a data source for research instead of a place to be actively engaged on right away. The value Reddit brings due to its nature as a repository for candid and authentic conversations on every topic imaginable is where its immediate and possibly greater value lies for business.

Slow Down: Consider Reddit as a Data Source

The safest and simplest way to test the waters is to resist the temptation to actively engage on Reddit and instead consider it as a data source for mining insights. Sounds boring, but Reddit’s fringe popularity with businesses, combined with its extreme popularity with the general public and, most importantly, the endless amount of communities it has organized around very niche topics make it a massive untapped gold mine for business research.

The Reddit user interface can be quite unfriendly for business research purposes and unfortunately there isn’t a business Facebook native analytics equivalent. Due to the lack of features for advanced searching and filtering, no business analytics or visualizations, and hard to read thread formats, business research natively on Reddit is extremely challenging. And while there are plenty of Reddit web apps that have one off features like user searches, or subreddit searches, or user statistics,  many still lack a full user interface meant for business analytics and, more importantly, one that has other data sources integrated into it for comparisons.

To effectively do business research on Reddit, you need to consider using a social analytics solution that has invested in Reddit as one of its integrated data sources. Even in the world of social media analytics solutions Reddit data is rare. If you are a Sysomos customer though, the good news is you’ve always had Reddit as a data source in our Search product. But what’s even better now is that Sysomos has recently entered into a partnership to provide unmatched access to Reddit data for our customers. Combine this expanded Reddit data access with Sysomos’ industry leading analytics platform, and all of a sudden business research on Reddit becomes realistic and easy to do. Read the official release here.

Boolean Cheat Sheet: Star Wars Edition

Want to use Advanced Search like a pro? Use this guide to master the force of these Boolean Operators. Make this your go-to cheat sheet for searches on Google, Twitter, Sysomos, and elsewhere. While Boolean logic can be confusing, there’s value in understanding the basics. When doing a search, it’s important to adjust the Boolean terms to either focus on certain results or to open the gates to let more results into the search. In addition to narrowing or expanding a search, it may be important to exclude terms, as well as combining Boolean concepts. All great things to think about when applying Boolean logic to a search.

Sysomos Search allows you to search for anything, from a simple keyword to a complex 6,000 character Boolean query with unlimited search with unlimited mentions. These queries can easily be saved and shared with you colleagues. Cut through the noise to make the best data driven decisions. Learn more about Sysomos Search today.

5 Reasons Why Listening to Your PR Team Could Save Your Company’s Image

Your PR team will spend much of its time on social media monitoring your image and brand name. The average business will spend 11% of their budget on social media marketing alone this year. The power of PR has the potential to completely reinvent your brand image.

It can help you win back unhappy customers and repair your company image when it’s in the doldrums. This guide is going to show you five of the reasons why you should be listening to your PR team.

Maintain the Reputation You Already Have

Making ill-timed remarks can back you into a corner, leaving you on the defense. Businesses are never going to feel comfortable in this position, and your PR strategies are not going to cater to it. The PR professional will help you to get out of this corner and stop you from being on the defensive.

You have to work with them if you’re going to get through a crisis relatively unscathed. They’ll also act to stop them from happening in the first place. The fewer controversies associated with your name the stronger your reputation is going to become going forward.

Getting Your Message to the Right People

Your public relations team will help you to eliminate any inconsistencies within your messaging. Once you say something your PR team is going to act to make sure your meaning isn’t obscured anywhere along the way. A misinterpreted comment can do a lot to deflate your company. Boost team morale by making sure your PR team is ensuring the right message is getting across.

The danger with the Internet these days is your words can be misinterpreted. Even perfectly innocuous comments can be taken the wrong way, whether unintentionally or maliciously. Getting your message across with the help of your PR team will stop this from happening.

Don’t Let Negative Momentum Wash You Away

Take a look at Donald Trump for a master class in how to stop negative momentum from washing you away. Negative press can build and build until the pressure becomes too much and your company’s reputation is left in tatters. Donald Trump might be able to get away with it, but it’s far from an ideal situation to be placed in to begin with.

A solid PR team can make sure the news coverage you’re getting is leaving the right impression on the audience. They’ll make sure your name is being built based on substance, as opposed to a PR stunt that left you with a few minutes of fame. PR specialists will hold you to a higher standard that will preserve your reputation in the long-term.

Not All Attention Is Wanted Attention

The biggest misconception marketers have is that all press is good press. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Even the greatest marketer can’t spin absolutely everything into something positive. There are many figures in the business world that have said the wrong things at the wrong time and found themselves unable to cope.

Believe it or not, the best press is the inane press you find in the business pages. Controversy can work for you, but you never can tell which way it’s going to go until it actually happens.

Your PR team will stage manage exactly what you’re saying to make sure you’re not making any big mistake. They’ll allow you to present the vision and goals of your company without burning bridges.

Make Your Goals Clear

A lot of figures outline their views and get in the news all the time. Not all of this coverage is necessarily contusive to achieving an end goal. The fact is the press time you do get should be used to contribute to your long-term future. There’s little point in wasting your marketing content on something that isn’t going to lead to a better company in the long-term.

The goal of any PR team is to make sure your marketing material is consistent with your views. The last thing you want is to have lots of content that says entirely different things. Mixed messages are an easy way to confuse your customers, and it’s unlikely to lead to any sales.

Conclusion–Getting Marketing Right

Your PR team doesn’t have to be a huge team that eats up most of the company’s budget. A single PR specialist can help you to fine tune your marketing strategy so you know you’re hitting the right people. Getting this right will ultimately be a boon for your company in the long-term.

A big part of managing your reputation is in the case of possible crisis management. Hopefully, you’ll never need it, but the time to prepare for crisis, is before it hits. To always be prepared, download our free ebook, Media Intelligence for Crisis Communications.

Media Intelligence for Crisis Comms

We originally published this post to our site on August 19, 2016. On Saturdays, we republish content, in case our readers missed them the first time around. This article was written by David Wither from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

8 Innovative Ways to Think Big in Your B2B PR

No matter your size, thinking big is pivotal to success in B2B PR. That is how you achieve thought leadership and brand recognition.

It’s easy to think small-—to stay in your comfort zone, where you knock off a press release every once in awhile, and call it good. Successful PR, however, is all about pushing boundaries, embracing new techniques, and staying ahead of the curve.

Learn how you can take your B2B public relations to the next level, and think bigger for your company. The following are 8 ways that you can amplify your company’s content, and meet your B2B public relations goals.

8 Ways to Bring Big Ideas to Your B2B PR

1. Work Backwards from a Clear End Goal

Start with your end vision. What would you like to accomplish as a company? A great way to bring an idea to life is by starting with the end-product. A key component to your vision might be to write down that dream headline that you would like to see when your vision comes to fruition.

For instance, would you like to get press coverage for your involvement in charity? Then start big. Imagine the successful headline that will put you on the front page. It could be something like, “Local B2B Firm Meets Goal of Feeding 1,000 Hungry Families.”

Have you already thought of your dream headline? Once you have it, work back from there. Set smaller, more manageable goals that will help you reach that big headline. You’ll find it easier to get more people on board and involved when you have a set end-goal to pursue.

2. Invite Influencers to Contribute to Your Content

Influencers are a big deal in niche industries, and can amplify your content’s reach. While it may be difficult to get an influencer on-board for a full guest post, it’s a much easier task to get a blurb or pro tip from an influencer that you can then leverage within your content.
Imagine the power behind such blog posts as,

15 Pro Tips From the Security Industry’s Leading Experts

or…

[Influencer’s name] Weighs in on the Biggest Problem Facing the Security Industry

Once you have this content locked down, you can leverage your influencer involvement to promote it. Build anticipation for the content by talking it up on social media before it is released. Once it’s out, tag the influencers involved on social media so that they can share it with their audience. Share it several times to ensure that the maximum amount of people get a chance to read it.

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3. Make Your Content Recyclable and Magnetic

Your content shouldn’t have an end-date. Once you hit publish, there’s plenty you can do to extend its usefulness. For example, make it easily shareable. Create click to tweet links of several important snippets of your content that people can easily share on Twitter. Create social media images with influential parts of your content that others in your industry will be interested in sharing.

4. Find Content That’s Already Popular…and Make It Better

It can sometimes feel like your competitors have all the successful content. But you can use this to your advantage. Use programs like BuzzSumo and SEMrush to find what content is currently blowing up within your industry. Then take that piece of content and give it an all-star upgrade. Amplify its value with a more modern design, in-depth content, and even additional pro tips.

Once you have a superior piece of content, it’s time to distribute it like crazy. Use social media and email marketing to get as many eyes on it as possible.

And don’t forget to use this content to shine a light on new content. Include a link to just-published content within your popular post. Think of it as the virtual equivalent of hanging out with the popular kids. The goal is that some of that fairy dust will end up on the new content.

5. Focus on Big Pieces of Content

One large, high-quality piece of content is going to outperform 10 other lower quality pieces of content put together. To accomplish this, your content creation should begin with a solid content strategy that aims at truly high-quality content, as well as promotion of that content. In-depth content such as eBooks and guides may take more time to put together, but in the end, will lead to increased credibility and owned media potential.

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6. Leverage Special Content for Visitors Who Share

Sharing isn’t just for kids. When readers share your content on their social networks, this is PR gold. But how do you convince readers to share?

Instead of your traditional gated content that requires the user to input his or her contact information, why not make special content downloadable in exchange for a social share? People get the free e-book (or video, or case study) once they share their download announcement on social media. This gives them the content they want, and boosts the recognition of your brand at the same time—a clear win-win situation.

7. Test the Waters for Big Events

Events are a key way to establish yourself as a thought leader and industry authority. But this is sometimes easier said than done — it can be overwhelming to jump feet first into a large-scale event. Make it easier on yourself by testing the waters first with a smaller event.

It doesn’t have to be a large, fancy affair. Make it more intimate and less structured. Invite a wide range of people to participate — perhaps include an industry analyst, someone from the media, a business customer, and an author, to speak on a current industry topic or trend. This kind of environment can foster many thought leadership quality discussions that you will have been responsible for creating.

Then, if all goes well, you can start planning a larger-scale event that will no doubt garner more attention.

8. Become Part of a Niche Community

While it’s great to participate in larger industry communities, don’t ignore the power that the smaller niche communities (such as on LinkedIn) hold for your content promotion. Oftentimes, participating in smaller, niche communities can give you more of a chance to engage with and provide value to others in your industry.

Participation in these communities allows you to establish yourself as an industry expert, create brand awareness, and share your valuable content. There’s even a chance that your content may be chosen for syndication by other blogs and publications in your niche. In short, these smaller communities are a great stepping stone on your way to bigger, thought leadership opportunities.

Key Points to Remember in Your B2B PR

  • Include influencer input in small ways to attract more attention from a wider audience.
  • Use popular content from competitors to create even better, more in-depth content.
  • Prepare yourself for hosting a large event by starting with a small, intimate one.
  • Get involved in smaller, niche communities where you will have more opportunities to engage and be heard.

Just because you are a small B2B business doesn’t mean that your B2B PR ideas have to follow suit. Use these 8 B2B PR tactics to start thinking big and you’ll amplify your content’s influence and achieve thought leadership success.

This article originally appeared in The B2B PR Blog.

 

This article was written by Wendy Marx from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

4 Massive Trends in PR and Communications Your Brand Needs to be Dominating Right Now

The marketing world is constantly changing, and the environment we operate in today is entirely different from what we were working in even just two or three years ago.

The field of marketing communications doesn’t have quite the same fast, flashy developments that are emerging in many fields of digital marketing. It’s still evolving at a steady pace, driven by constantly-shifting consumer habits and expectations. The brands that fail to keep up with trends in PR are at risk of fading into irrelevance.

How well is your business executing on these increasingly critical PR and communications trends? 

1. Influencer Relationship Management

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Many traditional communications channels like mass media, celebrity endorsements, and product placement are quickly taking a backseat to an explosion of wildly popular “influencers.”

An influencer can be nearly anyone with a widely-heard voice and respected opinions, like a hot radio DJ or talk show host. But today the most popular and effective influencers tend to be online: bloggers, YouTube stars, podcast hosts, social media entertainers, etc. These individuals may not always have the largest audience, but they often carry a lot of respect and sway within a very targeted niche.

Earning the attention, favor, and trust of influencers either organically or through paid means is an incredibly effective (and usually very cost efficient) way to get your brand and products associated with whatever thoughtful insights, hilarious comments, valuable information, or unique personality quirks that make them popular. But engaging and interacting with influencers requires a unique strategy; they’re frequently not experienced public figures with agents or established systems for brand partnerships. Often they’re just busy professionals who run a podcast in their spare time or young bloggers that aren’t even old enough to have a career yet.

Creating and nurturing relationships with these kinds of personalities requires a delicate touch and a thorough understanding of an influencer’s audience, niche, and content.

Many PR and brand marketing executives are realizing this and recruiting digital marketers specifically to manage their influencer marketing campaigns and relationships.

The world of influencer relationships is still immature and wide open to proactive brands. But the longer you wait, the harder (and more expensive) it will be to get the attention of the right influencers that engage your target audiences.

2. Online Reputation Management

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When people Google your business, what do they see on the front page?

For most organizations, the first result will hopefully be the company home page (if it’s not, you have bigger problems to deal with). But unfortunately, the rest of the SERP is often filled with less-flattering content, like negative news coverage, a Yelp page packed with unfavorable comments, or a Facebook wall littered with customer complaints.

Over 80% of buyers do research online before making a purchase decision. Rest assured they’re not only reading about your products; they’re also evaluating your brand.

Unsurprisingly, they’re more likely to buy if they like what they see. But if they encounter unflattering content, reviews, and news associated with your business they’re likely to look elsewhere.

Good online reputation management doesn’t mean just covering up any non-positive mentions of your business and products online. It means putting yourself in a position to avoid that negative attention, proactively generating positive stories and press to balance out unfavorable content, and responding appropriately to criticism and complaints. A deft PR leader brought in with a public relations executive search can even turn negative experiences into powerful, positive press.

3. Tracking and Analyzing Your Communications Initiatives

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There was a time, not long ago, when businesses didn’t really expect to know how impactful their PR and external communications efforts were. They’d just issue some announcements, publish some press releases, maybe have a press conference, and hope for the best.

Today you should expect much more from your communications team. The PR industry alone will be a more than $13 billion dollar industry this year, yet many business and marketing leaders will have no idea whether those investments are paying off.

If you’re not tracking the impact of your communications, you’re probably wasting your time. An exact, hard dollar ROI value might not always be possible. But you should at least be able to have a good idea of basic KPIs like brand awareness and favorability, social engagement, quality traffic driven, etc.

Just as importantly, you should see active efforts to test new communications tactics and improve your strategy over time.

Need some help measuring your communications success and building analytics systems? Work with a good marketing analytics agency or bring in some analytics staffing.

4. Internalizing and Streamlining Communications Teams

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Matters of public relations and communications have often traditionally been handed off to specialized agencies. However, in today’s fast-paced media environment many brands are finding more success insourcing their communications teams, bringing in new leadership through communications executive search, and cutting out the middle man.

A communications opportunity–or crisis–can appear and spread in the blink of an eye. Your brand’s window to respond to them in the most effective way is often very short.

But when you need to be fast, agency channels slows things down with an extra layer of internal processes, approvals and gatekeepers. And as important as a time-sensitive opportunity might be for you, there’s no guarantee your agency will have the interest or ability to prioritize it over their obligations for other clients.

That’s why it’s best to be prepared with aggressive marketing communications and PR recruitment to stock your business with a team that’s intimately familiar with your brand voice and strategy and can act directly under the direction of your communications executive.

Third party partnerships still have a place in the world of marketing communications as buzz generators or connections to valuable media relationships (though a PR executive search might be needed to find a leader who can choose the right agencies). But it’s probably wise to ween your business off reliance on someone else for your own communications strategy.

To learn how to spot trends in PR, download our latest ebook and add these valuable skills to your public relations toolbox. 

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This article originally appeared in MarketPro, was written by Mark Miller from Business2Community, and legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.