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The Small Business Owner's Guide to Reddit

SMB Reddit

When it comes to managing your small business' social media campaigns, your brand has navigated its way through Facebook, Twitter, and potentially even Pinterest or Instagram. But one online community that remains relatively free from corporate America is Reddit. 

Unlike other popular social networks, Reddit is completely anonymous. It's an online community where any person can view and comment on posts that span an extensive array of topics, from sports to "Star Wars." Though the site is not targeted toward small-business owners, it provides an open platform on which people from all around the world can share information, engage in meaningful discussion and spread awareness for their mission.

What is it?

Think of Reddit as a very large collection of the highlights from today's Internet. The site is divided into separate categories - called subreddits - that are tailored to one specific theme, such as "Technology" or "Science." While the site is filled with trending memes, funny pictures and niche interest areas, it also houses important news articles from the week, industry trends and discussion platforms for like-minded professionals.

What kind of people are on it?

Reddit users span across the globe, encompassing a variety of people from all age groups, demographics and interest areas. There's a wide collection of young adults and college students, but there's also a vast range of older professionals looking to share interests and learn what's new. Additionally, a handful of celebrities - including Snoop Dogg, Verne Troyer and Arnold Schwarzenegger - frequently post and interact with Reddit users.

What benefits could it provide my business?

According to the site's statistics, it generates nearly 175 million unique page visits each month. While this is not the best platform for marketing or self-promotion, it's an invaluable resource for small-business owners looking to expand their knowledge bases. Creating a profile and subscribing to subreddits tailored to your business can help you learn a bit more from others who have gone through similar processes or people with innovative ideas for jumpstarting your business. Depending on the type of industry your business serves, or the type of subject you require assistance with, you can access questions, articles or posts that may provide you with valuable ideas.

In addition, the Reddit community provides several on-going initiatives that provide professionals with an even greater pool of knowledge. The "AMA" series, for example, is one of the site's most well-known features. During an AMA thread, which stands for "Ask Me Anything," community members can submit questions to whoever is hosting the event. Typically, those who are the subject of AMAs are celebrities or people who have accomplished notable feats. These threads allow people to interact with professionals they may not have had a chance to speak to in the past, such as professional writers, cartoonists, game programmers, actors or CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. 

For example, Elon Musk, the CEO of TeslaMotors and SpaceX, recently held an AMA where he discussed the partnership between Google and SpaceX, how he motivates himself through his work and what it is like to manage such an impressive range of companies. The AMA garnered nearly 12,000 comments and a series of valuable nuggets from Musk himself.

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