Social media is a core part of your digital marketing strategy, but you may not be using all of the channels available to you. Reddit is one example. This online community is known as “the front page of the internet” with over 234 million unique visitors in 2015 and roughly 900,000 mini communities or subreddits.

What makes Reddit so popular is that it serves up trending news and other topics of conversation in a unique way. On Facebook, you get news updates from friends and family that you don’t necessarily care about. On Reddit, you can create a completely customized experience by joining the subreddits that matter to you. No topic is too narrow. And, if the topic hasn’t been created yet, you can create your own subreddit.

We must point out, however, that Reddit is not a place for click-bait or flimsy sales strategies. The community isn’t tolerant of self-promotion, so be sure that you don’t make this mistake. If you’re considering adding Reddit to your higher EDU social media strategy, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Understand Who Redditors Are

Redditors are simply members of the Reddit community. To become a Redditor, all a person has to do is sign up and start engaging with other Redditors. Users share links, stories, photos, and other information with each other.

According to the Pew Research Center, the majority of Reddit users have some college education. Forty-seven percent are international, and the other 54% break down to the following:

  • 67% male

  • 33% female

  • 64% 18-29 years old

  • 42% with college degree

  • 40% with some college

Looking at the numbers, Reddit has a great demographic for higher education marketing.

Know the Reddit Language

When you visit the homepage on Reddit, the interface isn’t exactly welcoming. Neither is the language. But, don’t let this intimidate you. If you know your audience is here, all you have to do is take some time to familiarize yourself with their language. For example, Redditors tend to talk in abbreviations, which is quite common for discussion boards. Here are some of the most common ones.

  • OP – Original poster

  • TIL – Today I learned

  • IAmA/AMA – Ask me anything

Be Ready to Upvote and Downvote

Facebook has “likes” and Reddit has upvotes and downvotes. If you vote an item up, it means you like it. If you vote an item down, it means the opposite. There is an algorithm that goes along with the upvotes and downvotes. The more upvotes a post gets, the more likely it is to be featured first. Over time, you get numbers in the right-hand corner. This is your karma. More upvotes means more karma, resulting in boosted credibility.

Create a Thoughtful Strategy

Now that you know a bit about how Reddit works, let’s talk about some of the things you can do on Reddit. The best way to start is by becoming an active Redditor. Write comments, upvote and downvote posts, share links, and more. You will be called out by the community if you’re seen only as a self-promoter.

Here are a few ideas for engaging with Redditors once you build some karma.

  • Ask direct questions to learn about your audience

  • Start an Ask Me Anything conversation where Redditors can ask questions

  • Reach out to subreddit moderators to see if you can publish your content

  • Only show on-brand content one out of every ten posts

  • Keep your karma points up by being human and genuine

Reddit is a community that requires diligence and authenticity. If you’re prepared to give it this attention, you can learn a lot about your audience and position your higher institution as a thought leader.