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5 Reddit Trends for 2020: Current Predictions You Should Know

Category: B2B News

Can a website with a simplistic UI comprised of conversations and shared links ever make it big? Reddit is a conclusive proof that it can. Since its foundation in 2005, the platform has become one of the biggest social media sites in the world. Naturally, it has also undergone modifications based on the changing demands of users. This led to different Reddit trends over the years.

In this article, we will be discussing some of the most recent trends related to the site. Whether you’re a Redditor (an active Reddit user) or not, this should provide you with interesting insights about the platform. It shows just how extensive the so-called “front page of the internet” has gotten. Moreover, this should give you an idea of how businesses can also use this platform to their advantage.

Reddit Predictions You Should Know

People who discover Reddit for the first time will have their first impression greatly affected by which community they join. They could either be entertained, offended, enlightened, disgusted, and more. That’s a testament to how diverse the contents of the platform is.

The entire site consists of subreddits which are niches for each community. Some subreddits have three subscribers, while others have 20 million. Within the platform, you’ll find something as insightful as r/DecidingToBeBetter to something as ridiculous as r/DogTalk. Seriously, that’s a jump from a self-improvement page to a community that posts “GrrrRuuf” and comments “bark bark bark.”

However, regardless of how crazy it might sound, Reddit is a legitimate social network. Not only that, but it’s also many other things, including a microblogging platform, a collection of forums, and a content aggregator. Moreover, for business-minded individuals, it’s a big pool of leads just waiting to be tapped.

Just look at the chart below. Reddit has billions of active users. That kind of traffic per month isn’t something to ignore. For businesses, that’s a hundred thousand potential conversions.

Global Visitor Traffic on Reddit 2018 – 2019

JUL 2018

AUG 2018

SEP 2018

OCT 2018

NOV 2018

DEC 2018

JAN 2019

FEB 2019

MAR 2019

APR 2019

MAY 2019

JUN 2019

JUL 2019

Source: Statista

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In fact, according to Global Statcounter, Reddit is the third most visited site in the US. In that position, it’s already leveling with social media giant Twitter. That’s why companies are thinking of ways to crack the platform. Reddit owners can’t ignore the potential dollars from that, as well. For that reason, the platform has been undergoing various changes in some of its trends. Let’s check out a few of them.

1. Steadily Growing User Base

Reddit isn’t usually the first site that springs to mind when we talk about social media. That’s Facebook’s throne for now, according to our social media statistics. However, Reddit isn’t exactly a baby site either. Furthermore, it is by no means a mid-sized platform. In social media world rankings for the past few years, it has always stayed in the top ten.

Our collection of Reddit statistics shows the platform’s impressive figures compared to other big-shot sites. It’s the number five most visited site in the US, according to Alexa. With its 330 million monthly active users, it’s on par with Twitter. User base-wise, it’s only behind Facebook and Instagram. It also beats other social media platforms in terms of the number of users passionate about technology.

Reddit started as a place where a group of people who don’t know each other can geek out together. Slowly, it has spiraled into a collection of posts of all kinds — cat pictures, political debates, announcements, NSFW contents — you name it. There’s a good chance Reddit has it. This only means that the site has grown into a platform outside its original niche, and it is continuing to do so.

There was a time when Reddit overtook Facebook in terms of being the most visited site in the US. Alexa might have only counted desktop visits, and the site did drop behind after some time. However, that’s still an impressive achievement. Taking the number one social media spot from Facebook in any category is no easy feat, after all. While it doesn’t seem to be on the road to doing it again, Reddit is experiencing a steady growth rate.

Reddit's Monthly Active Users

User base growth key takeaways:

  • While it still doesn’t get the same appreciation as other social media networks, Reddit’s rise is undeniable. Therefore, companies who still haven’t considered the platform as a marketing channel will do themselves a favor by looking into it.
  • Reddit offers a collection of highly specific subreddits. That said, it is the perfect place for niche businesses to find and tap their target audience.

2. Reddit as a Research Tool

Reddit’s user base comes from almost all walks of life — students, employees, hackers, older gents, etc. Thus, by extension, the diversity of insights available on the platform is very rich. That’s something that many people today are taking advantage of.

Marketers, for instance, can mine information from the social platform and learn valuable insights from them. This might be about which subjects are getting the most attention, topics receiving the most hate, what’s trending, and the like. This is also a perfect place for finding which keywords are worth investing in.

To support this effort, many marketers are collecting data from different subreddits into a central location. They use content aggregator apps or sites, such as Feedly, for that purpose. There are also various tools for social media management that offer such a feature. If the research and targeting are done right, the list could then serve as their very own research engine.

However, Reddit, as a research tool, isn’t a perk exclusive to marketers alone. It can be used for various types of studies and investigations, as well. A May 2017 study on whether Reddit is a viable source of high-quality data proves this point.

In the study, researchers compared the quality of data from two sample populations. One is from a university pool, and the other is a group of Reddit users. The conclusion is pretty positive. Reddit users can provide a more diverse sampling compared to the traditional samples from college students. Moreover, the data they provide is valid with excellent measurement reliability.

Reddit as a research tool key takeaways:

  • Marketers can use Reddit by collecting data from their target subreddits, as their very own research engine. This provides them with useful insights regarding their audience as well as their perception of certain subjects. They could also use it to identify the ideal keywords for their search marketing efforts.
  • Researchers find that Reddit can be used as a sample size for certain studies. This makes it cheaper compared to surveying university students. The data they produce is varied and high-quality, as well. Thus, R&D (research and development) conducted by companies in the future might involve a sample population from Reddit.

3. Reddit for Marketing

As of November 2019, Alexa ranks Reddit eighteenth in terms of global internet engagement. The average daily time that users spend on the site is about eight minutes and thirty-one seconds. It was also already stated above that Reddit rakes in about 1.5 billion daily page visits. All those numbers are impressive. It’s too impressive for marketers to ignore.

However, figures aside, Reddit hasn’t exactly been the most conducive place for promoting brands. That’s because it’s a heavily community-driven site. It’s literally made up of communities whose primary interest lies in engaging with others in their circle. Therefore, when someone just shows up and promote their brands, users won’t think twice before downvoting and kicking their posts.

It’s not to say that promoting your brand inside Reddit is impossible. No, we don’t even discourage it. However, one thing must be taken into consideration: most users won’t appreciate posts that don’t offer them value. Upvotes and downvotes are two of the most significant factors for a post’s engagement since lower rates mean lower placement. Therefore, users hold a lot of power, and you’d do well not get on their bad side.

The key to a successful Reddit campaign is genuine engagement. You must invest time and effort to build an organic and willing community around your brand. While it’s true that there are paid marketing tactics in Reddit, organic reach seems to be the way to go. Another option would be to utilize both paid and organic methods, similar to what you would do in an SEO vs. SEM situation.

Conversion is most likely the goal of every marketer when using Reddit. However, engagement usually comes before that. When we talk about Reddit marketing, there’s one place that can turn the tides in your favor: the front page. So, it’s best to try shooting for that.

Reddit Ads Growth

Reddit for marketing key takeaways:

  • Reddit is offering different ways for companies to promote their products within the platform. This will improve the ad revenue of Reddit. Moreover, this will provide more ways for brands to market their services to the platform’s 300+ million active users.
  • While paid ads are a fast and surefire way to tap your audience on Reddit, organic interactions are still better at yielding leads. That said, it is best to focus on building genuine engagement. Better still, use a combination of both paid and organic approaches.

4. Changing Community Landscape

As previously discussed, Reddit has extensively diversified away from its root niche, which is mainly for techie and geeky topics. While it still caters to users interested in those subjects, the platform now has nearly 200,000 communities. The number of subreddits has reached over 800,000 as well.

Admittedly, most Reddit communities are still sticking to their roots. The site is the birthplace of many memes and viral content. That’s why it isn’t surprising that the subreddit r/funny has over 27 million subscribers. That’s second only to r/announcements, which contains the official announcements of Reddit.

Aside from that, the site is undergoing a variety of changes; some are even completely switching things up. One example of this is how the front page, or a slot in it, can be temporarily rented by brands. It’s not just that. Advertising on the platform, in general, has been revamped. As mentioned previously, promoted posts are now being mixed with regular posts, and there’s a safe space for ads as well, to name a few.

The interface is undergoing major overhaul too. In fact, at the time of writing this article, Reddit is currently launching a beta test of their new interface. It’s becoming more orange-y with a more vibrant header and background image. What’s more is they are redesigning the icons, karma badge, and other elements of the platform as well. There are currently over 600,000 subscribers in this subreddit. If all goes well, this will be the new face that Redditors will have to get used to.

New Interface of Reddit

Reddit’s beta test of their new interface.

Changing community landscape key takeaways:

  • With its enormous growth, Reddit has diversified from its roots. Meaning a lot of content types have been added to the site since its inception. This makes it easier for businesses to join the platform to promote their brand and interact with their target market.
  • Reddit modified its interface to include safe spaces for ads and designated front page slots for brands. That said, brands who are actively engaging on the platform should try to learn how to take advantage of these changes.
  • The changes in Reddit’s advertisement models are designed to benefit advertisers. This translates to more businesses being enticed into launching a marketing campaign to the site.

Many brands have been apprehensive of Reddit when it comes to advertising, and for a good reason. The platform isn’t exactly handling advertisements as well as other social networks do. Moreover, the majority of its user base is unwelcoming to ads and promotions.

Reddit’s structure is one where users can easily downvote ads, and admins have major control over subreddits. This laissez-faire approach seems intimidating. However, as previously mentioned, the platform is too big an opportunity to let slide simply.

The people behind the site are aware of this, as well. One look at Reddit’s traffic compared to others, and it’ll be clear. They’re lagging in terms of ad revenue.

Take Twitter, for instance. This social media platform has the same number of monthly active users as Reddit. In 2018, however, the latter only netted $76.9 million, while Twitter earned $655 million in the first quarter of the same year. Of course, the more popular sites’ ad revenues are even crazier in comparison. According to a CBCN report, Facebook pulled in $40 billion while Google raked in $95 billion.

To step up its advertising game, Reddit has made their site a more ad-friendly place. Their approach is to address the issues that make marketers steer away from the site without, of course, isolating their users’ interest. Several business models have been on a roll since then.

For one, Reddit offers a spot for rent on the platform’s most coveted front page. They also created the so-called “safe space” for advertisements, which is under the constant watch of the site’s personnel. They ensure that negative and toxic comments aren’t getting in the post. Moreover, Reddit is mixing promoted posts with normal posts. Engagement guidelines are available to assist marketers in their endeavors, as well.

Ad-friendly structure key takeaways:

  • Reddit’s user base is one of the biggest among social media sites. However, its unique community makes it a tough platform to crack for marketers and advertisers. Therefore, managing to promote a brand successfully, there is a big help to a business’s marketing efforts.
  • Reddit developers have been taking steps to reel in more ads into their site. This means that more businesses, perhaps including some major brands, will start to make their presence known through the platform.

What Do These Reddit Trends Mean for Businesses?

Number-wise, Reddit is a goldmine for marketers. Its monthly traffic exceeds a billion. In terms of user base, it’s on the top three just after Facebook and Instagram. It has the same amount of active users as Twitter, but with a higher level of engagement.

However, the site’s structure is what’s making it a not-so-friendly environment for promoting brands and products. For starters, marketers are met with downvotes and unfriendly comments if they make one wrong move. That said, brands will need to invest lots of time and effort to build a genuine engagement with their target community.

The good news for companies, however, is that Reddit owners are slowly transforming the site to accommodate them. They’re taking a series of approaches. These include creating business models that will allow advertisers to safely and productively promote their brands.

Various businesses are already testing the waters with the new advertising opportunities on Reddit. Moreover, while the resistance from some Redditors is to be expected, the admins are adamant about pushing the advertising campaigns through. This means that we can expect more brands to expand their marketing efforts to Reddit in the coming years.

If you’re planning to launch a campaign on Reddit, try reading our brand marketing guide. This would provide you with useful insights to assist in your marketing endeavors in the said platform, or anywhere else.

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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