What makes a viral hit a hit? As The Atlantic pointed out, hits are almost always just a repeat of something that was already a success. More specifically, the darling hit-maker site Buzzfeed often draws its inspirations from Reddit. Reddit has an heavy influence on Internet content, despite the fact that only 6% of online adults use the site according to the Pew Research Center.
So what is Reddit? It's an open-source community where users submit content, such as news, memes, pictures, and questions. The content can be original or links to other sources. Users can then vote submissions up or down, and the most popular content reaches the top. Reddit is aptly billed as “the front page of the Internet." Users can comment on submissions, and comments are voted on as well. Within Reddit, there are 'subreddits'; communities dedicated to specific topics or interests.
So how can marketers utilize this propelling platform? There is no way to become a verified brand voice like on Twitter or Facebook. The Reddit community very much revolves around an organic egalitarian ethos. There is, however, ample opportunity to place content or promotional material like a consumer in order to create brand engagement. Of course, there is a subreddit dedicated to pointing out when advertisers take this approach. But if enough people notice brand content enough to complain about it, then that is a probably a job well done.
Ideally, consumers are creating and submitting their own genuine brand interactions, such as this wreath made out of Pringles. Reddit can provide insight into how consumers are interacting with a brand. It's free advertisement placement and market research all in one place.
Lastly, Reddit operates like the Internet as a whole. Everyone can participate, but it is often to complain or perpetuate misinformation. It is vital to be proactive and look for brand mentions and to respond accordingly. The power is in the hand of the consumer. Respect it.