How a Niche Market Like Reddit Can Make or Break a Brand
When we think of niche platforms, we usually think of online spaces where superfans go off to gather and share their affinity for something like Star Wars or Star Trek. In reality, these types of platforms offer a space for any fan — being a starter, moderate, or super fan — to gather virtually and feel a part of a social club. The bigger platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can offer pages or accounts where fans also gather, but these other niche platforms keep the focus on a specific subject for fans to focus their attention on.
Focusing your social strategy on niche platforms is a way to target the audience that has the most potential for buying into your social brand. Reddit, Nextdoor, and Letterboxd –all different platforms — provide the audience the space to discuss and interact in social communities; but being that most platforms encourage user participation and collective conversations, it could be hard for a brand or an influencer to have as much clout in these forums. By this, I mean to say that these platforms are spaces that encourage their users to find others who are like-minded and share a social identity, people want to interact with other real people (virtually).
You Reddit here
In this platform, users are free to create and join communities, or subreddits, that interest them the most. From r/marvelstudios (averaging 1.4 million “Avengers” at the moment) to r/dating (boasting over 500k members), Reddit has come to be the place for members to ask questions, discuss, give advice, and entertain their fellow Redditors.
Within the past week, most people have heard the name Reddit to be just as popular as the group that gained traction to play the stock market game. R/wallstreetbets is now notorious for gaining control of the free stock market. As explained by CNN, “…a band of mostly young day traders who coordinate on Reddit to drive up the share price of struggling companies…,” came together to bring back the stock of GameStop(GME) and AMC, among others, as they were originally thought to sink out as a result of the pandemic and waning interest for physical games. Because of this, a resurgence has come back up for the investment into stocks. Even I, who started two days before the GME stock craze, started investing in the popular app Robinhood, and have even looked to this Reddit community for some advice with fellow friends. (Sidenote: It is being argued now that r/wallstreetbets, is becoming less credible and overtaken by the mainstream media, no more a niche subreddit for the normies to band to. But that’s a discussion for another time.)
Although the right spot for a niche market, this platform isn’t exactly a place where brands or influencers thrive very much. A brand like Sony, with their Play Station 5 can have its own subreddit(r/PS5) here for fans and consumers to gather, but there is not much potential for the product itself to sell much, as community members are more interested in investing their time in social interaction, rather than consumption.
It’s not impossible though, as there is the potential for brands and businesses to create subreddits for followers to interact in upvoting or downvoting a post for promotion. This HubSpot article gives a great example of the way SpaceX was able to use the platform to promote a launch. By giving one of the most influential tech industry leaders, Elon Musk, to have an Ask Me Anything(AMA), where Redditors can interact in real-time and ask questions. Now, a brand or influencer may not have this much clout, but you can see that taking advantage of this platform can be a way to connect with your base audience, and link them to other platforms, where there is a higher potential to increasing your own social brand awareness.
It may be a small gain, but ultimately it could lead to giving you the edge in finding others to follow your brand. It’s free, so whether Reddit is your top choice for a niche platform to expand on, it can’t hurt to get the free online publicity, right?