Now that you understand how Reddit works, it is time to learn how you can contribute value to the subreddits that matter to you. Remember that Reddit is a collection of online communities, so it is integral that you first become a good community member before doing anything that directly promotes your business.

What does a good community member look like?

A good community member…

  • Cares about the community more than themselves.
  • Takes time to understand the rules and culture before submitting content to the community.
  • Contributes value to the community with no strings attached.
  • Collaborates with and supports other community members.
  • Is honest about who they are and what motivates them to be a part of the community.

We cannot overstate the importance of becoming a good community member. When it comes time to do something on Reddit that promotes your business, it will have to align with your chosen subreddit community’s interests. Otherwise, it will not work.

By learning to be a good community member now, you will learn to identify opportunities for your business to contribute value to the community in a way that requires your brand to be mentioned and is therefore inherently promotional.

Basic ways to contribute value

Without leaving a comment or submitting a post, there are basic ways you can contribute value to a subreddit.

Learn the rules

Woman covering face with a book
If a subreddit has been around for a significant period of time, they will likely have rules listed in the sidebar (or a link to a wiki page where the rules are listed). Good community members take the time to read the rules and understand why they exist. Assuming the rules are based on experience and making the subreddit a better community, knowing the rules is a simple way to add value to the subreddit.

When you understand a subreddit’s rules, you are now better equipped to vote on
content and report it if necessary (see the next sections). For the last assignment in the previous article, you were directed to read your chosen subreddit’s rules. Remember that if a subreddit has documented rules, they can be found in the subreddit sidebar.

Report posts and comments

Woman with palm in the centerOnce you know the rules, you can use the “report” feature to report posts and comments that break the rules. When a post or comment is reported, it is put in the moderators’ queue for review, where they can then decide if the post should be removed. Reporting posts that break the rules make it easier for moderators to do their job and contribute value to the

Reddit post with report button location

Pictured above, you can see the location of the report button, right under the post itself. Note: the comment depicted above was only used to show where the “report” button is located and is not an example of a comment that should be reported.

Vote on posts and comments

Thumbs up
Voting is a vital function of Reddit and one of the easiest ways to contribute value to a subreddit. Voting promotes content that is valuable to the subreddit and makes low-quality content less visible. When voting, upvote the posts and comments that contribute value to the community and downvote those that detract value. Do not vote on the content you have not consumed.

To contribute the most value with your votes, visit the “new” tab of your subreddit and vote on the new posts. Most redditors do not take the time to do this, making it a valuable contribution to the subreddit.

Assignment 4.1 – Vote on new posts

Go to your chosen subreddit and click on the “new” tab at the top of the page. Consume 5-10 of the newest posts and vote on each one. Remember to only downvote posts that you think detract value from the subreddit. If a post clearly breaks a subreddit rule, report it to the moderators. Next, go to the front page of your subreddit (the “hot” tab) and consume the first 5-10 posts that you did not already consume in the new tab. Vote on each post and take note of how the community has voted on them as well.

By developing a habit of voting in your target subreddit, not only do you contribute value to the subreddit regularly, you learn the likes and dislikes of the community, which will help you create valuable content for them later.

To complete this assignment: vote on 5-10 new posts and 5-10 hot posts in your chosen subreddit and take notes on the voting preferences of the community.

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