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How to start on Reddit

It’s the world’s 12th most visited website but yet to take off in South Africa. That spells opportunity, writes KATIE CHODOSH, content consultant for B2B public relations agency TopLine Comms and TopLine Film

Despite being one of the biggest websites in the world, Reddit hasn’t caught on in South Africa. It’s the 12th most visited website in the world, but it’s only the 37th in South Africa. And according to Hootsuite’s and We Are Social’s annual Global Digital Yearbook for 2019, Reddit doesn’t feature in the top 10 social platforms in South Africa (Facebook was number one, followed by YouTube and WhatsApp).

This a shame, to say the least. Reddit is where most viral content is aggregated, so if you want to know what’s happening on the Internet or you’re creating content that you want to go viral, you need to be on it.

But the best thing about it is the data it holds: because everyone is anonymous, Reddit knows everyone’s secrets. That makes it a great place for market research and some honest advice. 

Getting started with Reddit can be tough, as there’s a seemingly endless amount of content. Here a handy guide for your first steps:

Get to know subreddits

When you first sign up to Reddit, you’ll want to start subscribing to subreddits (or subs). These are dedicated channels on topics where you can post links, images or create a self-post to discuss whatever you like. You can subscribe to subs if you like the topic, and all posts from that sub will show up on your homepage. If you’re unsure what subreddit you’re looking at, look at the part that comes immediately after the r/ at the end of the URL (for example, is a sub on everything related to South Africa). Anyone with an old enough account can create a sub on any topic they like. 

How to identify a good subreddit

Once you’ve found some subreddits you, check for the following:

  • The member count: You can see how many members are in the sub on the sidebar. A lot of members indicate that the content posted is relevant, but smaller subs can have higher engagement and interaction.
  • Check if it’s US-centric – Reddit is a global website, but some subs are very US-centric, so it’s worth checking whether the content is only for a US audience.
  • Rules: All subreddits have to obey reddit’s reddiquette, but moderators can (and should) also impose their own rules. Stricter rules help keep the sub relevant. 
  • Active moderators: Moderators (or mods) are supposed to keep the sub on-topic and rule-abiding. Weekly updates/sticky posts are usually a sign of an active mod team.

Pro tip: Once you set up an account, download the Boost app if you use Android, or the Apollo app if you use iOS – they’re much better than the official Reddit app. 

Some of the best subs to start following

If you’re interested in technology, the best place to start is r/Technology. With over 8 million members, it’s a really large sub, but it’s moderated well and the rules are enforced. There’s a sticky post for weekly discussion and plenty of engagement on posts. It is America-centric, but as so many tech topics are global, it’s still worth including. Other smaller subs worth checking out in the tech category include r/MachineLearning, r/tech and r/Futurology.

If you work in marketing, there are some great subs that you can use as a resource. 

Try the small marketing communities at r/digital_marketing, r/DigitalMarketing, and r/AskMarketing for questions and discussions about the industry. If you’re interested in filming and videography, you might like the recommendations from our video production agency. They’re big fans of /r/editors as a useful resource for tips and advice. They also like r/cinematography, which is an active resource for cinematographers of all skill levels, and, for a bit of fun, r/praisethecameraman – a sub dedicated to good camera operators who keep a proper recording angle, regardless of the content itself.

There are loads of cute animal subs, too, for your downtime. Beyond the massive r/aww, try r/MasterReturns for videos and pictures of dogs (and other pets!) being reunited with their owners after an extended absence. Or you might like self-proclaimed ‘cutest subreddit on the internet’, r/tippytaps, filled with pets tippy tappying in excitement and happiness.

There are some other business subreddits worth checking out, too. r/business has tips from business owners as well as the top business stories from around the world. If you’re working at a startup, you’ll want to follow r/startups, the place to discuss startup problems and solutions. Similarly, r/smallbusiness is a great resource full of questions and answers about starting, owning, and growing a small business.

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