Reddit has become an essential tool for journalists. The social news and information site is helpful for discovering stories, finding sources and generating community discussions. WAMU's Chris Chester and KBIA's Scott Pham are active users of Reddit and shared some tips in this webinar.
-Don't promote. Participate. Respond to comments, upvote, and support the content you like. Know the subreddit and spend time with it before you post.
Self promotion can spark the ire of redditors. Content can get buried and users can also get banned from posting to the subreddit. "As long as you're posting in good faith and participating in the community in good faith, people will not reject you," says Chester.
Here's also a cautionary tweet from Hillary Stohs-Krause about using Reddit:
#pubtraining Redditors also get annoyed if you re-post things, even accidentally. I find focusing on a few key subreddits helps avoid that.
— Hilary Stohs-Krause (@hilarysk) November 6, 2013
-Read the rules of the subreddit you post in, and adhere to them. Every subreddit has its rules. It also helps to reach out to the moderator before you post. Check out how Scott Pham asks permission from the moderator in this post to the Columbia, MO subreddit.
-Post original content. Are you posting your aggregated story? The Reddit community might be more appreciative of the original source.
-Acknowledge Reddit. Cite Reddit in your story if that is your source.
"It validates users and it generates the good will that will keep the whole process churning - people clicking our articles, and then having discussions and even coming to us with questions that we can use to create content," says Chester. "It's all about making sure that people aren't put off by your presence on the subreddit."
Take a look at this story from WAMU. See how Chris cites and links back to the Reddit post in his station story? You can also see how he added the answer and a link to the story in the comment thread. It's also worth noting that he gave a brief answer to the user's question, not just a link to the story.
"If they're going to be engaged and give us ideas, we want to treat them like a large part of what we're doing," he says. "After doing a few of these Reddit-based shows, I began to realize that these guys might make up a really big portion of the audience, and you want to recognize that."
-Headlines matter. Write your posts like they're your best headlines. Focus on the most exciting details.
If you need a refresher, check out this NPR DS webinar on writing great headlines.
-Some things will just fall flat. Learn from it. It's not a big deal.
Let's leave it at that.
Check out the recorded webinar for more detailed examples:
St. Louis Public Radio also does nice work on Reddit. Here's one way they reached out on Reddit to crowdsource questions for last year's Senate debate.
Great explainer video on Reddit: