I have been experimenting with Reddit with the editorial development team at Barron’s in the past few weeks. Drawn by the high user engagement and the robust conversations on the platform, we looked to establish rapport with Reddit communities that are passionate about investing, to learn what they care about, and produce stories based on their interest and needs.
Barron’s newsroom is going through a lot of digital transformation, including redesigning the website and evolving editorial strategy, and the team is thinking about reaching and engaging with a different audience. The majority of Barron’s readers are older and established, and we are working to reach a more diverse audience. Reddit has more than 330 million monthly active users, about 80 percent of whom are between 18 and 34. They are highly engaged, spending on average 14 minutes per session, according to Reddit’s News & Journalism Partnerships. The time surpasses the average session lengths on Facebook (which averages 10 minutes) and YouTube (which comes in at just under 9 minutes). All these evidences show that there are a lot of untapped, young and highly engaged potential audience for us on Reddit.
We made our customized avatar, cover image, wrote a short bio that conveys our mission and the value we will bring to Reddit communities. We just started participating (and will start to participate) in conversations on sub-Reddits that cover stock market changes of high tech companies, cryptocurrency, marijuana manufacturers and, when appropriate, discussions on our published articles that users shared on the platform. We also produced a story on Bitcoin investment, partly inspired and informed by comments from Redditors.
As Reddit is still an unknown place to most publishers, we are also spending time researching the best practices on the platform. We are learning by doing. Our priorities right now are:
1. To introduce ourselves to Reddit users;
2. To build a decent comment history.
3. To write more articles based on the needs and interest of Reddit users.
Redditors value humanity and would like to see the people behind our account, so we are making an effort to bring the voice of our reporters to the account. We also believe that comments are the lowest hanging fruits for us. Unlike posts on Reddit, which require approval from moderators and sometimes a comprehensive history of contribution, we are free to comment as long as our contribution is relevant to what Redditors are talking about.
In a long term, we will host AMAs to answer questions from Reddit users, post in sub-Reddits after we establish a decent and credible comment history. We will also keeping track of the number of followers, quality of our posts, comments and replies from other users (measured by points, the number of upvotes minus that of downvotes), karma (based on contribution to Reddit communities) and stories informed by conversations on Reddit.
I have been posting more details of our progress and a guide for publishers in Reddit Makeover. I believe the series will help audience editors build a presence and engage with Reddit users from scratch. Check them out, and I welcome any insightful feedback, sincere appreciation and constructive criticism from you.