Why Your Business Should Analyze Consumer Sentiment On Reddit

Reddit is notorious for two things: memes and trolls.

While there are a lot of memes on the site, Reddit’s community is both vast and highly active — and worth paying attention to. 

Reddit is the sixth most visited website in the United States. Users spend an average of nearly 12 minutes on Reddit, compared to less than 10 minutes on Facebook. One of the reasons why Reddit is so popular is that users can be anonymous, which encourages candor and free-form opinion-sharing. 

The popularity and active, honest discussions that take place on the site make Reddit an interesting prospect for marketers and media professionals. More than 60% of marketers agree: word-of-mouth is the most effective form of marketing. Reddit’s anonymity ensures that virtually anyone can impact a buyer’s decision. 

As a result, it’s important to analyze consumer sentiment regularly on this platform. 

What is the appeal of Reddit to consumers?

In a crowded media landscape, Reddit is unique among social media platforms. The platform was originally marketed as “the front page of the internet,” but now Reddit's slogan is "Dive into anything". Reddit acts as a combined clubhouse, news site, and social media channel. Communities with shared interests — from r/gamernews to  r/marvelmemes — come together in their respective forums to upvote, downvote, and comment on content posted by fellow forum users. This gives different conversations taking place on the internet different degrees of importance, interest, and virality. 

There are a few things that make Reddit unique — and worth monitoring for media mentions and brand reputation red flags. First, Reddit essentially requires its users to stay active. This encourages a high degree of engagement with Reddit content, as well as hundreds, if not thousands, of conversations happening simultaneously. 

Next, a consumer can be completely anonymous on Reddit, using a pseudonymous username that can be random. This anonymity encourages people to post uncensored content with little to no fact-checking. 

Reddit takes a passive approach to censorship. Moderators manage individual subreddits, and while they are authorized to delete individual posts, they rarely do. Part of the appeal of Reddit is its “Wild West” feel where users can engage in frank debate and open conversation. 

The anonymity, high level of activity, and virtually no restrictions on what can be posted makes Reddit an important platform for businesses to monitor and analyze with sentiment analysis tools. 

The benefits of Reddit sentiment analysis

Reddit is both a goldmine of information and a place where misinformation and disinformation can spread easily. 

First, the good stuff. Reddit is an ideal source for customer insights. There are no character limits on Reddit, so a tool like PeakMetrics will have a lot of data with which to work. Users write clear, comprehensive posts about certain topics or media stories. 

Likewise, there’s a high degree of trust on the platform. Users upvote and downvote comments based on their authenticity, detail, and usefulness. Many users are on the platform looking for answers. Word-of-mouth marketing reigns supreme. If a brand can activate Reddit users to speak favorably — and honestly — about its product, there’s a good chance it will earn a high rate of conversion or high fidelity on Reddit. 

Unfortunately, there’s also a fair amount of misinformation spread on Reddit. The pandemic spawned dozens of subreddits claiming skepticism about COVID-19, questioning vaccines, and posting other disinformation about the virus. There were so many disinformation campaigns that the platform made the rare move to quarantine and outright remove some threats from the site. 

This action by the platform was unique. Usually, misinformation and disinformation spreads via word-of-mouth unchecked on Reddit, which is why tools that analyze consumer sentiment are so critical. These campaigns can damage your brand reputation and create cybersecurity risk. 

Essentially, the same mechanics that make Reddit an effective marketing tool can also make it a dangerous place for brands. Simply promoting your business too brazenly, without participating in a community as an authentic user, can lead to downvotes and drive away potential customers. But, it can also be a great place to identify trends, offer customer support, get product feedback and more. 

How to monitor customer sentiment on Reddit

Scanning Reddit with a tool like PeakMetrics makes it possible to identify a growing threat and take action. PeakMetrics offers a machine learning platform with the tools you need to detect online disinformation campaigns at scale and respond appropriately. PeakMetrics monitors the entire digital media environment, including Reddit. When disinformation campaigns appear, you’ll get an early alert that can help you respond in real-time and prevent lasting brand damage. 

To learn more about PeakMetrics’ tools, request a demo with one of our experts, today. 

Featured image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/0FytazjHhxs

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