Reddit Debuts Organic Social Tools Ahead of IPO

Reddit Debuts Organic Social Tools Ahead of IPO

This is the first time the company has offered free tools for businesses, a move that aims to generate more organic activity from brands, potentially turning them into paying advertisers.

The product, Reddit Pro, includes social listening tools to understand where members of Reddit’s communities are talking about a brand or its category, as well as tools for brands to analyze activity and create posts.

“Reddit Pro has native social listening,” Reddit chief marketing and consumer experience officer Roxy Young told ADWEEK. “Right now, if you want to get any insights around Reddit, you have to do that all on your own [through] just being active on Reddit … using another third party tool.”

The social listening tool distinguishes the suite from other platforms’ organic tools around posting and analytics, which are table stakes for social media managers, said Kendall Dickieson, an independent social strategist.

Reddit can be seen as a bit of a maverick despite its two-decade history, and brands haven’t felt the platform’s members have been the most receptive to marketing messages. It only submitted initial filings to go public in February of this year. The company posted revenue of $804 million in 2023, a 21% increase from the previous year, according to filings, but a drop in the bucket compared to Meta’s nearly $135 billion in revenue in 2023. Plus, the company generated net losses of $90 million.

Still, the company, which earns the majority of its revenue from advertising, says it is in the “early stages of monetizing” its business, according to Reddit’s S-1. Reddit Pro can act as a flywheel to turn more brands into advertisers: more than 200 brands, like Taco Bell, Wendy’s, the NFL and The Wall Street Journal, participated in its test phase.

Turning insights into action

Unilever-owned skincare brand Kate Somerville was looking for ways to rejuvenate the 20-year-old brand when it turned to Reddit to try and join in on conversations with customers, said director of brand activation Jaclyn Sepulveda. The brand joined the Reddit Pro test phase in October 2023, having never used Reddit before, either as an advertiser or organically.

Using insights from Reddit Pro, Kate Somerville launched a paid Ask Me Anything activation where users could pose questions about skincare to the brand’s education manager.

“This pro tool has been so helpful on what people are talking about and what’s driving the conversation and what’s getting the community hyped around skincare and trends,” Sepulveda said. “Prior to this, we didn’t have access to any of that sort of functionality. Even other tools from Instagram and TikTok don’t have trendspotting.”

The campaign generated 2.9 million views and a 90% upvote rate, above Reddit’s internal benchmark, according to Reddit. Sepulveda said Kate Somerville can use Reddit Pro not only to learn what people are talking about but to respond to the right communities in real-time.

“You can get a sense of what people are talking about,” Young said. “That gives you around how could you contribute and add value.”

Dickieson said getting social insights from Reddit seems like a useful trove for new clients. But that doesn’t necessarily translate into ad dollars.

For Breanne Morrison, practice lead at Publicis Canada, investment in Reddit has mostly stayed flat over the past year after increasing by more than 70% over 2022, ADWEEK reported previously. The agency has its own audience tools to learn which communities are best to engage within Reddit, and the new organic offerings might not move the needle toward more investment, she said.

“The listening tools are nice. We would see this mostly with the creative agencies or content teams,” Morrison said. “Historically, these tools, even if it’s a third-party tool, have been useful for brands to curate the topics they want to talk about or build those content calendars. From a paid perspective, we don’t put a lot of weight on it.”

Originally Appeared Here