Research from Reddit (in association with independent insights agency Talk Shoppe) has revealed that consumers’ reasons for engaging with social media are changing in unexpected ways, creating new demands on social platforms and opening up new opportunities for brands to leverage the power of community.
The findings are featured in a newly-published report – Find your people: the intersection of brands, belonging & online communities – which is now available to download.
Yvonne Quinn, Head of International Business Marketing, at Reddit, explained the reasons behind the commissioning of the research: “Over the past few years, the way in which we all engage online has changed. As a result, our online self is constantly searching for a space to belong and be accepted. We know that Reddit offers this kind of space for millions of people world-wide, so we wanted to prove that out and better understand the growing and unique value our platform offers not only users but brands alike”
Reddit – the home of community
Reddit is an online community of highly engaged communities. At its heart, it is a platform designed to encourage discussion and is organised, by topics and interests, and a wholly democratised ranking system of upvoting and downvoting. In this way, ‘Redditors’ are not just ‘users’, but integral citizens, guiding the future of the platform and the more than 100,000 active communities that thrive within the platform.
The study assessed a range of social media platforms against the four tenets of community – membership, influence, shared experience and need fulfilment – criteria taken from an independent academic study into what makes a community. Reddit scored the highest on all four tenets.
Quinn said: “Reddit is #1 for being a place for community. Our research participants agree that while other platforms can lack a sense of belonging, Reddit is where people come to feel a sense of community and discuss what matters to them with other people that also care about the same topics. There’s not really anywhere else on the internet where you can find that kind of meaningful engagement and connection. On other platforms, community is a feature. At Reddit, community is the heart of everything we are and everything we do.”
With this in mind, the research found that Reddit is the platform where users are the most honest and authentic. On Reddit, communities are united by common interests; everyone sees the same content which creates shared experiences rather than algorithmic silos.
“As a result of this shared experience, we know users say what they see on Reddit provides a more positive user experience, a place where they can get trusted information” said Quinn. “Additionally, 89% of Reddit users say being part of a community on Reddit makes them feel less isolated and alone. Users believe people are ‘nicer’ on Reddit, and when they do disagree, they are more ‘civil’ and ‘respectful’.”
Brands are welcome as active participants
The study revealed that Redditors are ‘seekers.’ A primary reason people come to the platform is to be informed, which is why they engage within specific communities, to seek out trusted information and recommendations, as well as advice. Furthermore, this study revealed that Reddit is the number one platform for having the most informed opinions about brands/products/services – providing a great opportunity for brands to be able to speak to consumers in the place where they are forming opinions.
Interestingly for marketers, the study also found that users are more likely to trust a brand that participates on Reddit than brands they see advertising on other social platforms.
“Just as people have an increased sense of trust from the communities they are part of, they have an increased trust in the brands that participate within them. Our research highlighted that 63% of users said they are open to ads and content from brands, and they also cited that those who see a brand recommended on Reddit are more likely to purchase it, than if they saw it on any other social media platform,” said Quinn.
“Meeting users at the intersection of who they are and what they care about is an incredible opportunity for brands.”
You can access the full report for free here.