Leveraging the Power of Community with Reddit’s Youyoung Lee

“I suppose in terms of understanding how people access information via social media, Facebook, Twitter, etcetera, all the platforms that we have today, really led to a career in audience development, strategy, and growth, and then eventually to where I am today,” said Youyoung Lee, Senior Manager of Media Partnerships at Reddit. 

Live from the #Storyteller Experience stage, Lee talks about what it’s like to partner with Reddit and gives us a glimpse behind the scenes of the “front page of the internet” and walks through the keys to successfully using the platform, how brands have successfully leveraged Reddit communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and the power of Ask Me Anything or AMAs.

How Brands Can Successfully Use Reddit

Reddit is often described as a social network, but I think something quite unique about Reddit is that we’re really based on topic, not personhood. So when you join Reddit, you want to be able to understand how different separate communities work. Start first just by joining and then kind of understanding the different rules for each of the communities. 

I think the first instinct for a lot of brands when they join a social network or a platform is to, join and immediately start self-promoting. If you do that on Reddit, quite frankly, you’ll get booted out of that subreddit. So you don’t want to do that, but I would say, really understanding how communities are set up.

How NBA on TNT Has Used Reddit During The Pandemic

 NBA on TNT is a partner of ours. Sports content has typically been live and during the pandemic, a lot of sports cable networks were struggling in terms of figuring out what to air online. 

NBA on TNT had a Photoshop challenge. Last spring there was a meme going on, “Gone Fishin’ which displayed different basketball players going fishing. And so what NBA on TNT did is they posted a Photoshop challenge in the NBA subreddit, which has almost 4 million members.

 NBA on TNT has the NBA subreddit for user submissions and got over one hundred. They were all quality. They showed them on air and it was a really fun segment. You can also hear Charles Barkley say, “What’s Reddit?”  which was interesting for us to hear, but we also tried to get them to do an Ask Me Anything (AMA). We’ll see if that happens.

 What Makes A Reddit AMA Successful 

 AMA’s are probably one of our most well-known formats. AMAs are also an extremely easy format because it’s, it’s a relatively controlled space and it’s templated. So you know, when you set one up, you have about an hour to answer the questions that are pre-entered beforehand. And then you can choose the best questions, typically they tend to be the most upvoted. The audience helps you sort through the best answers.

The most successful public AMAs are about a person and their line of work. So I always like to say that one of our most successful AMAs was a vacuum cleaner repairman because everyone wants to know the most disgusting thing that they’ve ever seen. 

Reddit Polls See High Engagement

Redditors are hyper-engaged. Reddit users tend to spend a long time on the platform. I think our average session length is 36 minutes which is significantly higher than other platforms.  

We saw that when we rolled out the post type for polls we got tons of engagement.  I think on other platforms, there might be a limited period of time when you can see a poll, it gets a certain number of eyeballs, but then very fleeting. With Reddit, because the audience is so engaged, the lifecycle for posts is much longer. 

Reddit Doing More With Video Streaming

We are doubling down on video content. We really see how readers are engaging and users are engaging with content now. I think that is a really interesting space. We have RPAN, which stands for Reddit Public Access Network. That is our live streaming product. People have done sorts, all sorts of crazy things (on RPAN), and there are so many great bands on the platform too.

My favorite RPAN example is a man in New Jersey who has attached a GoPro camera to his pole that picks up trash.  He just goes around and picks up trash for hours and tons of people will watch. 

I just love the wackiness and the Wild West of what’s happening on Reddit. 

Live streaming is enriching the way people communicate with each other. We clearly have a deeply engaged audience and a deeply engaged user base, and they are looking for more ways to communicate with each other.