Using Reddit for community building for startups?

Jareer Samad
17 replies
Has anyone used Reddit to first build a community of early adopters and then get paying customers out of them? Need help on how to get started with this.


Misha Krunic
I have heard about successful stories, but from my experience (and to maybe counteract some survivorship bias) it didn't bring that many good results and I didn't allocate significant amount of time for it.
Jareer Samad
Yes Misha... Reddit does seem like an ideal place to find early adopter as people generally talk about their problem/experiences on Reddit. But due to anonymity of the platform, it is difficult to form connection (strong enough to test product ideas) without sounding salesy.
Matthew Johnson
I've never figured out how to leverage reddit myself. Facebook groups, Indie Hackers, etc. have all worked better because it isn't anonymous and people are more likely to see what you're working on.
Jareer Samad
Yes Matthew, anonymity takes away from creating authentic connections that are so important fostering community of early adopters.
Nik Hazell
@mattcrail do you have an example of what you'd share on a Facebook group? A lot of people recommend them - but I see a load of spammy stuff that doesn't feel like it can work, and would love to see something that's legit!
Fabian Maume
Ahreafs CEO is using reddit to collect user feedback: Reddit is quite hard channel to leverage, why do you want to use it as community platform rather than slack or a Facebook group?
Jareer Samad
Nowadays, there is lot of talk about unbundling Reddit and using niche subreddits for community building. How has your experience been in leveraging FB/Indiehackers as a community building platform?
Amanda Tunner
From my experience, I found it's pretty hard to promote products or even build a community (which is much more complicated to do) on Reddit. Before building a community, you'll need to build the audience first. This means, you'll need to join some subs and gather your own audience and there're some strict sub-rules that will prevent you from doing that.
Jareer Samad
Yes Amanda, there is some strict guidelines on most sub reddits that prohibit product promotion. According to you, which platform should we leverage for community building for startups and how we should go about doing it?
Amanda Tunner
@jareer_samad Hi Jareer, I think Facebook is more suitable if you want to build community as the number of audience there is higher and creating a FB group is much easier
Derek Duban
@amanda_tunner Completely agree. People keep telling me to post to Reddit as if it is easy to do, but reddits are incredibly strict on self-promotion and if you can do it, without a history and reputation you aren't going to get anywhere. And if I may whine for a moment, who has time to maintain so many social media reputations while also trying to build projects. That said, I really like PH as efforts here are toward specific results, everyone's in the same boat, and nobody minds if you mention your work.
Pablo Fatas
Here is a PH post i made on how to use reddit effectively.
Peter Nguy
@pablo_fatas - thanks for the article. I myself have struggled with Reddit and prefer other channels to build engagement and connect with people who are most likely to be interested in the product without trying to force anything. Reddit is just impossible for me but I will persist as I agree there's something there. Twitter is my favourite. Anybody have tips on Facebook as nobody will really ever see my fbook page and posts unless they are subscribed to it. So not sure how to do the same thing I'm able to do on Twitter via Fbook - as in theory I should be able to. But right now I can't see any avenue other than pushing my posts out through paid blasts - which I don't quite like the idea of.
Cica-Laure Mbappé
Reddit is really interesting to get early adopters, but it's hard to target them. Choose smaller subreddits over big ones (like r/programming...) and be personal, not too pushy. One thing they hate is marketing 😉 We tried some Reddit Ads and targeting was the most challenging, we did not have amazing results but I'm still sure we can use Reddit for more visibility.
Benoit Chambon
It depends on the community I guess ^^
Peter Nguy
Like the others, I've really struggled with Reddit. Twitter is way better for me and I've already managed to get material in front of relevant eyeballs without having to push the issue. I do struggle with fbook so any tips from anybody on that would be great. I have a page and post content on the page, but nobody will really ever see the page and posts unless they like or follow the page - so how do you get a broader audience to see your content? Also nobody mentioned Tik Tok. There's a whole big opportunity out there no matter your app or product.
Nik Hazell
Super interested in this @jareer_samad - following with interest. Reddit is a scary world for those of us who aren't using it frequently!