Case study reddit


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Case study reddit

  1. 1. Case Study:Reddit ViralityBRENNEN SCHLUETER
  2. 2. My redditing backgroundI have been a registered redditor for almost 2years, after being a “lurker” (someone who neitherposts, votes, or comments) for 6 monthsIn these two years I have learned the way thecommunity works; their attitudes, norms, values, andlingo.I have accrued 2,605 karma points across many posts.I have succeeded in becoming apart of thecommunity, with plenty of failed posts; a learning
  3. 3. Defining the communityLike most large social media sites, Reddit is ainternational community of many different peoplewith many different fields of “expertise”.Google‟s double click ad planner states the median U.S.Reddit user is male (72%), 25–34 years of age, hascollege education. The analysis also shows that many ofthe top ten audience interests are in the techfield, suggesting a computer savvy demographic.
  4. 4. What does that tell us?Redditors are generally littlenerdy and mostly articulate.People that will take the time tonit-pick almost any content yousubmit (I have been criticizedmany times). But on the otherhand, they are also some of themost helpful people you willnever actually meet (unless yougo to a meet-up, which havingwitnessed some, are the nerdiestthing you will come across).
  5. 5. Walker Texas Power Rangers!(my original content)
  6. 6. “Welcome to Reddit, the site whereeverything‟s made up and the points don‟t[necessarily] matter.”•Not all of it is made up and the points matter onlyslightly.•Reddit is based on a system of “sub-reddits” signifiedby “/r/” as in:•These sub-reddits are pages dedicated specifically to atopic and has rules for the content allowed to be posted.• Ex: /r/funny allows only funny content, while/r/worldnews is strictly for international news
  7. 7. The holy karma•Reddit content is driven by a communal voting system dubbed “karma”.The basis of the system is an “upvote” for things that aregood, “downvote” for thing that are not.•Posts then have karma that is the difference between upvotes anddownvotes.•Posts with higher karma is the more popular posts.Example: A post with 10 upvotes and 7 downvotes has a karma of 3.Users are then credited with 3 karma points, however there are signsthat for higher amounts of karma received, there is a formula todetermine users karma. It is not always 1:1.
  8. 8. Traits of successI have observed successful viral posts on reddithave these similarities: •Timing •Relevance of content •Engrain / Enter content cycle •Lots of luck (most important)
  9. 9. Timing is key•Timing has a large part in the submission of neworiginal content.•Submissions on Reddit have a small window to bepicked out of a subreddit‟s “New” postings andbecome “hot” also known as the “Front Page”.•From there, a post receiving many upvotes maybe be included on not only the subreddit‟s frontpage, but the sites main front page as well.
  10. 10. Ensuring opportunity to seeAlong with timing comes choosing the appropriatesubreddit to postFor this content, /r/funny was the obvious choice•5 million daily impressions•Monthly unique visitors is 2-8 million•609,308 unique visitors per day•At least 25,000 uniques an hour.
  11. 11. Capturing an international audienceBeing an international social media hub, it ispivotal to post at a time when efficient to capturethis large audience.Ex: posting at night to capture the high volumeUnited states users and allowing lower volumeinternational users to see during the day.
  12. 12. Reddit is heating upBelow is a heat map of international users
  13. 13. Its like an episode of 24•Once content is noticed, it can take less than 24hours to be on the front page or after 24 hours thepost has disappeared into the depths of redditarchives.•With the large volume of users and posts per day,even hour, new content has a limited frame to connectwith the target audience, receive upvotes, and getlarger amount of impressions on the hollowed frontpage.•Being on the front page is not only seen an honor, buta major accomplishment to the everyday redditor.
  14. 14. Title is pivotalThe title of the post is the attention grabber. Itmust gather curiosity of the user to click into andbe exposed to the content.The title of my post was:“It‟s morphin‟ time” –Walker
  15. 15. Front page or bust! No matter what ittakes!•New add-on applications for browsers such as Firefoxand Chrome have become very popular for manyonline communities. – AdBlockplus, stumbleupon, etc.•Reddit is no different. The add-on “redditenhancement suite” or RES, allows faster browsingfor redditors.•They can open all the image files on a single pageand become exposed to every one.•This means if the content reaches thefrontpage, users with this feature will see it even if
  16. 16. It has to be relevant•Content, aforementioned, is highly criticized.The target audience wants a strong visual with abasic message, while intuitive and complexenough to not look completely stupid.•Puns accomplish this goal easily.Also anything with cats and/or Emma Watson.However that content is also known as the classiccliché.•Content trends are relevant for a period of time.Ex: Superstorm Sandy Posts
  17. 17. Infuse, engrain, and become one withthe reddit community.•If the content is good enough, the community willembrace it.•“Reposts” (Unoriginal content) are both loved andhated in the community.•Redditors who have not seen the post before give it anupvote, while the veterans downvote and let the worldknow it is a repost.•If someone reposts more than once, and the communitywill check, they are seen as “karma-whoring”•Successful posts become reposts, and then eventuallymemes through the cycle.
  18. 18. To create a Meme: the highest honorTo become a meme means a deep connectionbetween the content and the community.It has become a facet of the identity of thecommunity and can not be separated.Such content as “rick rolled”, “forever alone”, and“ridiculously photogenic guy” are examples ofmeme‟s.Google them if you don‟t know.
  19. 19. 3rd party sites and their affect.There isnt even a party at all.•If the post does not meet all requirements, but hasthe content, third party sites will force it in.•Something unique is happening with the content ofreddit, 3rd party sites are picking up the popularentries, and posting them on their sites. This includesother social media sharing as well.
  20. 20. The Content Cycle 3rd party sites Social Reddit Media
  21. 21. Some of weaselsThese sites such as:9gag,,,, and an ungodly amount of copycatsites, create a cycle of getting the content reposted onreddit, and then back into other social media. It isnever ending.
  22. 22. “Ok, I have a content cycle. How bad isit doc?”Not bad at all really.For the original content poster, it is like spreadingyour meme like a virus.For the reddit community, it is their worstnightmare.However, those few affected by the “content cycle”are heavily addicted to the site and even theircries of “REPOST!” will be silenced by a funnypicture of a baby with a mustache.
  23. 23. Determining true reachWith this idea of content cycling, it is difficult tocalculate the true reach and impressions.However, some tools give us an idea to how manypeople saw the content.
  24. 24. Imgur, and reddit unite.A popular image hosting site is site allows for users to upload content totheir servers and then share the link. Imgur offerslink views as well.This also shows us the difference between thevoting members of reddit and the lurkers.
  25. 25. Results• Created Oct. 29• Due to hurricane sandy and power outages for alarge amount of east coast population, submitted7:53 PM CST, November 4 to maximize audiencesize internationally.Not great, (or even the best) on the first try, butlets see an example of how the content cycle worksto new posts…
  26. 26. Mini Case study: “I‟m late.. For business!”An example of this cycle working to the contentposters advantage is a piece of content I created inJanuary this year.
  27. 27. “I guess he‟s „inline‟ for a promotion.”– reddit user “idodds” The original post did not do great. But without reposting my own content, this happened…
  28. 28. “And on the 4th day, the lord said… Let there be upvotes.” Without my knowledge, another user saw my post elsewhere, reposted it, and the content soared to the front page.
  29. 29. All because the natural order was left aloneEven though my accountdid not receive any creditfor the posting, the imageflew around the internet. Through the social site Stumble Upon alone, it raked up 547k views. Imagine the reposts to other sites…
  30. 30. Around the world in 5 daysBy the time a work week was through, this was thescene on Google.
  31. 31. Engraining the meme: meme generatorstatus It is said that when you are on a meme generator site, and people are taking your idea, creating their own messages, and reposting it, the content has truly become engrained in the community.
  32. 32. The text that proves it. After a few more weeks, I received this text message from a friend who had no idea I created the meme, and was just passing it along to me. This text is indicative of the reach the content cycle has.
  33. 33. ResultsBy following the criteria set above, the content hasgained:•830,000 views from Reddit…•540,000 views through Stumble Upon…The content has gained 1,370,000 measurableimpressions it has more importantly become a meme ofthe community and cannot be separated from thedefinition.
  34. 34. There is a moral to every story…Content drives,Timing is the law,The content cycle is the car, the road, and ultimately isin control.You cannot force success in this community.With observance to these qualities, content will find away in front of your audience.It is a self aware organism that is impacted by moreexternal forces it would like to admit.