Continuing last weeks topic of crazy marketing strategies, let’s talk about one of the most powerful websites on the internet, Reddit!
Reddit is now the numero uno choice for anyone looking at digital marketing. It’s huge, it’s deep, and it’s got an uncanny ability to push content into the viral zone (which should be the name of a TV show xD) and basically be the Internet’s tastemaker.
But how did it get there? (especially, against giants like Facebook!) Simply by using the very famous, and almost accurate, “Fake it, till you make it” strategy.
Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman populated the site’s content with tons of fake accounts. It seems crazy that populating the site with an army of fake accounts & seeding popular content would actually shape the site in the direction it wanted to heed in and help in growing an actual real fan base. Nowadays, with every site’s users wary of people using expendable accounts to try to seed their own content, and platforms (including Reddit) actively shadow banning its users, it is very unrealistic to believe that this was how it all started.
As mentioned in my last article, the best marketing strategy, with no doubt remains, that more the people see a brand, and talk about it, more is the possibility that they would turn into customers. Whether or not you feel like starting the website with a bunch of fake accounts is cheating, you have to admit it went over like gangbusters.
Reddit certainly began with a bang, and very deviously set the perfect undertone with the fake accounts on current hyped-up issues to make a rapport with their target group and get them on board. I think that is one great lesson for all the social media platforms coming up! Because honestly, what wildly successful Internet community can you say you created by initially populating it almost exclusively with yourself?
On a side note, to ponder, it’s an incredible example of the Internet’s power to magnify one’s own voice. I mean, these guys built an actual community around their own puppet accounts. Incredible and brilliant, sure, but it’s also sort of an existential crisis: if fakers have that much power, how can you know that anything is real online?