Columnists

Reddit 101: How Jewelers Can Engage With Younger Customers

ColumnistsNov 16, 2021

Reddit 101: How Jewelers Can Engage With Younger Customers

In their latest Creative Connecting column, Duvall O’Steen and Jen Cullen Williams share tips for using the popular discussion site.

Duvall O’Steen, left, and Jen Cullen Williams are independent communications strategists and senior consultants for the Luxury Brand Group. They can be reached at DuvallOsteenNYC@gmail.com or Jen@JenCullenWilliams.com.
Founded in 2005 as a community-based sharing platform, Reddit now boasts more than 430 million monthly active users and 52 million daily active users.

According to Backlinko, it is ranked among the most popular social networks worldwide. There are more than 100,000 active communities on Reddit in which people share ideas, expertise, opinions, videos, images, recommendations, and more.

With such a large and captive audience, Reddit is a perfect platform for jewelers to begin to build relationships and brand awareness among the younger demographics.

While it may not be the most important place for jewelry marketing, there are lots of information-seekers and e-commerce consumers on Reddit every day.

Here, we will look at some simple ways that jewelers and jewelry brands can effectively engage on Reddit.

What Is Reddit?
Reddit is a social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website. The site’s name is a play on “read it.”

Registered members submit content to the site, like links to stories, texts, images and videos, that are then voted “up” or “down” by other members.

The community aspect of information sharing and the content rating on Reddit makes it a more trusted and reliable source for younger generations.

As digital natives, Gen Z and millennials are well aware that online information is not necessarily accurate. Rather, it tends to be full of marketing speak (or, worse, wholly inaccurate or fabricated), and therefore, not necessarily the most reliable source.

Reddit has become the place where Gen Z and millennials get more and more of their information.

How to Reddit
First, like all social media networks, you must create an account and register to become a member. 

As a Reddit member, you can search for communities of interest or topics of interest. Jewelers might consider joining communities about fashion (watches, jewelry design, artisan gifts) or about special events (weddings, gifts, ask Reddit). 

The primary functions on Reddit, beyond searching, are posting, commenting, and voting.  

Users can post, sharing content in the form of stories, opinions, links, images, and/or videos. 

Users can also comment on other people’s posts. Comments create discussion and sometimes add humor to the user experience. 

Lastly, users can upvote or downvote the posts and the comments as they read. More interesting content rises to the top of the feed, and to the top of other people’s search results.

 Related stories will be right here … 

According to Neal Patel of the “Marketing School” podcast, episode 1549, “How to Make Content Go Viral on Reddit (Without Getting Banned),” the Reddit community does not like self-promotion or marketing speak, and they tend to downvote self-promotional content.

They recommend that you sign up, look at communities of interest to your target audience and contribute first before posting. Comment or vote on posts with related topics to build credibility in the Reddit algorithms and within the community.

After becoming a respected member of the community, then you can begin to post meaningful content and gauge the reaction via votes.

Every Reddit user has a number next to their name and the word “Karma,” which reflects how much good the user has done for the community.

A new user will begin with 1 Karma, and this will increase as people like and vote on the user’s contributions and posts.

“The higher that number gets, the more people who will see your comments and subreddits,” according to Patel.

How Jewelers Can Use Reddit Effectively
Start by spending a half-hour or so reading content and comments. 

According to marketing consultant Michael Walsh, “Authenticity is the key for any marketing based on the Reddit platform. Reddit’s username is all about being transparent. A jeweler needs to be upfront about who they are while on the platform.” 

Walsh recommends jewelers present themselves as an authority on the subjects related to fine jewelry. 

“You want to show you’re a human, and not some bot lurking, trying to sell gemstones from overseas.” — Dan Moran, Concierge Diamonds

“Knowledge is a great way to become an established source on Reddit and with that can come traffic/sales. Answering questions and helping people on related subs can get you attention/fans without running into common rules against self-promotion/commercialism.”

Dan Moran of Concierge Diamonds in Los Angeles is a good example.

He goes by u/diamonddealer on Reddit and is perhaps the single most successful jeweler on the site, having made more than 3,000 bespoke pieces for Redditors, he said.

“It’s important to understand that you’re not selling to a community, you’re participating in a community,” the jeweler said of using Reddit.

“You want to show you’re a human, and not some bot lurking, trying to sell gemstones from overseas. It’s also important to have a strong presence off Reddit, as well, so people doing their homework can independently vet you on other websites and platforms.” 

As an example, shoppers might put in a subject like “lab grown vs. natural diamonds” to read what real people are saying about that topic.

A jeweler could comment on inquiries related to this topic, noting that, “I am a certified graduate gemologist, G.G., and recently published a blog post about lab-grown diamonds. What I have found in my experience is …”. 

If people comment that they would like to read your blog post, then you would post the link, but only if asked. If your comment comes across as promoting your blog or your website, it will get downvoted quickly.

As jewelers, you can share educational content from your blog, particularly popular topics surrounding jewelry purchases.

Consider that the age of the Reddit user tends to skew younger, with 75 percent of users ages 39 and under, and provide content relevant to their age group.

Examples include things to keep in mind for surprise proposals (ring sizing, packaging, etc.) or how to read a diamond grading report. As an example, here is a post about where to start when shopping for an engagement ring

You can also offer trend content like this great list of 10 Jewelry Trends You Should Try, keeping it unbiased by showing a variety of different brands in the examples you give. 

And if your store sells gifts, crystals, or tableware, you can also join the popular discussions with home decorating tips on Reddit. 

Reddit communities can also be a digital focus group for new products you are considering launching or new ad campaigns. Post it with a sincere request for feedback and be prepared for both positive and negative commentary. Use the input to further refine your ads or your product selections.
Reddit Dos and Don’ts
Here are some simple dos and don’ts when engaging on Reddit.

DON’T
• Be promotional. Of all the platforms out there, Reddit is the least commercial. Avoid promotional or direct sales content like percent off, upselling incentives (BOGO), etc.
• Post more than you comment or vote.
• “Get into an argument with other vendors or jewelers on the site,” cautioned Moran. “It’s not a good look and the internet is forever. Plus, you never know when you might need one of those other jewelers’ help.”

DO
• Become a member and pick a name that reflects what your brand or company is about rather than your exact business name. 
• Explore and be part of the community by answering questions in other Reddit threads.
• Be authentic and honest. Establish yourself as a trusted and reliable source of good information.
• Ask honest questions to learn more about Redditors and your potential target audience. 
• Stay engaged and respond to comments and questions from your posts. Thank users for responding to your questions or posts. 
• Have fun. Users come to Reddit to get information and be entertained. If you have a funny meme or story related to your business, consider sharing it. 

“You need to be honest, first and foremost,” Moran said. “If someone comes to me and has a legitimately good deal on a diamond from another vendor, I will advise them to take it. If I get an inquiry, and I don’t think I'm well-suited to help, I say so. 

“I regularly spend a lot of time answering questions that I know for sure will not lead to business for me. I just try to help. And by not always trying to work with everyone on the site, you prove that you’re actually looking out for people’s best interests.” 

Like any forum or social network, it takes time and effort to understand and immerse yourself within the community. 

To be embraced by Redditors, simply put, you need good Karma! 

So, go out and become a member of the community, avoid being overly promotional, be honest, and add value.

Duvall O'Steenis an independent communications strategist and senior consultant for the Luxury Brand Group.
Jen Cullen Williamsis an independent communications strategist and senior consultant for the Luxury Brand Group.

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