Why Nonprofits Should Listen to Reddit
Reddit can be a complicated place. One minute you’re watching a gif of a cat, the next moment you’ve strolled into an unpleasant subreddit or offensive comment thread. Even searching for an image to use for this blog post caused me to view a few images that I did not want to see. This week, Lauren Girardin of Nonprofit MarCommunity provided a handy outline (with many amusing gifs) on how your nonprofit can utilize Reddit.
Girardin shares a number of valuable and helpful hints on engaging in Reddit. One of the most important is:
Listen and you’ll learn more about your audience and what they think about your organization, your cause, and the world. Monitor Reddit for mentions of your nonprofit, check for links to your website, and listen to Reddit conversations about your cause by following related subreddits and keywords.
People who post on Reddit will be honest about your nonprofit. I often search the names of a few of our clients on Reddit to see what is being discussed. The anonymity of the platform creates a space and community in which people are straightforward in their criticism and genuine in their praise. When searching and reading, you’ll understand why Girardin’s first rule is imperative – you must have a thick skin. The anonymity that allows for openness also creates a space in which a vocal fraction of users can say things that are inappropriate or hurtful.
The opportunity to listen and view a community that is discussing your nonprofit or field can be invaluable to thinking about how you shape your communication. It is important to avoid responding emotionally in Reddit (or any other online space) but taking a step back and evaluating what is causing concern or strife. Are people critical of a certain aspect of your work? Do you think other people share these concerns? How can you address the issue in future communication?
Use Reddit as an opportunity to listen, learn, and engage with a community and it will help your manage your own audience more effectively.
Below are four recent links that I enjoyed:
- Who can keep up with Facebook News Feed updates? Sarah Matista of Social Media Today did and created a handy infographic.
- WhichTestWon measured whether a pop-up helped or hurt the re-opt in rate (number of visitors opting back in to accept the offer), after initially opting out of an email. Interesting data that nonprofits could use.
- Jay Ruderman of NPQ shares why philanthropist should be active on Twitter.
- Already thinking about #GivingTuesday? Check out the interview that Liz Ragland of Network for Good conducted with Zosia Sztykowski, Executive Director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS)