‘The front page of the internet’. That’s how Reddit has described itself for as long as we can remember, and let’s be honest, they’re not wrong. Consistently placed in the top 20 highest-traffic websites, it is certainly an appealing idea to promote music on Reddit. In some rankings, it even places above Twitter. Nevertheless, marketing yourself with Reddit music promotion isn’t a straightforward task.
There have been a number of inspiring success stories of artists launching their careers from Reddit. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are one of them! Whether your music will follow suit or not, we must stress one rule:
Don’t rush into Reddit!
Promoting music on Reddit can produce fantastic results, but only with careful planning and research. As boring as that sounds, we’re here to help; our step-by-step guide on how to correctly promote your music on Reddit will get you set. Make sure to stick around, because this is information you don’t want to miss!
Reddit is a massive collection of various forums where users submit and view each others’ content; whether that be memes, questions, or perhaps music. Indeed, you can find a Reddit forum – called a ‘Subreddit’ – for almost any topic under the sun. To put that into context, there are at least eight different Subreddits solely dedicated to Reddit music promotion.
All content that users submit is subject to Reddit’s ‘karma’ system. Two arrows appear next to every post, called an ‘upvote’ and a ‘downvote’. Users will upvote content that they like, and downvote content they dislike. In turn, the visibility of the post is determined by the ratio of upvotes/downvotes it receives; the more upvotes a post has, the more likely it will be seen by more users. If you’re lucky enough – and your content is good enough – to keep getting upvoted, then your post has the potential to be viewed by millions.
Likewise, if your content is repeatedly downvoted, you’ll be lucky if it even receives ten views; hence the phrase ‘downvoted to oblivion’.
Let’s take a closer look at the two primary reasons why you should promote music on Reddit.
That’s right, you won’t find any tyrants round here. Unlike regular social media platforms, there are no ‘famous’ users for the most part and no celebrity status.
The visibility of your post – how many upvotes it gets – is based purely on the quality of the post itself. It’s not built to generate its users a personality-based following; only to host fun, interesting, and community-based content. That’s why Reddit is more often referred to as a forum platform, instead of a social media platform. But still, it possesses elements of both.
For music promotion, then, Reddit is a godsend. Instead of shouting into the void on Twitter or Instagram, overshadowed by already successful influencers and artists, on Reddit your music has just as high a chance of being discovered as anyone else’s.
As long as you understand how to navigate the ruthless world of ‘Reddiquette’ (as we will discuss in a bit), and your music is good-quality stuff, then you can your post to the front pages.
We should emphasise that due to the sheer number of Reddit users, you might see a fanbase build; even if your posts only receive a relatively small amount of attention.
We mentioned Macklemore & Ryan Lewis earlier as an example. To promote their debut album ‘The Heist’, the pair hosted an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit; a regular occurrence where famous figures, big and small, pop onto the website to host an open Q&A session. Despite their thread getting only 2,000 upvotes, it generated a huge amount of support for the rapper and producer. 2,000 upvotes isn’t that big in the grand scheme of Reddit! Regardless, their music career received a sudden kickstart
If you’re lucky enough to get catapulted to the front page of Reddit, have fun watching your career soar! Take musician and YouTuber Bill Wurtz as an example; he now has almost five million subscribers.
Let’s begin our step-by-step guide on how to promote your music on Reddit!
The first step in successfully promoting your music on Reddit is to locate where to promote your music on Reddit.
As tempting as it is to submit your music to somewhere like r/Music (or even large genre-based Subreddits like r/hiphopheads or r/indieheads) you should avoid these. They have a massive number of active users, but this will actually decrease the visibility of your post. In all likelihood, it will get buried underneath a tidal wave of other people’s content.
Instead, opt for the small-to-medium-sized Subreddits – especially ones dedicated to music promotion. Many Subreddits have pretty strict rules on self-promo, and will often immediately ban you if you break these rules. Reddit music promotion Subreddits are thus your best bet, considering their raison d’être is to allow users to promote their stuff.
R/musicpromotion, r/thisisourmusic, r/shamelessplug and r/listentothis are just a few examples of Subreddits with great communities, built around sharing and collaboration. Start off there, and take a look at the sidebars for even more choice on similar Subreddits.
Now comes the hard part – but skip it at your own peril!
Across the whole of Reddit, there is a policy called ‘Reddiquette’ – Reddit etiquette. Reddiquette changes from Subreddit to Subreddit, though there are some broad rules that all users should be following. The most relevant to our discussion is the rules on self-promotion; which Reddit users are often quite ruthless about.
Imagine that someone runs into your street and starts yelling for the neighbourhood to check out their new music video. They have complete disregard for the residents’ peace and quiet, and then get upset when everyone tells them to leave.
Now, imagine that someone moves into a nearby house, attends street parties and barbeques, and brings round fresh cookies. Then, at one of those barbeques, they ask you to check out their new music video.
Which person’s music video are you more likely to watch?
It’s the exact same case for Reddit. Users don’t take kindly to blind self-promotion, so it’s extremely important that you take part in the community before self-promoting. Post memes, discussion topics, support and feedback on other community members’ promotion posts; the golden rule is to make at least ten regular posts/comments for every one self-promo post that you submit.
Do so, lest you get chased out with torches and pitchforks! No, seriously – Reddit can be an intense place.
Now that you’ve become a part of these communities, it’s finally time to promote your music on Reddit.
Generally speaking, Reddit favours links to YouTube videos. This is the only form of audio or audio-visual media that gets embedded into the website; users are more likely to click once on a video, rather than twice to listen to your track on Spotify/Soundcloud. Where possible, post your music on Reddit as a YouTube video – if it’s a fully-fledged music video, even better.
The second thing to consider when posting is your title. Whatever you do, don’t attempt a sales pitch. Reddit users do not want to read corporate-style marketing speak. In fact, the fewer adjectives you use, the better. It’s a pretty straight-to-the-point kind of platform. Just be yourself, present it simply, and make sure you’ve used correct spelling and grammar; your post will already be more engaging than the majority of Reddit self-promotion!
Lastly, only post each piece of music to each Subreddit once. It’s usually fine to post one track across multiple Subreddits; for example once on r/listentothis, once on r/mymusic, and once on r/shareyourmusic. But as soon as you repeat a post on the same Subreddit, be prepared to receive a ban. This is because repeated self-promotion posts are seen as spamming; and with the massive number of submissions each day, the moderators have to rule with a pretty solid iron fist.
So there we have it! We can’t lie, promoting your music on Reddit is an absolute minefield. If you follow our guide though, it is one of the most lucrative, organic, community-led methods to grow your fanbase.
Remember, above all else, to read the rules of every Subreddit you intend to post on. You don’t want to build up your reputation only to get slammed with the ban-hammer for making a self-promotion misstep. Make sure to engage with everyone else’s posts like you’d like them to engage with yours. Find the most appropriate Subreddits, and follow proper Reddiquette. With this core knowledge, you’ll be on the path to jaw-dropping success through Reddit music promotion.
If you enjoyed this article, why not check out another one on our blog? To get you started, here are our articles on How To Promote My Music On Twitter, How To Promote Your Business & Music On Facebook, and How To Make Your Own Sound And Promote Your Music On Tik Tok.
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