Is Reddit Marketing Right for Schools?

Should Schools be Marketing on Reddit? Truth Tree Knows School Marketing.

By Maggie Twaroski, Truth Tree Contributor

If you’ve been a school marketer for a few years, you’ve had to keep up with lots of changes. New apps, platforms, and marketing channels seem to emerge every other day, prompting marketers to regularly discern which new trends are worth pursuing. Reddit is one of those trends. 

Since its creation, Reddit has grown into the seventh-most visited website in the world, with users spending a daily average of nearly 18 minutes on the site. Given its sustainable popularity that only appears to be increasing, it’s time for school marketers to consider tapping in. 

First, let’s cover the basics. 

What is Reddit?

Reddit is a social media platform and online community where users can discuss virtually any topic in groups called “subreddits,” or “communities.” These forums are based on different topics, interests, and demographics. For example, women involved in the tech industry may subscribe to the “r/womenintech” subreddit. Users are free to post anything they’d like within a subreddit (providing it adheres to the group’s rules). They can write their own posts, comment on others, and post links, images, or videos. 

While it might simply sound like a hodgepodge of Facebook, Twitter (X) and Instagram, Reddit has a unique algorithm and culture. Unlike other social media channels, Reddit’s algorithm for content visibility is based solely on users’ votes. The more “upvotes” a post gets, the higher it ranks on the page. It also has a more casual, unfiltered environment where anonymous users can express thoughts more candidly compared to other channels. 

Benefits of Reddit Marketing

Schools that are looking to appeal to their digital-savvy audience should consider adding Reddit to their marketing strategy. The platform is most popular among young adults aged 18-29, but still maintains a strong following from individuals aged 30-49. Since most of your school’s parents are likely within this age bracket, Reddit can be an effective way to reach new prospects. 

Let’s dive into some practical ways school marketers can use Reddit for marketing. 

Market Research

By scouring various subreddits, you can quickly discover what parents are saying about their children’s education. You might uncover insights about your own school, competitor schools, or the pain points and values your prospects have. 

For example, below you’ll see a conversation between two parents discussing which district and schools are “best” in Austin. The commenter suggests three magnet schools and five public schools in the area. You can use conservations like these to learn what your prospects value in their schools, and target your campaigns towards those values, pain points and priorities. 

Screenshot of Reddit community "r/Austin" thread showing parents conversing about school options in Austin.

Community Building

Typically, the best approach to Reddit marketing is simply to listen and learn, rather than intervene and overtly sell anything. Reddit users, or “redditors” value conversation over content, so most will reject any type of branded content. With this in mind, schools should focus on fostering topic-based conversations, rather than simply pushing school news or promoting offerings. 

Still, you might consider taking a more active role in your Reddit communities by responding to posts and comments about your school, or hosting an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) discussion. These Q&A discussions are often hosted by big brands or industry experts, but schools and their faculty members could use them as an opportunity to engage with their constituents. For example, this Montessori school teacher hosted an AMA to answer questions and give advice to parents interested in Montessori education.

Screenshot of Reddit community "r/AMA" thread showing a Montessori teacher posting an "ask me anything" thread where parents could ask anything related to montessori.

Advertisements

For most schools, the top players in their advertising lineup are Google and Facebook. While these certainly promote conversions and traffic to your website, they’re not the only platforms worth advertising on. Directing some of your ad spend towards Reddit can help you target a narrower demographic–both in terms of the people themselves (young parents, for example), and what they’re interested in (the specific subreddits they subscribe to). Plus, it’s more cost effective and less competitive than other major advertising platforms. 

Reddit ad campaigns allow you to set specific objectives (awareness, traffic, conversions, etc)., and which audience you’re looking to target. You can choose to direct your ad towards individuals interested in a broad topic (“education,” for example), or you can choose specific subreddit groups (“r/k/12” or “r/privateschool”). Alternatively, you can upload your first party data to retarget your ads to those who have already engaged with them. Reddit also has numerous templates and design options for your ads, so you can A/B test different versions and track the success of each. 

Is Reddit Marketing Worth it? 

In short, directing some of your school marketing to Reddit can be worth the investment, since it’s a cost-effective way to advertise and an easy way to gain audience insights. Particularly if your school is looking to appeal to a younger demographic, Reddit is the place to be. 

Since the platform hosts numerous niche topics related to education, schools are able to zero in on highly specific segments more easily than other social media platforms. For example, a charter school would have direct access to the 32,000 members of the “r/charterschools” community to engage with, learn from, and advertise to. Since members of this group are only discussing topics related to charter schools, there’s no need for the school to compete with other industries or topics.

Where Should I Start?

If you’re new to Reddit marketing, it’s worth spending some time familiarizing yourself with the platform first, before developing a formal marketing strategy. Learn about its users, culture, and etiquette, so you can engage with your prospects in their preferred way. Start by doing market research into your ideal audience groups, learning which topics they care about and what they’re looking for in their children’s education. 

Once you’re more familiar with Reddit’s intricacies, start subscribing to subreddits that are relevant to your school and create some ad campaigns. Keep in mind that Reddit may not be the right fit for every school marketing team, but it can certainly be worth a trial run to see how your conversions improve. 

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