Reddit is complicated to understand, but it can be an incredible resource for musicians. Out of all the online platforms used to share and receive music, tips and criticism from listeners and artists, reddit is often under-utilized and with reason. The only and most effective way to go about it is to contribute, which takes time and dedication. To get something out of reddit, one must be genuinely willing and invested in joining a community and sharing valuable, original content. This approach is different than engaging with other rapid-response social media platforms, but can give incredible return.
What is reddit?
Reddit is an extensive compilation of over a million forum type communities, called subreddits. Subreddits about music can be about any topic, from broad ones like /r/music or /r/guitar to niche ones like /r/90sdancemusic, /r/vinylcollectors or /r/musiciansblogs. Each sub has its own rules – or rediquette – and team of moderators. Anyone can start a subreddit.
Within these subreddits, users can either start discussing on topics or share links (images, videos, streams, articles…) that are relevant to the community. Posts and comments are organized through an upvote/downvote ranking system, usually classifying the comments that best contribute to the conversation at the top and the ones which don’t add a lot to the discussion at the bottom. The more upvotes, the better visibility.
While each sub has its own style, identity and rules, Redditors usually prize quality and informative content that genuinely adds to the discussion at hand. The website system and its culture therefore discourage the use of the platform for simply promoting your sound. That’s why posts showing no effort of understanding or belonging will be quickly seen as spam. Continuous spam and marketing will result in a ban
Reddit is an important resource and arena of exchange, with around 330 million users and regular posts from experts in their fields. Harnessing its potential and sharing your own expertise can help develop your project and contribute to building others. So where and how do we begin?
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1. First, read and observe subreddits
To grow your presence and conversations on reddit, it is best to get involved in small communities where you can build authentic ties with other users. If you wish to be part of a community, take time to understand its culture and areas of interest. The first step of posting in any new subreddit is undoubtedly reading the rules, crafted with care over time by the moderators.
Checking the top posts of a subreddit is a great resource to evaluate what its users particularly value, and understand how you can add value with your contribution.
2. Show not tell. Your post history speaks for you.
Reddit values substance and contribution above all else, rejecting anything that looks and feels like spam. Quick promo posts will encounter skepticism and, usually, little to no response. Middle to long term valuable contribution to a community on the contrary is usually reciprocated.
The easiest way to look into a user’s intentions is by glancing at their post history. A profile that has a history of informative contributions and feedback within a community is much more likely to receive reciprocal attitude than a profile that has visibly been created to promote a project.
3. What can you share on reddit?
What are your strengths and areas of expertise? What relevant anecdotes, advice and experiences can you share to enhance the discussion or entertain readers? How have you encountered a similar experience in the past, and how did you deal with it? What recommendations can you give that seem to match the users’ taste?
These are essential questions to shape a meaningful participation on reddit. For instance, a sound engineer will be able to provide great feedback to people who are sharing their music projects in the making. Someone who has organized many shows can post helpful tips to planning one’s first gig. And so on.
4. Share your story
Reddit users value the human before the artist, and love a good story! Sharing the context of your project, some anecdotes, challenges and funny chapters will humanize your post, specially with many others asking for feedback.
Reddit’s anonymity strips down superficial impressions and perceptions, letting genuine and relatable contributions speak for themselves.
5. Sharing your music with tact
Given that you are sharing your insight, it is standard that you’d wish to also receive expertise from others.
When asking for feedback, select your space wisely. There are a variety of subs – included below- and weekly threads where self-promo is encouraged. For instance on /r/wearethemusicmakers, /r/listentothis and /r/EDMproduction. These may be the subs only space for unfiltered promo and they are a great place to give and receive feedback.
Sometimes, your music can definitely fit into an existing conversation. This is why taking the time to read posts will allow you to seize those opportunities.
Ready, set, post!
There are hundreds of music subs that you can explore. Here is our selection of music related ones. Make sure to check out reddit’s official list of all music-related subs, and to dig deeper into the niche communities that concern you. Reddit is an incredible part of the internet where good conversation is valued much more than an attractive image. So be natural, enjoy the discussion, help others, and share. The community will give back if your content is respected, supported and valued.