If ever you have had a job with a long commute, you might after a long day of work, put your brain on autopilot during the long drive home. Suddenly you are home, not really remembering the motorway, the 4 stop lights, and the tricky roundabout that you have to get through to get home. I am sure it is perfectly safe, but it is very interesting how our brains create patterns that we follow without being entirely aware of it. In the same way, I have often turned on the computer with the specific goal of researching a gnawing question or getting some work done, only to see that 30 minutes, 5 notifications, and 20 videos later I have scrolled 2 kilometers down Facebook without coming any closer to my original purpose! The most successful social media and entertainment websites have been able to keep our attention, not with fancy notifications and emails, but by the way they have become part of our daily patterns; turn off alarm, check Snapchat, brush teeth, use Messenger, etc.
Spires United is based in Denmark, a small, flat country in Scandinavia, currently experiencing a lovely blend of snow and rain (perfect biking weather). A recent study of internet usage in this country took a closer look at which websites/apps are most often checked by its inhabitants during a normal cold and wet day. Facebook and Snapchat as the top two was no great surprise, but admittedly, the third place contender, Reddit, would not have been our first guess. This website, which has often been clouded in controversy, has only recently made a point of controlling content, cracking down on hate speech and removing subreddits that encourage harmful content. What makes Reddit so special and apparently so popular is a sense of community that revolve around certain topics from the latest episode of Game of Thrones to whether pineapple should allowed on pizza or not! During the past 8 years, Reddit has gained, on average, 200,000 new topics to talk about every year!
As an individual this means that Reddit is the perfect place to find like-minded individuals around the world and also to share and receive knowledge, humour, and advice; not to mention stupidity and mindless entertainment. As a business, Reddit offers a whole other sort of opportunity. Marketing on Reddit is not as straightforward as it is on Facebook or Instagram where you make an interesting post and then proceed to throw some money at it. Redditors are on the lookout for spammers and blatant advertising and if you take this approach, you will quickly find yourself out in the cold. Instead, Reddit can be used as the world’s largest and most specific collection of focus groups. Here one can easily analyze the behavior, hopes, and obstacles that your target customers experience. Businesses can also use these niche communities to spread helpful information in a creative way and create brand awareness by showing how their product makes a difference.
At Spires United we are in the process of creating tight-knit communities powered by quality content that is entertaining and helpful at the same time. Online communities should not be a trap that trick people into spending a lot of time online so they can see more ads, but instead they should be a place where where people can feel welcome and really explore their interests. Check out our current two communities Babyspire and Bakeinspire and let us know what you think! Also if you are a content creator with a passion for a certain niche, we would love to hear from you and help set you on the path to creating a community and make a living doing what you love most!