Mar 11, 2024
© Unsplash I Brett Jordan
© Unsplash I Brett Jordan
Miriam Rönnau

Reddit 2024: What role does the platform play in German B2B communication?

Three out of four B2B decision-makers utilise Reddit, according to the platform itself. But does this also apply to Germany? What benefits can communication professionals expect from the platform? An analysis with current numbers and facts.

In many communication and social media agencies in Germany, Reddit is still treated somewhat negligently. This is because the active user numbers are relatively low compared to other platforms. In the ranking of the top social media channels, Reddit, with 9 percent active users, ranks tenth in the country, far behind YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others.

Even among some providers of social listening tools, Reddit is often not offered at all or only as an additional service with a surcharge. This could be another reason why the platform is mistakenly deprioritised in Germany.

We need to view this more nuanced. Clever communication does not mean conducting marketing and communication where we can reach as many people as possible. Because where we encounter many target groups, we usually also have to expect higher scattering losses.

It's about precisely analysing where our specific target group is most likely to be found – compared to the rest of the population. It's not about mass, but about density. Only in this way can we find out which channels our target group has the highest affinity for, in order to achieve the highest possible return on investment.

After conducting dozens of target group analyses, I've noticed how significantly Reddit also plays a role in the German B2B segment. Sure, Reddit claims that three out of four B2B decision-makers use Reddit to make their purchasing decisions. But who wants to trust these numbers? And who says that this also specifically applies to the German market?

What is Reddit?

Founded in 2005 by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, Reddit is based in the USA and currently ranks tenth among the country's most popular websites. The platform hosts a very passionate and diverse community, with more than 1.5 billion monthly active users. There are more than 130,000 communities, also called Subreddits.

These Subreddits are thematically diverse, from current updates and news from around the world, to humorous content and professional topics like cybersecurity or B2B marketing.

In principle, Reddit works like one of the forums from the early days of the internet. What's special is that all users can upvote or downvote comments and posts. This rating influences the position of the content/comment positively or negatively. Unlike other social networks, Reddit often focuses less on the actual content of the post – life mainly takes place in the comment section, where there are sometimes heated discussions.

When asking Reddit users why they are on the platform, three reasons emerge: They want to consume humorous content (38%), stay up-to-date (34%), and find or discover information about products and brands (29%).

What's interesting is the way Redditors want to discover this information about products and brands – through the experience and opinions of other users. No other platform is as authentic, almost brutally honest as Reddit. This high authenticity is thanks to the moderators, who ensure in the Subreddits that the organic content does not pursue hidden commercial intentions as much as possible.

We can already see that Reddit represents an important point of contact, especially in the top-funnel phase. Those looking for authentic experience reports from others are very likely to find them here.

The German Reddit Target Group

In Germany, Reddit has been active for about three years and, measured by traffic, has the fifth largest user base. The analysts at Statista recently published data on the German Reddit target group and additionally set it in relation to other social media users.

A few key insights:

  • The majority of Redditors are Millennials, followed by Gen Z. Particularly interesting: When we compare Reddit users with general social media users, we see that there is an exclusive group in these two generations that is only active on Reddit and not found on other platforms.

  • Redditors are predominantly male, well-educated, and have an above-average income.

  • Redditors are characterised by a high affinity for technical topics and gaming as well as sustainability.

  • On Reddit, there is the largest group of "innovators". This means they are the ones who are most likely to test new products.

Of course, we must be aware that this target group description represents the "classic" Reddit user. Because, as already mentioned, the community is extremely diverse. In a target group analysis for a management consultancy on the topic of employer branding, I found that many aspiring, but also more advanced consultants are on Reddit to exchange ideas. Here are a few Subreddits on this topic:

So, don't forget: Such general data like from the Statista analysis gives us a tendency that a large part of Redditors are characterised by technical knowledge and a high orientation towards innovation. And from further, own analyses, I know that a relevant part of them explicitly works in the tech industry. But there is also plenty of potential here to observe and reach niches.

Back to the topic: What does this mean for B2B communication? It is very likely that Redditors play an important role in B2B decision-making processes – especially when it comes to tech products or services.

This becomes even more apparent when we compare these insights with B2B decision-making processes.

B2B Decision-Making Processes are Complex

Even though we like to talk about "B2B decision-makers": These people don't actually exist. It is rarely about one person. B2B decisions are usually made in groups – currently, an average of 25 different stakeholders come together, spending about 6.5 months deciding on a product or service.

These B2B groups are usually heterogeneous, i.e., from different departments and working at different hierarchical levels. Often, they even pursue different, sometimes contrary goals with the purchase.

The reasons why organisations want to make a purchase decision in the first place are just as diverse. When it comes to tech purchases, then most likely because they want a more innovative product or service (48%). Followed by the assessment that the current product or service no longer meets the company's needs (40%).

How does this heterogeneous B2B decision-maker group now come to a consensus – and as quickly and efficiently as possible? Most likely, according to 65% of decision-makers, if as many of them as possible already know a brand.

Also interesting: 63% of them also say that they are more likely to trust information from brands if it is recommended by peers.

The Role of Reddit in German B2B Communication

When we bring these data together, a pretty clear picture emerges of the role Reddit can play in B2B communication. To stay with the tech example:

  • We have seen that organisations mainly want new tech products/services because they have a need for innovation. And we know that Redditors are the ones who are most likely to have already tested the innovation.

  • Moreover, we know that a relevant part of B2B decision-makers are more likely to trust brands if they are recommended by peers. And we know that many B2B decision-makers from the technology sector are themselves part of the Reddit community. It is therefore obvious that they obtain their information here.

  • Thirdly, Reddit can represent an important channel in the ecosystem to increase brand awareness among target groups that cannot be reached through other social media channels – especially from Gen Z.

Certainly, we will not be able to reach all 25 stakeholders via Reddit – as with any other social media channel. Therefore, it is important to differentiate here as well: Which target group

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