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  • The Hack

    Create a Hacker News & Reddit Marketing Strategy

  • AARRR stage


  • Growth Problem 

    Tapping Into Niche Communities to Increase Exposure


You may be an avid reader of Reddit or Hacker News (HN), but do you actively use these sites to promote your app?

Most likely the answer is a big fat “NO”. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one guilty of this growth hacking blasphemy.

After all, it’s not that different from a barista getting sick of drinking his or her own coffee. Or something like that….

But the good news is that it’s not too late to make a course correction and tap into these awesome communities to acquire early adopters.

This will pay particularly large dividends if your product’s user base overlaps with the psycho-demographics of these sites’ audiences.

Also, remember that tech journalists and other tech glitterati frequent both of these… So if you get it right, you could strike publicity gold.

Read on to learn how to effectively pimp your wares on these niche sites.

Just Hack It:

  1. For both sites, the key is to tailor your content:
    1. If you’re posting to Reddit, then add something along the lines of “Dear Redditors” or “Hey [Sub-Reddit] to the title (feel free to get creative).
    2. HN readers aren’t as in love with themselves (sorry, Redditors), so the ego stroking might not have to be as strong here. But as always, a little caring before sharing goes a long way.
  2. For HN, turn your post title into a clickable link to your website, which will help with driving traffic to your site and can help you to get on the front page.
  3. For Reddit, it also pays to address the Sub-Reddit specifically and somehow reference something relevant to the group.
    1. Before posting anything, do a lot of research of the Sub-Reddit to see what usually gets traction and, more importantly, what doesn’t. As every Sub-Reddit is
    2. Getting virality on Reddit requires a different approach to that of other social networks. Word of warning: you will be pulled up on your marketing “BS” so make sure that you can back up whatever you claim.
    3. Your number one goal should be to contribute quality discussions and content rather than blatant self-promotion. Redditors aren’t a fan of this and you’ll do yourself more harm than good by being the ‘marketer’ in the room.
  4. Respond to all of the comments (even from the haters, as Reddit has plenty of those) and watch your street cred grow.
  5. But it’s not all about HN and Reddit. Depending on your app, there are numerous other online communities that could be perfect for promoting yourself on – Inbound.org, GrowthHackers.com, etc., etc.
  6. Keeping up with updates on each individual site can be tedious, so you can use an aggregator for this purpose:
    1. http://www.newscombinator.com/
    2. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hackplan.one
    3. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/one-one-app-to-read-them-all/id944173670
  7. The moral of the story is to search for online communities that are relevant to your product and then engage with them in a genuine way.

Source or Inspiration:

How We Got Our First 5,000 Users

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