Growth January 11, 2021

How to get feedback on Reddit without getting Banned?

Craig Campbell @Scotalia

Does anyone have advise on using reddit subs to get feedback on personal projects without getting banned from the sub reddit (and more drastically, Reddit entirely)? I have twice now been banned or had threat of banning for posting a link to my personal projects (2 different ones over the course of multiple months) and asking the community 1. Would you use this, or 2. What do you think about this / could you critique this?

In both instances i targeted specific subs that my target audience would use to get specific feedback from potential users.

Obviously, since i'm looking for feedback, i get the 'self-promotion' argument from mods. But i genuinely think that the tools i built would be useful to at least SOME of the subs' users.

I contribute to a couple subs when i can, but i've mostly been a 'lurker' and admittedly get more information from Reddit than i provide.

Also, i HAVE submitted my projects to other subs dedicated to Design, UI, or Start ups to get GENEREAL 'does this look good?', 'is this usable?', is the biz idea sound?' types of feedback and have had no problems.

Most recently, i circled back to one of my projects to pivot the MVP and instead of just posting a 'hey take a look at this and tell me what you think' post, i messaged the respective community's moderators FIRST and asked if there was a way i could solicit user feedback with out breaking the sub rules. I was told no, and that my request broke the sub' self-promotion rule.

So, i'm asking anyone that has submitted their projects to Subreddit for feedback in a TARGETED subreddit that contained your target audience, did you get banned or is there a legitimate way in which someone CAN get feedback from targeted subs.....kind of like a 'Show: /r/subreddit-name'?

Just curious as i don't want to be spammy and don't want to burn bridges.

  1. 5

    I've been using Reddit for getting feedback and traffic for more than a year now.
    Here is my tips:

    • Be aware of the sub policy. /r/startups is super strict on self promotion for instance. Every post promoting yourself will be removed for sure!
    • Check the flairs. Most of the subs have special flairs for feedback, or weekly dedicated thread for it (like the Friday feedback thread of /r/Startups)
    • Test your post on small subs first, most of the time if you got traction there you'll have a lot of upvotes on bigger subs as well

    I wrote a whole blog post about How to use Reddit as an IndieHacker, check, it out : https://blog.spreadtheworld.net/posts/get-first-users-reddit/

  2. 3

    Its weird since I have never had any such warnings issued to me before. I posted several times on subreddits like Entreprenuer, sidehustle, logo_critique, logo design, growmybusiness seeking help for my personal projects.

    1. 4

      I'm assuming OP is talking about 'lifestyle' subs like r/gaming or r/music or similar, not the typical 'feedback-friendly' subs.

      This is much more difficult since many subs, especially the big ones, need to be very careful about the content posted.

      If time is on your side you could consider reviving an inactive sub as a new mod and post your project there once it becomes more active. If you find such a sub you can go to r/redditrequest and ask to take it over. Ideally you would be interested in running this community long term.

      1. 3

        This is correct: Travel, Cycling type subs. I got life banned from /solotravel

  3. 2

    My answer is not related to Reddit, but I hope is still helpful.

    From my experience startup discord communities do better in terms of feedback & engagement. Note that r/startups also has their discord.

    We, guys from Projectium, created a discord server with a mission to help young indie projects receive feedback, find early adopters and network with other founders! You can share your story in #my-story channel and get replies from other members:

    https://discord.gg/Vz4xGVz8fy

  4. 1

    I've done a lot of marketing on reddit via posting blogs and talking about my story.

    I also have been using reddit for over 8 years for personal things like gaming, memes, and education. I've learned a lot about the reddit culture and how to use it as an effective marketing/feedback tool. It's a balancing act, and you have to be very careful on how you propose your product/feedback request. I've never been banned for doing this, nor have I ever broken any rules.

    Here are some general tips as a long-term reddit user:

    • Read the rules. It's important that you don't directly break a communities rules because people will get pissed at you for doing so (and you could get banned)

    • Flair your posts. People appreciate it when you do.

    • Stay away from large subreddits. You will get much better feedback and response from smaller subreddits. I personally don't even post on subreddits if they have <100k followers.

    • Don't use r/Entrepreneur, it's super toxic. Use r/EntrepreneurRidealong instead. Or even better use the subreddit for whatever specific tool/aspect of design you're looking for.

    • Network on each subreddit's discord. They're like the "inner circle" for most subreddits, and will give you much better feedback from users that care.

    • Bring something of value to your post. Saying "I need feedback" as your only entrance will not gain any attention. Tell a story, share a lesson, or talk about something people are interested in to grab their attention.

    • Stay humble. I say this as someone who is an avid reddit user, but reddit is full of know-it-alls. Unless you have a PhD in your topic, never approach a topic with all the answers. Stay humble and mention that you are always improving, and would be interested in what people think of your current version.

    What I think your best strategy to get feedback is:

    Your post's focus point is design/UI feedback. Make your post about a lesson or skill you've recently learned and talk about the do's and dont's that you've discovered. Mention that you aren't satisfied with what you have, and ask reddit what they think of what you have. Don't take yourself too seriously, and don't type up your post like something on LinkedIn.

    Best of luck!

    James C Lange II
    Vivifi CEO/Founder

  5. 1

    Build story around your question and never put link directly. I have done this several times and it worked every damn time. Tell them stories and they will enjoy.

  6. 1

    Are you making sure to follow the reddiquette guide and 90/10 rule for that community? That is to say, are you making sure you're a helpful contributor and giving to the community before you ask for their support? Of course it's a lot of legwork but you should be making sure to talk to prospective customers anyway.

    When you do post, keep in mind that redditors tend to hate being sold to. Make sure to tailor your copy very carefully to sound like a member of the community where you are posting! Asking for feedback on your idea, offering a special deal for that community, or being a little bit vulnerable in terms of sharing that you're an indiehacker can help your post avoid deletion and gain traction.

  7. 1

    I agree with people saying not to mention your project specifically. Honestly it makes sense to start asking the sub about what they think of your idea before you even start working on it. If you make update posts over time I think you could build up a following and hopefully the sub will appreciate you working on something for them instead of getting banned for promotion after the project exists already

  8. 1

    You can still get lots of information without directly referencing or linking to your product.

    Ask for help: "Hey, I have $this_problem with $most_popular_solution. How do all of you solve this?" This can tell you whether people have the problem you want to solve, and how much they care about it.

    Participate in a conversation adjacent to your product, and ask questions related to information that you want to validate.

    Post something helpful that indirectly links to you. Not a direct way to get traffic, but it can help you determine whether people will click into your service if it's linked.

  9. 1

    I always check the subreddits rules before posting. If they are against self promotion but I think my link will actually help users, I’ll try message a mod for approval. If I get approved then I will post. For the the part this will keep you from being banned. You can also be shadow banned so make you check your username. https://nullprogram.com/am-i-shadowbanned/

  10. 1

    It's easy - Don't post on reddit :p

    1. 1

      That would be a HUGE mistake!

      1. 4

        It's more of a joke than not but reddit comments can be pretty toxic at times haha.

  11. 1

    I would say post something useful that will help the sub. I just posted my personal database of business strategies on Reddit over the weekend.

    This got me over 60 upvotes, and this over 200 upvotes. Both submissions helped me bring in over 300 subscribers and is still going.

    But several threads have really stupid mods. I got banned from r/ecommerce from just one comment, and that comment even got me 7 upvotes! I sent a message to the mod of the thread and he/she came back with the reason of spam. I only posted one comment, not even a post on that thread and got banned.

    Some threads are just ridiculous.

    1. 2

      I thought i was doing just this:

      1. a tool for cyclists to create a ride plan to help them achieve a century ride and track their completed rides
      2. A tool to help travelers going to Europe find and plan itineraries (pivoting this now due to COVID and procrastination :/ )

      But still got banned on /solotravel for self promotion (cycling subs didn't care) when i actually though the euro trip tool would be helpful...oh well

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