How long does it take to exploit Reddit and Quora for personal gain and marketing purposes PART I

in #marketing4 years ago

A discussion I had on Facebook yesterday inspired me to do this two-week test and prove that these two platforms are very easy to manipulate and exploit. Some of the things done during this test are against the rules of these platforms so bans and restrictions should be expected, but there is a very slim chance this will happen. Let's start from the basics and work our way up.

Important disclaimer before we begin.

This is not something you should use as a standard practice. I always encourage people to take an ethical approach when it comes to marketing. This is just a test and should never be used as a guide. If you use these two platforms for content, service or product promotion you should be an active user. Be sure to contribute some value to the platform before you go on a promotion spree. Respect the platforms and their users and you will be respected back.

Reddit accounts

There is a myth that is still alive in marketing circles. The myth states that the age of your Reddit account is very important and that the platform, as well as the users, take this very seriously. This is in no way accurate and it doesn't affect your posts whatsoever. There are a few subreddits that will require you to have a certain amount of karma before you can make a post but this threshold is usually never bigger than 100 so it's easy to achieve.

Step 1

Create new accounts or buy aged ones from the market.

As mentioned above, account age doesn't count for much but having a mix of old and new accounts is never a bad idea. For this experiment, we will be using one new and one aged account.

The only difference here is that I can post as many comments as I want from the aged one while I can only comment every 10 minutes using the new one.

Three-year club with about 500 karma already on it


New account with 0 karma on it


I included the usernames so you can track the progress during this two-week period. Now let's talk about the strategy I will be using.

First off, I will start in the easiest subreddit of them all when it comes to karma - /r/crappydesign. Karma whoring and reposts are very common here so you won't get judged for your unethical actions. This applies to the new account mostly since this is where you can always make a post regardless of account age or karma points. After the job is done here I will be moving to reposts for post karma. I will explain the whole process in the second part of this "series".

When it comes to comment karma you should be familiar with the trends on Reddit. Know what the hivemind likes and act accordingly. If the majority thinks that Trump is bad you should go with the flow. The main targets for this experiment will be /r/worldnews, /r/gaming and /r/cryptocurrency. About 10-20 comments per day should get us to where we want to be in terms of karma points.

A realistic goal would be 5-10k post karma on both accounts and ~1k comment karma.

Every step of this process will be explained in detail in my next blog post. Moving on to Quora.

As we did for Reddit, I will create two new accounts for Quora as well.
(used this one once but it won't have any effect on the end result)

Names were generated by this tool while the country of origin was chosen manually for one very obvious reason. Profiles coming from tier 1 countries such as the US and Canada are always more trustworthy.

The strategy that will be used here is simple and very straightforward. If you check Alexa for stats it will tell you that the most visitors on Quora are coming from the US and India so these will be the only two focus groups we will be targeting. The answers will be almost 100% copy paste and they will be posted under questions such as "mindblowing facts about humans". I will be taking these facts from articles that come up on the first page of Google when searching for the exact same question. Links to the original source will be added but no content editing will be included. This is just to show how easy it is to exploit Quora.

The main goal on this platform will be views, since this is what clients seem to value the most. The quality of the answers is also a factor but we will be ignoring it for now. A realistic target for two weeks would be 10-50k views per profile.

Let the games begin!


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Postponed because I'm a procrastination master.

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