Wouldn’t it be nice to showcase your brand and expertise to 52 million people worldwide? Well, with Reddit, you can. Moreover, more than half of Reddit users access the platform daily, which means there’s no shortage of audiences there.
Reddit is a social media community where users can discuss any topic under the sun, vote on those discussions, and generally entertain themselves. It’s a platform you can leverage to set yourself as an industry expert and establish your brand in an interactive community.
But you don’t have all day to spend on Reddit. How can you constantly engage users on the platform if you don’t even have the time? The answer is simple: create a Reddit bot.
To create a Reddit bot, you need to familiarize yourself with Reddit API documentation, create a new application and learn or know a programming language (Python is the easiest for Reddit bots). Next, you need to write the script based on your needs for functionality, and you are done.
This guide will explain what a Reddit bot is, why you need one, and most importantly, how to make one to engage users even if you’re off the platform. Let’s dig in.
- What Is a Reddit Bot?
- How Does a Reddit Bot Function?
- Creating a Reddit Bot: Must-Haves
- Creating a Reddit Bot
What Is a Reddit Bot?
A Reddit bot is a coded program designed to crawl subreddits, monitor their content, and provide automated responses to specific posts or comments. Here’s what we mean.
For instance, you can create a Reddit bot for a gaming business to crawl comments in the /r/gaming subreddit and respond to comments with the word “action” in them. This way, you can engage users without being on the platform.
What’s more, you can insert links into your automated responses to redirect users to relevant content on your website. You can even insert pictures to gain more engagement from users.
How Does a Reddit Bot Function?
The functionality of a Reddit bot is dependent on the creator’s objectives. However, certain functions run through all Reddit bots. Let’s take a look at those functions.
The most common function of a Reddit bot is the voting function. Creators program bots to upvote or downvote content according to their preferences. How is this important?
You can create a bot that upvotes comments about your brand or business. A large number of upvotes means more visibility on the platform, so you’ll essentially be promoting yourself. That’s a good advertisement right there.
Aside from voting on comments, you may want to offer your thoughts on specific topics in your niche. You can also program a bot to comment on particular discussions and link back to your website.
Additionally, you can comment on competitor posts and content relevant to your brand. This way, you don’t miss chances to showcase your expertise.
There are many more bot functions that you can exploit for your business. There’s post scraping, content publishing, and more. The function you choose to leverage depends on your goals in mind.
Creating a Reddit Bot: Must-Haves
Before you create a Reddit bot, you need to have these handy.
This one may be obvious, but it needs to be mentioned anyway. You can’t create a Reddit bot without first having an account on the platform.
Additionally, you can’t access the Reddit API without an account, and you can’t create a Reddit bot without the Reddit API. See how it works? Plus, you need knowledge of the platform to create a fitting bot.
Python (Installation and Background Knowledge)
You’ll need some background in programming to create the bot, and Python is by far the easiest programming language to learn. It’s simple and highly functional, so you can create a bot that fits your goals.
Once you have these requirements in place, you can proceed to create your Reddit bot.
Creating a Reddit Bot
Enough with the whats. Let’s see how you can create a Reddit bot to streamline your engagement on the platform.
Read the Reddit API Documentation
Reddit provides an easy-to-use API that allows you to easily set up bots on the platform. The API is REST and JSON based, meaning the setup isn’t too technical.
The API documentation is crucial as it holds the guidelines for creating and using bots on Reddit. Two essential rules in the document are:
- Limiting requests to one every two seconds or 30 requests per minute.
- Being truthful about your user agent.
A user agent is basically a browser identifier. Using user agents other than Reddit-recommended ones brings about stringent restrictions to prevent abuse on the platform.
Create a Reddit Application
Your first step in creating a Reddit bot is the application. To begin with, visit https://ssl.reddit.com/prefs/apps/.
Next, fill in the required information at the bottom and click create app. If you do this successfully, you’ll get a “personal use script” and a “secret” code for your bot script.
You can put any URL in the redirect section.
This configuration section is your final setup. First, you need to install Python (the latest version) and download a Python Reddit API Wrapper (PRAW).
The PRAW file allows you to easily customize the Reddit backend to fit your objectives. Plus, it follows all Reddit API rules, so you don’t have to worry about crossing any lines.
Write Bot Script
Now to the juicy bit; the bot script. This is where you import the PRAW module for your bot. You import the PRAW code and create an instance (Reddit authorized).
Reddit’s recommended format for the user agent is
<platform>:<app ID>:<version string> (by
u/<Reddit username>). The requested
client_id is the “personal use script,” and the
client_secret is the “secret” from the account creation.
The remaining code depends on your objectives for the bot. Not all bot codes are simple. However, there are examples online that can help you fast-track your script. You can check them out for inspiration.
So there you have it. You can now create bots to automate your processes and actions on Reddit to save time.
Aside from saving your time, Reddit bots are an avenue through which you can establish a dominant presence on the platform and build some awareness for your brand. So if you’re looking to establish yourself as a niche expert or attract more followers, you need to consider Reddit bots.