After his great guest post about companies engaging on reddit, Dave DiGiovanni of MarketersGuidetoReddit.com is back again with a great example of a company that has created their own subreddit as a means of building community on the platform.

Duolingo is a fun, addictive and free way to learn a new language. The Duolingo Incubator is a community that was created to give users a process for generating new Duolingo courses. The Duolingo Incubator community is a great example of what is possible when a company embraces community. You can learn more about how that community was created and developed in this post on CMX Hub.

The Duolingo Incubator allows Duolingo to release new language courses at a much faster rate and is critical to their success, but it is not the only way they leverage the power of community. They have also created r/Duolingo, a subreddit on reddit that serves as a community for reddit users that are fans of Duolingo. The subreddit has almost 23,000 subscribers and multiple active discussions every day.

Duolingo’s subreddit is not as critical as the Incubator community, but it is a friendly place for reddit users to discuss Duolingo and contribute valuable content.

Let’s take a closer look at r/Duolingo to see what makes it a great community and how it can be replicated by anyone looking to create a community on reddit.

Subreddit Design

Every subreddit can be custom designed using CSS. Duolingo has taken advantage of this and created a great looking subreddit that mimics the design of their website.

Duolingo Subreddit

When Duolingo users visit r/Duolingo, they immediately recognize the design style and branding that they see on Duolingo’s website and applications. This is important to give the subreddit an “official” feel that creates instantaneous trust. It also raises the perceived value of the subreddit, making users more likely to contribute quality content.

Subreddit design is the first step to take when starting a new subreddit. Use Duolingo’s subreddit design as inspiration and, if necessary, work with a designer and developer that have the skills to create a beautiful and functional subreddit.

Participation by Community Celebs

Having community “celebrities” participate in your subreddit is a simple way to bring company leaders and the community together, which raises the value of the subreddit for both parties.

One way to participate in the community is with an AMA (AMA stands for “Ask Me Anything”). Duolingo CEO Luis von Ahn held an AMA in r/Duolingo which gave the subreddit a chance to ask him questions and learn more about him and the company they love.

Duolingo Subreddit AMA with Luis von Ahn

Another way to participate in a subreddit as a company leader is to ask questions. reddit is great for asking questions, because it has a voting system that lets the community sort and filter their own answers. When a question is asked on reddit, every response can be voted up or down by the community, which gives each response a score. Responses with higher scores float to the top while responses with negative scores sink to the bottom. This makes it easy to pay attention to the responses that the community values and ignore the rest. If a particular response receives an overwhelming amount of upvotes, then it is something that you should strongly consider. If you do take action on any feedback, go back to the subreddit to tell them what you did.

Participation by community celebrities tells the subreddit that they matter, which gives them another reason to contribute quality content. Have a company leader hold an AMA or ask a question to raise the value of the subreddit and encourage participation.

Is a Subreddit Right for You?

Reddit has over 3 million users with a diverse range of interests, so there is a good chance that some of your fans are on reddit and that potential fans are spending time in subreddits related to your business.

To find out if reddit is right for you, search reddit for your company name, website URL (use this format: “site:duolingo.com”) and for keywords related to your business. Look over the results to see if reddit users are talking about your company, your content or related topics.

Additionally, send your users an email asking them if they are on reddit and if they would participate in a subreddit dedicated to your company. This information along with a little research on reddit.com will help you to decide if it is worth your time to build community on reddit.

David DiGiovanni is a reddit marketing consultant. Read his blog, MarketersGuideToReddit.com, to learn more about engaging and building communities on reddit.