If you don't spend a lot of time imgur, you miss some things.
A lot happens with 130 million+ monthly unique visitors and 4.5 billion monthly page views. Like GIF battles, struggles over NSFW rules, work stories, memes, and advertisers (WarnerBrosRecords) getting downvoted into oblivion when they try to get in on those sweet, sweet page views.
@WarnerBrosRecords joined imgur just this month and is already one of the most hated accounts with -57,735 reputation and the "Forever Alone" notoriety. Part of it was due to one of their posts that made it to the front page, which could have only gotten there by paying for it, and that pissed the community off. So much so that WarnerBrosRecords has almost caught up to one of the most hated imgurians from last year. Banana for scale.
Who cares? Probably lots of brands trying to hack the imgur community, maybe some imgur users like myself who think it's funny when ads get downvoted to hell. I found it amusing and instead of writing some "what brands can learn about imgur advertising from @warnerbrosrecords" article which I don't have time for or care to write, I just thought I'd share this quickly because it pleases me.
Brands, if you want to be a part of the community you have to be a person. So, that means you either need to hire a person to spend all their time on imgur, actually engaging the community, or hire someone who already has the clout. Either way, the community will still know when you're pushing product disguised as content.
There's a chance you could get a community member to be so well-loved that they might be able to slip in a good word here and there, or do it subliminally, but it's way more complicated than you're probably willing to commit to. It won't look like any advertising you've ever thought of.
Communities like imgur and reddit (where imgur gets most of its traffic) are like immune systems that fight and kill marketing efforts on sight, good luck.
You could also make the bad press = good press argument here. And one actual strategy would be to become the community's play thing.
Maybe after you've taken enough shots, you could win them over ... Maybe.
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