“What is Reddit AMA?” Before we give you some answers, let’s start from the basics. Reddit, also known as the ‘front page of the internet’, is a hugely popular social media and forum site. However, businesses and marketers are often wary of it, and rightly so. Thanks to the platform’s nature, one wrong move can turn into a PR disaster. So, how can you tap into its potential while avoiding its pitfalls?
A Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA) might be the answer. So what is Reddit AMA? Essentially, it’s a virtual Q&A session, and it can be a fantastic way to promote your business – if you play your cards right.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to Reddit AMAs and show you how they can benefit your business. Then we’ll cover some best practices for conducting a successful AMA. Let’s dig in!
Table of contents:
What is Reddit AMA – an introduction
Reddit is a unique place. It’s an equal mix of online forum and anonymous social network, and it’s enormously popular. As of this writing, Alexa ranks it as the 18th most popular site globally, and seventh in the United States. Also according to Reddit, the platform receives over 30 billion monthly views.
Reddit is divided into thousands of ‘subreddits’, which are essentially individual forums, each with its own specific focus. One of these subreddits (or ‘subs’) is called r/IAmA, and it hosts most of the high-profile Ask Me Anythings (AMAs):
If you’re unfamiliar with the platform, you might be wondering, “What is a Reddit AMA, exactly?” In a nutshell, it’s a Q&A session where Reddit users post questions, and the host goes back through and answers them. Typically, subreddit administrators verify hosts (at least on the main IAmA sub) to ensure that they are who they say they are.
AMAs are one of the most popular types of content on Reddit. They may also be the secret to breaking into the notoriously tough Reddit marketing bubble and building mind share there. Let’s explore why that is.
Why a Reddit AMA can benefit your business
An AMA, on the surface, may seem like a horrible idea for marketing. The questions can be about anything – hence the name. Therefore, users are often quick to call out tough questions that go unanswered or get glossed over.
Additionally, Redditors are, almost as a rule, not interested in being marketed to. They’ll easily see through transparent attempts to sell or push a product or agenda. When they come to an AMA, they’re there for one thing: to ask a question and get it answered.
However, what AMAs are great for is getting your name out there – building brand awareness, authority, and trust. Reddit has a large audience of highly-engaged users who are often enthusiasts, so a well-received AMA can be a major PR win for your business.
On the other hand, a poorly-conducted AMA can be a nightmare, so it’s important to approach and execute it carefully. It’s a high-risk, high-reward environment, but the returns can be massive. For example, in this AMA by a licensed plumber, the host straightforwardly answered questions and provided helpful advice. The thread generated over 8,000 comments and was extremely well-received.
How to conduct a successful Reddit AMA (6 tips)
Now that we’ve answered some common questions, such as “what is a Reddit AMA?” and “why should I host one?”, it’s time to discuss how to get started. Let’s take a look at six tips you can follow for hosting a successful Reddit AMA.
1. Know the ins and outs of Reddit
Before hosting an AMA, it’s a good idea to spend some time on Reddit as an observer. The site can be quite complex. In addition to the universal ‘Reddiquette’ the platform asks users to adhere to, every subreddit has its own rules. The general opinion and feeling in a subreddit, or even an individual thread, can turn on a dime, and a comment or post that seems like it should be favored might suddenly be on the receiving end of a stream of downvotes or hostile comments.
It’s especially smart to read through other AMAs (both successful and not) and try to pick out some dos and don’ts. These can be found on the r/IAmA subreddit, and often on more niche subreddits as well.
2. Above all, be authentic
When it comes time to host your AMA, perhaps the most important thing to remember is that authenticity is king. Admitting that you don’t have an answer, or acknowledging that you may have made a mistake, is almost always better than trying to save face or dodging the question.
If your only aim is to be as courteous, helpful, and informative as possible, you’ll have a much better time. While you can lightly suggest topics for discussion, don’t go in with the intention to only promote your latest product or endeavor.
Woody Harrelson learned this the hard way. During his AMA, he refused to answer questions that weren’t about his latest movie, and his attempts to limit the discussion to that topic have gone down in internet history (not in a good way). It’s been years, and people still make jokes about it.
Business results will organically flow from a positive situation. In other words, leave the PR-speak at home!
3. Know what your ‘tough questions’ are, and be prepared to answer them
Redditors can be ruthless. Let’s suppose there’s a potentially touchy subject surrounding your business or brand. In that case, you can count on someone asking about it – and while you’re not obligated to answer specific questions, skipping the hot-button topics can turn your AMA sour in a hurry.
The best way to handle this is to spend some time beforehand considering what your tough questions may be. You don’t necessarily want to have rehearsed and formulated answers, but having a rough idea of what you’ll say can go a long way when the hard questions hit. You don’t want your event turning out like Rachel Maddow’s AMA:
The journalist famously ignored most of the tough political questions asked, and received so much criticism for it that her employer, MSNBC, had to release a statement about it.
4. Choose the right subreddit
While r/IAmA is the primary hub for AMAs on Reddit, it may not be the best fit for your business. First, the AMA hosts there tend to be incredibly high-profile (movie stars, politicians, popular scientists, etc.). Second, the sheer volume of content and subscribers on the sub makes getting your AMA noticed a challenging proposition. For these reasons, a smaller brand may find itself drowned out in r/IAmA.
While you can certainly try, it may be more beneficial for you to post your AMA in a subreddit focused on your specific niche or industry. For example, if you’re in the fashion industry, a subreddit like r/fashion or r/streetwear might be a better bet.
The simplest way to find these smaller subreddits is to fire up Google and search for “Reddit”, along with the topic or industry. This will usually pull up quite a few results. You can also find related or recommended subs by checking the sidebar of a subreddit on the site. Wherever you decide to host, be sure to follow any AMA rules or submission guidelines in place.
5. Spread the word about your AMA
It’s a smart idea to plan your AMA in advance, so you have time to do some outreach and promotion. Letting your existing audience outside of Reddit know that you’re conducting an AMA can help ensure you get as much participation as possible. When Redditors see the AMA gaining traction, they may be more likely to come and check it out, hopefully starting a snowball effect.
Twitter, Facebook, your email list, and your website are all excellent places to advertise your AMA. You can also consider sharing it with your LinkedIn connections, or in groups you’re a member of. The more people that are aware of the event, the better.
6. Be an active participant throughout the session
Our last tip is to simply commit to being an active participant in your AMA. Answer as many questions as possible – even the hard or uncomfortable ones. If you don’t get a lot of questions or audience participation, handle it gracefully. You could even extend the AMA time frame, to give more people a chance to pop in.
Finally, don’t be afraid to show a little personality. As an example of what not to do, look at Morgan Freeman’s AMA: his answers were so short, bland, and humorless that many Redditors felt it wasn’t actually the actor doing the typing, but a PR person. Reddit staff members even had to do their own AMA about Freeman’s AMA to settle the conspiracy theories and complaints.
Reddit is a notoriously brutal platform to market on successfully. However, if you’re smart about it, it can also be enormously rewarding. Hosting a Reddit AMA is a potential way to tap into the huge Reddit user base.
To increase your chances of conducting a successful Reddit AMA session, remember these six tips:
- Learn the ins and outs of Reddit ahead of time.
- Be authentic – Redditors are quick to see through marketing attempts.
- Prepare for tough questions, as they’re sure to come.
- Choose the right subreddits to attract a relevant audience.
- Promote the AMA to draw in more participants.
- Actively participate and answer as many questions as possible.
You may also want to check out our guide to Reddit marketing.
The post What Is Reddit AMA, Plus 5 Ways to Run a Successful AMA appeared first on Revive Social.