Now, it is not an exaggeration to say that a Reddit AmA is one of the most powerful engagement tools that you can use to raise your company’s profile and build your personal brand.
But, what is an AmA and why should you care?
AmA stands for “Ask Me Anything”, which is basically just a term used to describe a Q & A session where the person hosting the AmA answers questions in real time from users in a particular subreddit. It makes it easy for people to have meaningful and valuable conversations with their target community. It is pretty much like a press conference where the audience get to ask questions, and you get to engage a large group of people at the same time.
However, the difference is that most of the questions would have been asked prior to the event, so you’ll be answering those questions and taking new questions from the audience. The concept is also similar to a webinar with the difference being that you’re communicating with your audience by text and you’re hosting the session on Reddit. So people don’t have to leave the platform to take part in the Q & A.
Generally, there are two main types of subreddits that are solely dedicated to AmAs, but there are also a few smaller subreddits that are dedicated AmAs.
So, let’s take a look at the dedicated subreddits. This is the /r/iAmA, and this has been used by celebrities, world leaders and CEOs of some of the biggest companies in the world to answer questions from the Reddit community. It starts with: I am A…Ask Me Anything. Over 18 million subscribers, so AmA’s are very popular events.
Examples of Reddit iAmAs
Barack Obama hosted an AMA in 2012 when he was running for re-election. During the AmA, he answered questions in real time for over an hour. Obama’s AMA has been the most popular one of all time brought many new users to Reddit and demonstrated it’s potential as a powerful platform for social discourse.
Principal founder and former CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates hosted an AmA in February 2018 where he answered questions from Redditors for just an hour.
There’s also the slightly less popular but still extremely active /r/AmA subreddit that has around 256,000 subscribers. This is where most members of the public will host their AmAs. In this AmA, anyone with unique insight can choose to host an AmA. Anyone with a unique experience that people would be naturally curious about can host an AmA in this subreddit. Here, you’ll find a number of posts from people stating who they are and asking users to ask them anything.
Here are examples:
Who Can Host AmAs?
There are no official guidelines to host an AmA in any subreddit. However, anyone with a brand, product, service, idea or mission can host an AmA. If you have a specific expertise, unique experience or specialist knowledge that people would consider valuable, you can host an AmA in this subreddit.
- Founders, CEOs and business owners
- Sports stars
- Film makers
- Decision makers
- Community leaders
People with unique experiences or specialist knowledge
Where to Host Your AmA
As a small business owner, neither of these AmAs would be right for you. The best place to host your AmA is the subreddit where you’ve been building your brand because most people there will already know who you are, what you do and why you do what you do. Now, some business owners have made the mistake of hosting their AmA in the wrong subreddit. But as a business owner that’s been building your brand on Reddit, there’s really only one place to host your AmA, and that is the subreddit where your target community is active and where you’ve been building your brand.
What you need to realize is, you’re on Reddit to engage your target audience. These AmAs are designed for the general public. Your AmA should be hosted within the subreddit where you have been building your brand. For example, if you’ve been contributing value in the small business subreddit, that is the subreddit you’ve been using to engage your target audience. And it is the best place to host your AMA. That is why it is very important to build brand authority in a specific subreddit. By the time you’re ready to host the AmA, everybody knows your brand story. They already know who you are, what you do and why you do it. You’re not a stranger to them.
By creating an AmA, you’re making it possible to have valuable real-time conversations with your target audience in the subreddit where you’ve been contributing value. You’re sharing your knowledge and expertise with the very people that you want to convert into customers and clients for your business. And you can use these AmAs to drive tons of targeted traffic to your sales funnel, and generate leads and sales for your business in the process.
The great thing about AmA’s is that with the level of interaction that they offer, they’re a highly effective way to build trust and credibility, and they allow brands to really nurture and engage their target audience. As a business owner, hosting an AmA will help you stand out from your competitors because they allow you to have a real conversation with potential customers and demonstrate exactly what you’ve got to offer. AmAs are personal, intimate and engaging.
Now, don’t get the wrong impression about AmAs. They are not promotional tools. They are engagement tools, and the idea is to engage your audience, not to promote to them. In fact, people who have tried to use AmAs as promotional tools have experienced quite disastrous results. For example, Actor Woody Harrelson made this exact mistake by trying to use his AmA to promote his latest movie. This lead to highly upvoted questions that mocked Woody’s attempt to publicize his movie. At the end of the AmA, most of Woody’s answers were downvoted heavily.
Advantages of Hosting AmAs
- You can engage a large number of Redditors in your target community that already know who you are, what you do and why you do it. Now, an AMA is something you should only do after you’ve been engaging your target community for several weeks. This is really powerful because it builds a lot of trust and credibility for your brand. It demonstrates transparency and openness on your part, and people will come to see you as an expert or an authority in your niche. You’re going to stand out from your competitors. You’re going to be recognized as an expert in your niche.
- AmA’s are really engaging. They are interactive, and the people who are taking part will be able to ask you questions before, during and after the AmA. This is really powerful because you’re able to interact with people who can potentially become your customers or clients.
- Another big benefit of hosting an AmA is the fact that it is hosted on Reddit. That is a really powerful benefit because people don’t need to leave Reddit. They are on their favorite platform asking questions from you. And it demonstrates openness and transparency.
- Now, the biggest benefit of course is that you can drive massive amounts of traffic to your sales funnel. Now, what I suggest that you so is that you have a digital asset that you give away for free. People would need to click a link to your landing page where they can download the asset in exchange for their email address. This could be a video, eBook, presentation, slideshow, app. Anything. Something of value that would be really useful and meaningful to your target audience. For example, if you’re a company that offers local SEO services, you could host an AmA that is designed to educated small business owners on the impact of voice search on local SEO. Now, voice search has exploded in popularity over the past few years and local businesses have the most to gain with voice search. So, this will be your angle. You can also offer them a video or an EBook that explains how to optimize your local business website for voice search. And they will be able to download the free gift by clicking on a link that you post in the AmA.
So, when should you host an AmA for your business?
Well, if you have been consistently providing value in a specific subreddit over a period of time such as 2 to 3 months, it would be a really smart thing to host an AmA in that subreddit.
Now, you might be wondering how AmAs work.
Well, it’s a very simple process.
So, you get started by submitting a post that solicits questions from the subreddit where you’ve been adding value. If people are interested in the topic, they will upvote the AmA, and post questions is the comments section. People can then upvote or downvote the questions which is going to affect the visibility of those questions. But you would typically want to answer all of the questions that are being asked, and you’ll want to answer the most upvoted questions first. Now, the AMA itself typically lasts around one hour, but you can keep answering questions even after the AmA is finished.
Now, you have to post an AmA verification link or photo that proves to Reddit that you’re who you say you are. This is important and if you don’t provide the verification, your post is going to be deleted by the moderators. You can take a photo of yourself holding a special message for Redditors.
You can then post the photo on your website and then link to the photo at the bottom of your body text copy for the AmA. If you cannot do a photo, you can just tweet or post a blog post that announces the AmA, along with your Reddit username.