One of the most popular subreddits is /r/IAmA (“I Am A”) where a user may post “AMAs” (for “Ask Me Anything”) – which prompts for others to ask questions about any topic…literally, any topic.
A Reddit AMA can be a great opportunity for a business or individual to reach a large audience by answering questions about an expertise or service in real time. The r/IAmA subreddit is one of the most influential parts of Reddit, hosting guests that include A-list celebs, SR-71 pilots, and even President Obama.
If you are interested in doing an AMA for your business, a group, or for yourself, this post will cover seven important tips needed to successfully host a Reddit AMA.
Here are some tips to consider when building out your strategy and timeline:
- Begin planning the AMA six weeks in advance
- Pick a mid-week day to host the AMA
- Schedule it for early afternoon (EST) to maximize your audience
- Host the AMA for a minimum of three hours
Do you have an account? If not, create one! Take time to read posts. Do you understand the structure for upvoting, downvoting, and commenting?
Upvoting – when you find a post or comment engaging, interesting, unique
Downvoting – when you find a post derails the conversation, is irrelevant
Commenting – when you really want to engage in something
*NOTE: Do not upvote your own posts or comments. Reddit will actually ding you for this and you end up losing credit.
The subreddit for AMA is /r/IAmA and can be found here http://www.reddit.com/r/iama. You should familiarize yourself with the format and structure of past AMAs and the page as a whole. Read through the Rules and FAQs tab, search past and future AMAs by category, and if you have questions, reach out to the AMA moderators (mods) who are extremely helpful and responsive.
One rule of hosting a Reddit AMA is that you must provide proof showing you are who you say you are. This can easily be done in two ways:
- The best way to do this: Create a page on your website that shows your photo and has a one-sentence blurb saying you are X and will be hosting a Reddit AMA on X date. You can then include this link in your bio when you submit the AMA.
- Use your Twitter handle and post a photo of you holding a piece of paper that includes the above. You can Tweet this out prior to your AMA (a couple of weeks or even days in advance). For example:
Submit via email to the mods at email@example.com. You can let them know weeks in advance that you plan to host a AMA along with your:
- Reddit username
- Description for your bio
NOTE: Most Reddit mods support their subreddits on a volunteer basis, so it’s best to send your information to them well in advance to give enough time for them to receive it and answer any questions.
At this point you have figured out your timeline, built the description for your AMA bio, created a proof page or post, and checked in with the IAmA mods. Now begin to think about who else in the Reddit community might be interested in who you are or what you are answering.
When you post your AMA, you may be able to crosspost the AMA to other subreddits that target a similar audience. For this, you definitely want to reach out to the mods of any subreddits you see fitting and ask if they would allow a crosspost the day of, and if so, if they would be interested in sticking the crosspost to the top of the page.
How do you cross post on Reddit?
The day you post your AMA and make it live, create a new submission in the appropriate subreddit you wish to crosspost. Keep the same title but add “(x-post from /r/IAmA).” Make the URL to the submitted article’s URL on Reddit so that the cross post links directly to the original post. If you contacted the mods of this subreddit, you should send them a direct message as well letting them know you just crossposted and that your AMA is live.
For example, if you are a plumber (like this recent AMA), and you have lots of DIY tips that could save people time, stress, and money – you may want to consider crossposting your AMA to subreddits like, /r/homeimprovement, /r/DIY, /r/plumbing – to name a few. It’s no guarantee they will allow you to crosspost and sticky it, but it’s worth asking! The more eyes on your post, the better.
Going back to your initial planning and timeline, you should be sure to give yourself at least a week prior to hosting your AMA some time to perform outreach and let others know you will be answering any and all questions. You may be surprised by the number of people in your network who actively use Reddit (one in 11 people in the U.S. are Reddit users) or who want to support you and tune in during the AMA. Some outreach opportunities include, but are not limited to:
- Email blast to friends, family, co-workers with details on what you are doing and what Reddit is
- Look for social groups who have an interest in your topic
- Find organizations or community groups who have an interest in your topic
Once your AMA is live, be sure to send everyone you initially reached out to your live AMA link so they can easily access it. If you use Twitter, be sure to post it on your account and tag Reddit AMA for them to potentially share out your AMA details to their +62 thousand followers!
There are plenty of AMAs that completely flopped, like the ones you can read in this Mashable list of pretty well known AMAs that gained attention for their failure.
Remember, you don’t have to be famous to host an AMA. A recent AMA that had wild success (and mentioned earlier) is the AMA a licensed plumber hosted to give people some basic emergency DIY advice.
It had over 8,000 comments!
There is no guarantee your AMA is going to be a home run, but with ample planning, using Reddit’s resources, referring to the AMA mods for guidance, and answering truthfully, you should be able to host an effective AMA.
If you have any additional pieces of advice for hosting a Reddit AMA, please comment below!