We want to help marketers conduct successful reddit AMAs that contribute value to the reddit community. So we compiled a list of the most common mistakes we see on a regular basis and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Not identifying yourself in the AMA title
You have to let the audience know who you are in the title. This does not necessarily mean you need to state your name, especially if your name is not generally known among the audience. Here is a perfect example of this blunder that was posted to r/Music:
Alvin Risk is popular among certain audiences, but a mainstream audience like r/Music (over 5 million subscribers) will have a significant number of users that do not know who he is. In this case, he should have listed some credentials after his name (e.g. “I am Alvin Risk and a professional DJ. AMA”).
Avoid this mistake by honestly assessing your popularity among the community you are engaging. Search for your name in the subreddit to see if redditors know who you are and if they are talking about you. If you are well known in the subreddit, feel free to go the “I am Bill Gates, AMA” route. Otherwise, be more descriptive in the title to avoid excluding redditors that do not know who you are.
2. Not Answering the most upvoted question
This is the cardinal sin of the reddit AMA. The question that gets the most upvotes must be answered, no excuses. What commonly happens is someone will answer AMA questions for 2-3 hours and then stop checking the thread for new questions. After they stop checking the thread, a question gets voted up to the top. Now, whenever a redditor views the AMA the first thing they see is a question with lots of upvotes and no response. This looks bad and will negatively impact the way redditors perceive your AMA.
Avoid this mistake by checking your AMA once or twice per hour for the rest of the day to see if any new questions have been voted up towards the top of the comments section. Be sure to come back at least once the next day to make sure any highly voted questions have been answered. If the most upvoted question is one that you do not want to answer, it is still important to give some type of response so redditors know that you saw the question and chose not to answer it.
3. Holding the AMA in r/IAmA
r/IAmA is the what we often call the “big AMA subreddit”. It has over 6 million subscribers and is the place where every celebrity holds their AMA. If you have a very compelling story and mass appeal, r/IAmA is the place to hold your AMA. Otherwise, you should be looking for a subreddit that is more targeted and interested in you.
Avoid this mistake by doing research to see if anyone similar to you has done an AMA in r/IAmA. Look at how their AMA did in terms of votes and comments and then decide if you should look for a more niche subreddit. There are thousands of subreddits so don’t be afraid to venture into smaller communities for your AMA.
4. Only answering questions for 1 to 2 hours after posting
Not giving enough of your time can hurt the reception of your AMA. It will seem like you did not really want to do the AMA and redditors will take note by downvoting your lack of commitment.
Avoid this mistake by only doing an AMA if you are ready to commit at least 3-4 hours of your time to answering questions. You should spend 1-2 hours answering questions right after submitting your AMA, then come back an hour or two later to answer more questions for another hour (or until all questions are answered). Then you should check the thread periodically the rest of the day and at least one time the next day.
Don’t make these reddit AMA mistakes!
By not making these common mistakes, you will be one step ahead of the game and that much closer to holding a successful reddit AMA.