Gary Vaynerchuk is possibly the most well known marketing expert alive and he has been a major inspiration for us to dive deep into the reddit platform. He has written bestselling books, delivered amazing keynote speeches, and he runs a top marketing firm that employs over 400 people in New York (and growing to other cities as we speak). Gary is also known for his Q&A’s (see the #AskGaryVee Show or the end of any of his conference talks). So it wasn’t much of a surprise when he decided to do a reddit AMA in December of 2013.
However, the results of his AMA were pretty mediocre for such an attention grabbing figure. There were less than 500 comments and only 76% of readers upvoted the AMA. These numbers aren’t terrible, but they certainly do not reflect the value that Gary can bring to a Q&A session.
So how could have Gary’s AMA been better? What could he do in a new AMA to grab more attention and engage more redditors? This article will analyze Gary’s AMA in December of 2013 and give recommendations to make his next reddit AMA a hit.
Improving the Title
The most important aspect of crafting an attention-grabbing AMA is the Title. The title is what every IAmA subscriber will see first and largely determines how many clicks and votes an AMA receives. Gary’s AMA title wasn’t bad, but there are a few ways it could have been improved.
- The average redditor doesn’t know who Gary is. This simple fact puts Gary out of the ‘celebrity’ AMA category and forces him into the ‘what extraordinary thing have you done?’ AMA category. This means the title should have included an accomplishment (or two) of Gary’s, not just labels. We need something that grabs redditors’ attention, like “I grew my family’s wine business by xx millions of dollars in only x years and now I’m taking over the New York marketing industry. AMA.” Redditors don’t care what your name is if they don’t know what you have done. Saying your name can actually turn people off in this situation (we call this the “I’ve never heard of him so I don’t care” effect).
- The “IAmA” abbreviation was used incorrectly. This could cause some redditors to downvote or not click. If you use the IAmA abbreviation, make sure it makes sense grammatically. Going back to our first point, Gary could have simply left out his name and kept the IAmA (“IAmA serial entrepreneur, NYT bestselling author…”).
- No mention of marketing? I know Gary doesn’t want to proclaim himself as a marketing guru, but it helps to give context to your expertise. People can read in the title that Gary is a NYT Bestselling Author, but what does Gary write about? Some redditors may have not clicked on the AMA simply because they don’t know what Gary’s expertise is.
- Most redditors are probably not familiar with Wine Library TV. It would have been better to say, “former host of the first video blog about wine”.
Improving the Body
The AMA body text is a chance to elaborate on who you are and what you have done. This text should give people more context for asking questions and it also serves to validate your expertise. Overall, Gary’s AMA body text was pretty good, but we have a few tips below that could have made it better.
- What experience does Gary have with reddit? It is important to let redditors know if you are a reddit user and why you are doing an AMA. Gary alluded to the fact that Q&A’s are great content but he never tied it together (e.g. “Q&A is the single most valuable kind of content I can provide and that’s why I am excited to do my first reddit AMA.”).
- There is a grammatical error. Not a deal breaker by any means, but it does downgrade your AMA as redditors can be judgmental. Slang is ok, but outright typos are not well-received. This error (“build” should have been “built) wasn’t too egregious, but little things like this make a difference.
- Include more details about the success of Vayner Media. The growth of the company has been amazing and there should be a note about this.
- When mentioning Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook… There is no mention of why people would want to create great content for social platforms. Something should have been mentioned about the marketing/sales benefits of reading his book. And again, the term ‘marketing’ is never mentioned in the entire body and this is what Gary knows best.
Add a Photo to the Verification Tweet
Gary neglected to do a proper photo verification for his AMA. He did verify via a tweet, but it would have been nice for Gary to snap a quick photo with a reddit alien. Not a huge deal, but redditors appreciate AMA hosts who display their enthusiasm for the community. We also know Gary understands the personal connection created with a photo, as he is a huge player on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter Video (video verification would have been a great touch!).
Choosing the right scheduling
We know Gary is busy, but doing an AMA on a Saturday is a horrible choice. This is one of the least active periods on reddit and the r/IAmA subreddit.
We can see from the chart above that Monday or Tuesday are the best days. And, any weekday is drastically better than a Saturday. Again, we understand that Gary is busy, but why waste quality weekend time on an AMA when no one is around to engage?
Choosing a subreddit
Gary is certainly qualified to hold an AMA in the main r/IAmaA subreddit, but we think Gary could have lots of success in the r/Marketing subreddit. Although the subreddit is MUCH smaller (only 40k subscribers), the Marketing community on reddit is well aware of Gary Vaynerchuk and they would have gone nuts if Gary showed up there for an AMA. The r/SocialMedia subreddit is another possibility.
An AMA in a smaller subreddit would have also turned into a longer-running post (Gary said he wanted this in his edit). With bigger and better AMAs being posted to r/IAmA every day, posts don’t hang around for very long.
TL;DR and Will Gary do another AMA?
Gary is someone we truly look up to and we hope he gives reddit another shot. His ability to provide value through Q&A is undeniable and a more well-planned AMA could be huge. Our biggest recommendation would be to choose a weekday for scheduling. We also would love to see Gary venture into the smaller Marketing or Social Media subreddits for a more intimate AMA. These threads would not reach as far but they would be very deep conversations with a targeted audience.