In follow up to a number of product updates and launches at my company's kick-off this year, one of our Product Marketing Managers is going to host an Ask Me Anything thread on our product/support community to which we will field questions on these new releases.
Does anybody have any tips / best practice insights on Ask Me Anything (AMA) posts?
We have not done anything like this in our Community but it is something that has been thrown around for a little while. I'd love to hear how this goes in your Community (& more about Expert Days @Wendy_S)!
I think one big thing to think about is to set the rules of the road, both internally and externally. Typically with AMA's anything goes; however, you want to make sure that the questions are staying within your Community Guidelines. Here's an example scenario - Customer A posts a question and gets an answer, Customer B doesn't like the answer and posts the same question again (maybe repeatedly) or starts posting negative comments about the response. For internal rules, how will you handle follow up questions: will those all be answered or will some be left alone - how is this choice made? What is the turnaround time or SLA for answers during the AMA?
There might also be topics that are not allowed, make sure to state this open and honestly prior to the AMA so there are no surprises for your audience. Giving a reason why topics are not allowed might also help justify why you are taking those items off the table. I'm thinking that from a support perspective you might be asked about a product roadmap for the coming year, asked about any hot issues going on with the company, or something from left field. Try to think ahead to those questions, so that if you need to get an answer/statement from someone besides the main person on the AMA (maybe PR, product, marketing, etc.), you can get their input prior to "game day." This might also become a challenge to make answers not seem scripted if you have some prepared statements around specific topics, your audience will notice if the tone or personality are different on some posts.
One last thing - are you going to create an AMA board or are you creating a thread? I can see use cases for each option. If you create a board, each person can post a new message, allows for easy same day moderation of merging together all of the same/similar questions, and might make it easy for your "host" if they are not extremely familiar with Community. On the flip side of that, if you continue to do AMA's is it a new board every time or after the AMA is complete will you merge everything together into one big thread so that you can then do another at a later time? If you went with a thread, it helps with management of future AMA's but, depending on volume replies could potentially get lost/missed.
Good luck! Let us know how it turns out.
Thanks for the heads ups about this! Looks like I do not have access to that area of the Community.