I’m sure you would have heard of Quora by now. Quora is the social network that raised funds at a valuation of $800m although it has not generated a single dollar of cash. It is essentially a Question-Answer network, where users can post questions, and the community can answer them. Quora is populated by a bigger chunk of influencers (venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts) than other social networks and can help get traction for your product.
When you use it appropriately, Quora can be a good addition to your other social media campaigns. Since, the demographic in Quora is slightly different from that of Facebook or Twitter, you can get to target additional markets through your campaigns.
Although it is a small network (compared to Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest) and is against overt marketing (in some ways it has a Wikipedia type attitude towards advertising), you can still leverage the network without violating the community’s rules and standards.
There are 5 main advantages of using Quora:
- You can more effectively build a reputation within your topic or niche that will help people trust your recommendations and judgement. I have found it easier to build my reputation through Quora than through Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
- By answering questions, in a correct manner that helps the community, you can show you are an expert in the topic. Since people see your company name & your role at the top of your answers, you get a free way to promote your brand name. If the answer is of high quality, you will get a lot of hits & eyeballs for your brand.
- You can network with the influencers and early adopters. It is essentially a social network and people love to follow those who create quality content.
- You can do free market research and customer survey on your target market.
- You can get free consultancy on various aspects of your business and marketing strategy from the experienced users. It is essentially a tapping the wisdom of crowds.
How do you leverage Quora?
- Create a bio about yourself and your role in the company. Include your topic of interests and your background. Like LinkedIn and Facebook, you are expected to give your real name and photo.
- Start following people in your area. Upvote and comment on their responses to the topics you know well. This can get into a conversation lead to an offline meeting.
- Spend a few minutes every day to identify the questions relevant to you and find out if you can sufficiently answer any of the questions. Take time to answer the question to the best of your abilities and share them with your network on Twitter and Facebook. Answering one question a day with a good response can greatly enhance your reputation over time.
- When you need help with your business, ask a question, including the relevant experts in the field (using the “Ask an Answer” feature). Write the question with sufficient detail. When you get a good answer, thank the poster.
- Always be transparent and honest about your connections with any companies about whom you are answering. Never be aggressive in pushing your product. Your focus should on reputation building rather than on cheap marketing.