We first came across Quora a few months ago, and it was one of those things that we looked at, played with and liked…but then forgot all about. However, New Year, new start and all that, we decided to take another peek, and here are our initial thoughts.
Quora, not unlike Yahoo or LinkedIn answers, provides a place for users to ask and answer questions in a public forum and for these answers to be voted on. This means that the quality answers are given more weight, which helps the site to become a more valid resource.
The question and answer format also allows a writer a little more freedom than when they blog, as they don’t need to consider whether anyone is interested in what they have to say, or spend time thinking of a topic and worrying no one will care about it if they write it a certain way. The captive audience is already there, and they are interested in what you have to say.
Quora also benefits from facilitating a more open online identity as you can only log in with your twitter or facebook log in which means your online community is exposed to more about you and also allows Quora to follow questions and subjects you are likely to be interested in.
So, as a personal tool Quora is really interesting, community driven and an actual resource, but how can you use it as part of your marketing mix?
Well the naysayers will always say that isn’t the point of something like this and that marketers using it ‘ruins’ the service, but that isn’t the case if they use it sensibly.
So obviously don’t go around stuffing a load of self promotion and links into all your answers, but use Quora to show what you (and by default your organisation) know and that you are always happy to help and share your knowledge, and if you do have a useful, related resource then add a link to it in your answer.
Don’t just answer questions either, ask them too and you might be surprised what you find. Use the questions for market research to find out likes, dislikes and trends, as well as for recruitment and fact finding.
The organisations that get the most out of Quora, will be the ones who understand its community values, the importance of their own brand’s reputation and who aren’t always focused on the push sell. So don’t just think of it as another platform for pushing out your message: get involved in the Quora community.