Founded by former Facebook CTO Adam D’Angelo, Quora describes itself as a “Continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it.”
More simply though, Quora is a question and answer site, similar to Yahoo Answers but with tighter controls on who should post and a different reward system that is designed to encourage thoughtful conversations, rather than just answering for the sake of answering.
Though it might be easy to dismiss Quora as a “me too” Q&A service, it’s a tool that marketers should be paying close attention to as it is a service that not only allows users to flex their expertise and interact with others one-on-one, but it also integrates well with other elements of one’s marketing campaign.
What Makes Quora Different
The big difference between Quora and other Q&A services is that it doesn’t simply let anyone create an account and post. Rather, users are required to use either their Facebook or Twitter accounts to sign up.
This not only reduces the number of junk accounts, but also offers ways off the site to connect with those who you meet and interact with on Quora. Users can also share questions on Twitter and Facebook in a bid to encourage others to answer or follow them.
Also, there is no reward system for simply answering questions. Rather, Quora is much like Twitter in that it is about following others and obtaining followers, which helps to produce better answers.
Likewise, the site’s members vote on the best result and follow conversations that they find interesting, tilting the site more toward full conversations rather than fact-based questions with one right answer.
Why Marketers Need to Take Notice
All in all, there are three reasons why marketers should take a closer look at Quora, even if they haven’t done so with other Q&A sites:
- Chance to Show Expertise: The conversations favor intellectual discussions on Quora, making it a great place to showcase one’s knowledge and expertise. The site prominently displays company information (should you put it in your headline), making it a great opportunity to get one’s abilities out there to a new audience.
- Get Honest Feedback: Likewise, from a PR standpoint, Quora can work as a something of a focus group, allowing you to get honest feedback from a wide range of real people on a variety of topics with a minimal number of trolls.
- Social Media Integration: Quora interacts with your existing social media accounts on multiple levels including letting you follow users on Twitter and Facebook, sending out questions over your social media channels and inviting others to ask you questions via them.
In short, what Quora does best is provide a Q&A site that focuses on real people having real conversations wrapped in a social media layer that works well with your existing marketing efforts.
This makes it a great means to connect more effectively with others and do more than just self-promote.
The Beautiful thing about Quora is that, since it only recently came out of private beta, the site is still small enough for a newcomer to make a mark that will last as the service grows.
Given the potential of the service. It makes sense to get involved now so your presence can grow with the site, letting you open up new opportunities for marketing and promotion to a new audience, while at the same time, providing a valuable service to those on the site.
It’s a potential win-win for marketers but only if one jumps in now, before the service becomes too crowded.