Quora’s rise is all the buzz as the digitally savvy crowd try out the latest social media phenomenon. I find it to be a great site for research and participation. We see thought leaders from Steve Case to Vint Cerf using the tool to get there messages out, answering questions that involve their brands, and enjoying the search optimization visibility benefits the emerging platform delivers to its aggressive user base.
First, what is Quora?
Quora is “a continually improving resource of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it. The most important thing is to have each question page become the best possible resource for someone who wants to know about the question.” Like Wikipedia, Quora is a collaborative effort, where users are meant to document the world around them. Over time, the database of knowledge should grow until almost everything that everyone wants to know is available in the system. Over the last couple of weeks, Quora’s traffic has doubled, likely making it the “breakout site” of 2011.
After extensive research, I am confident in saying that B2B, B2C, and B2G companies should become Savvy with Quora as it is likely the social networking site will become increasingly more important as part of a holistic digital media strategy. Here are some ways that Quora could benefit B2B social media engagement and further business development:
Establish thought-leadership within your specific industry
Asking and answering important and timely questions about your industry shows other industry leaders, prospects and clients that you keep yourself informed about market research and other key developments. The beauty of Quora is that it preserves its participants’ thought-leadership, as it banks questions and answers forever. Also, because attention to quality questions and answers is fundamental to the success of Quora, the Quora team ensures that you always sound professional by enforcing proper spelling, grammar, punctuation and style. People can also vote on your answers, which can elevate you to an “expert” status.
The user interface and user experience approach and how it integrates with social media is some of the genius that they deliver. Smart integration with Facebook. Sound policing systems to avoid a spam filled environment, and other smart techniques are driving great quality consistently across all topics for all industries.
Connect and build relationships with industry experts, prospects and existing clients
If you are going to use social media in your digital media strategy, you must be present everywhere people could reasonably expect you to be. I mentioned previously that Quora is on the rise. There are already thousands of individuals to connect with from multiple industries participating on the site. Like any social networking site, engagement with fellow industry experts, prospects and clients offers many rewards, including brand awareness, loyalty, promotion and business opportunities. Demonstrating thought leadership on Quora can also help you expand and develop your community based on the exchange of helpful and insightful professional information, which consequently encourages others to turn to you for professional assistance.
Also, while individuals interested in your business may not expect to find you on Quora immediately, as they may Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, it is still important for you to keep it on your radar. I am hopeful that applications like Posterous and other social shrapenal tools will integrate Quora so that content produced on Quora can be published elsewhere with ease. Keep in mind that early adopters of new media tools can get the first-mover advantage over those who join late. For example, if you are quick to answer questions related to your industry, you have a good chance of earning loyal followers, an opportunity that other businesses may miss. Also, if Quora becomes a sensation over the next few months, you will already have a firm enough grasp on the tool to be able to participate competently right away.
More often than not, people turn to Google to find answers to their questions. Quora has a solid SEO platform that ensures questions and answers from their site surface on search engines. By being a regular contributor to Quora, you have a better chance of surfacing in a search of questions related to your industry.
Get your urgent questions answered by experts
The purpose of Quora is to ask questions which require immediate answers. There are currently thousands of experts from multiple fields participating on Quora. Use their expertise to ask hard and specific questions. If you run into an issue, especially if it’s technology-related, chances are someone else has experienced the same thing at one point or another. Post it on Quora to receive fast answers and connect with others who share your experiences.
So, do you plan on leveraging Quora in your marketing strategy? Try it and let me know what you think. Its my pick for the hot web brand of 2011. Any questions?