At first glance, Quora looks like another Yahoo Answers, a site where people can post questions and users can answer, but it’s much more than that. Quora is an ingenious combination of social networking, wiki and question and answer site rolled into one. It’s Yahoo Answer on steroids, and it’s growing in popularity.
How Does It Work?
Quora allows its members to post questions to the growing Quora community or search for questions in their own area of expertise to answer on a variety of topics. What distinguishes it from other online question and answer sites is the social experience. If Quora members like your answers, they can follow you or vote your answers up or down, making them more or less visible.
To add another dimension to the experience, members can edit answers in the same way entries can be edited on Wikipedia. It’s an interactive question and answer site with an added social component.
If you market online, you may be wondering how Quora can help you sell more products or services. Quora isn’t a site where you can blatantly advertise, but there are ways that you can use it to create awareness of your business or brand. Here’s how.
Share Your Knowledge and Gain Followers
After signing up with Quora, fill in up your bio. This is your opportunity to tell people about you and your business and include a link to your website. Once you’ve completed the bio, search for questions related to your area of expertise. Then start following and answering them. If you provide useful information, people will go to your bio to find out more about you and visit your website. Because you’re viewed as a trusted expert, people will be interested in the products you have to offer.
What if you sell a number of different products or services? Quora lets you have multiple topic-related bios. That means when you share your fitness knowledge with the community, people can view your fitness bio and visit your website that sells fitness products. If you sell kitchen tools, you can have a separate bio that highlights your culinary knowledge with a link to your site that offers kitchen products.
One word of warning. Quora isn’t a place for blatant self-promotion. An occasional mention of your company in a post is acceptable but only if it adds value to the community. If you try to push your products, your answers will be voted down, edited or even deleted by Quora. Focus on delivering useful information to readers.
Use Quora as a Research Tool
In Quora you will easily find ideas for blog posts, articles, ebooks and informational products that relate to your business. Search using the appropriate keywords and you’ll find out what questions people are asking about a particular topic or product and what information they want to know. You can choose to follow any number of different questions that relate to the products you sell. It’s a simple way to get into the minds of people who have problems that your products can solve.
Follow What People Are Saying about Your Business and Products
Quora is also a good place to monitor what people are saying about your business and your competitors’ business. It also gives you the opportunity to add your own input to the question thread. Set up a Google alert to let you know when your company name is mentioned on Quora by using the query “Quora xxxxx.” Fill in the xxxxx with the name of your company. Google will send you an email when your company is mentioned. You can do the same for your competitors and their products.
Quora is a unique platform for building awareness of your company and products, but use it the right way, to provide useful information that leads people to your profile or bio. It’s an effective research tool to help develop new products for your business. Enjoy the Quora experience.
P.S. Quora is still on invite-only for non US people, even if questions and answers are open to everybody. If anyone wants an invitation, just leave a comment on this post including your email address. We’ll send a Quora invitation asap.