February 05, 2014

Using Quora to Market Your Business

Original article written on Social Samosa

Quora is quite a rage when it comes to driving loads of knowledge with a pinch of perspective. It uses Social Networking to classify various topics of interest in order to open an avenue to many intelligent minds across the world so that they are able to share their knowledge, opinions and most importantly create a channel to discuss topics of interest with a dash of first hand experience from users who’ve been there and done it all.

Come to think of it, Quora provides a lot of insights and knowledge and probably bears a close resemblance to Wikipedia (minus the perspective element), stock exchange or some other business community forums and curation tools including the likes of Reddit and Digg.
I would have said, Yahoo answers, a decade ago, but as much as I’d like to compare it to the only former alternative that many say would come to this social networking site, it quite frankly doesn’t make the cut and a lot of us know why. So much so that even LinkedIn Answers has shut down and Quora is ruling the world when it comes to providing perspective driven knowledge to many users across the world.
So how, you may ask, can businesses take advantage of this amazing site? I’d like to share with you some aspects that would help businesses grow, build their communities, create awareness amongst niche audiences, provide help with research information that you want, and a lot more.

Building your Brand on Quora

One of the best aspects of Quora is the fact that it gives each and every one an opportunity to create their own brand and provides such perspective about several aspects of what’s happening to the brand and the company which may not necessarily always be  found on press releases or on the company website. Add the brand name and Quora in your Google alerts and you’d be surprised to find out what kind of buzz is out there about your business.
The key, of course, is to be able to monitor how many questions are being asked about your brand, company or anything that’s related to what your company does. Go ahead and answer specific questions that may have been asked about your company. If you’re the community manager for your organization, take up the responsibility of researching upon specific questions directed at your organization.
Run them by relevant departments, and go ahead and provide inputs to the readers and the audience who are clued in to that question. Other than that you may also choose to focus on topics that could be of interest to your target audience. For example, there are many topics that would be relevant to your industry and that’s your cue to go ahead and be the expert on behalf of your company and help the community members.

Researching perspective driven insights for your brand

Yes, you have Wikipedia for a lot of the questions that you are looking for, in general. If you’re working on making a document, trying to analyze certain elements of the market for your business or say you’re looking for experts to help your brand out with respect to research related aspects, then Quora is the right fit for you.
Of course, while a lot of the World Wide Web is a great resource for knowledge and information that is abundantly available out there, Quora will allow you to find and sort information, people and, of course, a lot of material knowledge based on real time, current and perspective driven insights which you may not find elsewhere. Reading someone else’s answers based on their personal experiences gives you the perfect dose of granular details that might be hard to find on any other source across the Internet. So that’s quite the added advantage you get for doing your homework on the right platform.

Industry trends from the experts

While Quora has a collective base of domain driven knowledge of various business related topics which marketers can use to their advantage, it is also full of genuine experts who share their vision without particular perks for themselves, sharing expert opinions that would matter to your brand.
Most importantly, there is a great chance you could find great curated content that would help you prove a point or two if you’re doing research for something niche and particular within your target group, product or to help you market your brand better.

Competition Analysis

Typically I wouldn’t say that Quora is the best platform to find out what the competition is doing, however one edge that Quora might get in this aspect is to research and get to know what other competitors are focusing on, especially if there are answers about their company and inside news / strategy that is being shared on their work.
User cases that are shared on Quora by competition or what the competition has done being out in the public domain could be the best  way to understand, analyze and figure out how you could use that to your advantage.

Traffic, Eyeballs and Audience

One of the major advantages about the Quora ecosystem is you’ll get to know exactly what kind of an audience is viewing a particular question and how popular the question is. There are also opportunities to promote a particular question or an answer to a certain set of people within your following. This will give businesses a clear picture of how you are targeting the right kind of people whom you need to reach out to via your opinion, content and expertise.
The credits, as a currency, typically give you the opportunity to target your specific answers which could contain links to your website, or anything information worthy to allow people to benefit from and at the same time drive traffic towards your specific links. A lot of times, SEO and indexing is highly driven via Quora. If you choose to answer the right question, there is a huge probability that the same question might be the query of many looking for answers through Google and the top result then would be a Quora answer.
Some of these aspects are of course intertwined and there is an element in Quora which empowers brands and businesses to drive their communication, messaging and more importantly allows them to engage with the very specific niche community which you wouldn’t find on other social networks as easily as you think, even LinkedIn for that matter, especially if you have B2B brands. But the most important element of using Quora for business is the attribute of knowing that the consumer of your content is highly intellectual and at the same time a curious kind of a person.
The kind of content you share for your business or personally needs to be out there with a certain level of accuracy, insight, perspective and more importantly be helpful to those who are reading it. And if you’re the one who’s consuming content, you need to understand that while most of the perspective driven insight could provide you with some real answers to the question you’ve asked, you also need to account for the margin of errors and the holistic picture that it is able to provide you.
Having said that, while the benefits of using Quora are many, do consider using this social network as an extension of all the attributes you would use under ordinary circumstances. 

Image Credit: Social Samosa

Srinivas has been a communications professional for over 10 years, and has been blogging since 2005. He has worked with the likes of Social Wavelength, now Mirum India, (A JWT Group Company) for four years and now Heads Learning and Development & Analytics at Social Kinnect: A Digital Marketing Agency in Mumbai. His passion for Advertising, Creativity, Social & Digital Marketing helps make a difference for the brands they work with.