As a content creator, marketer, or expert in your field, one of the easiest things to do is simply share your knowledge and expertise. But sitting in your office staring at a computer screen usually isn’t the best way to inspire your creativity and generate amazing content that will have customers lining up to buy from you.
That’s where Quora really shines. Because every time you log in to Quora and browse through the questions in your area of expertise, you’ll see the exact problems your potential customers are having. And, since you already know how to solve these problems, all you have to do is write the answer to the question!
What Is Quora and How Does It Work?
Quora can best be explained as a cross between Yahoo! Answers and social media. It is a place people go to find the answers to their questions and connect with other people who have similar interests. It’s also a great place for anyone who loves to share information and answers with others.
It allows users to get their questions answered—any question at all, from the meaning of life to everyday phenomena to advanced questions about CSS and HTML.
Quora also gives people like you and me the opportunity to share our expertise with people who are really interested and want to learn more. This is why Quora is one of the most powerful ways for a business to connect with potential customers, because they’re actively seeking out information in the area of your expertise.
If you give people the answers they want, they’ll want to do business with you. And Quora makes it easy for these information-seekers to share your words of wisdom with the world, and therefore grow your brand and online exposure for you, free of charge.
First things first: let’s set up your Quora account and profile! (If you already have a Quora account, you can go ahead and skip to the next section.)
1. Set Up Your Quora Account
Go to Quora.com and create an account.
To actually start your Quora account all you need is your name, an email and a password. You can also create an account using your Facebook, Google, or Twitter accounts.
2. Add Contacts and Follow People
When you create your account, you will be asked to confirm your email or other social media account. When you do this, Quora will access your friends, contacts or followers on that account.
If any of those people are on Quora, you will be asked if you want to follow their Quora activity. Following people on Quora puts their Quora activity on your feed, just like on Facebook of Twitter. You will see the questions they ask, the answers they give, and any answers from other people that they vote on.
After you have picked the people already on Quora that you want to follow, you will be asked to invite the rest of your contact list to join Quora.
3. Add Topics That Interest You
The next step is picking 5 general topic areas in which you want to be involved on Quora. You can unfollow these topics later if you want, but Quora is designed to make people participate, so you have to pick at least 5 topics.
The options are all pretty broad to start: Books, Finance, Dating and Relationships, Marketing, and Science are a few examples. Pick things that interest you and relate to your business, and move on. You’ll be finding the topics you really need to get involved in a bit later.
Then, you’ll be asked to choose subtopics under the five topics you selected. Each main topic will have 4–5 subtopics, and you need to choose a total of at least 5 subtopics.
Try to choose subtopics that are related to the promotion and networking you want to do. If there isn’t anything directly related to your field, pick topics that are somewhat related, or where you might find information helpful to you.
Click the continue button after selecting your five subtopics, and you will be taken to the Quora homepage.
4. Learn to Navigate Your Homepage
The main section of your home page is your feed. Right now this will be filled with recent activity in the topics you’ve selected and by the people you are following. There are two tabs at the top of your feed: Top Stories and Recent Activity.
Top Stories will show you the most popular activity in your feed and Recent Activity will show you the latest events.
You can Upvote or Share interesting events directly from your home page as well.
On the right side of your home page is a column including links to other areas of your Quora (Unanswered Questions in categories you are following, your inbox and a few other points of interest we’ll be looking at later), Trending Topics, a link to complete your profile, and links for connecting your other social media accounts with Quora.
5. Complete Your Profile
Go ahead and click on your name, under Complete Your Profile. Quora is lighter on profile details than many websites. Most of your profile will be filled with your personal feed, so people who visit your profile can easily view the questions and answers you have written. But you’ll want to have a few things ready when you go to fill out the rest of your profile:
- A catchy tagline that relates to your field of expertise
- A recognizable avatar image; If you have other social media accounts, use the same avatar on all of them
- A short About Me description
The tagline goes in the Brief Bio section of the profile, and will show up next to your name every time you post a question, answer, or blog on Quora.
When you are satisfied with your profile and have chosen all the topics you want to follow for now, head back to your homepage.
At the bottom of the right hand column, click on the links to connect your social media to Quora. Your answers and questions on Quora can then be shared on those social media sites. You can choose to have them shared automatically or you can only share specific activity. It’s up to you.
How to Use Quora for Marketing
If you’re a blogger, writer, author, public relations expert, or marketer, Quora will make it easy for you to get your message out there and to find the exact message your market wants and needs.
Step 1. Do a Quora Search for Your Market or Topic
Let’s say you’re in the fashion business and you want to find new product or marketing ideas to grow your business. Simply type in “fashion” in the Quora search box.
Doing so led me to the “Fashion and Style” topic with over 500,000 followers at www.quora.com/Fashion-and-Style-1
You might also want to browse through other related topics even if they’re smaller. Often, it’s the smaller niche topics that can provide some of the best market research and new insights.
Step 2. Browse the Best Questions and Answers
Next, it’s time to do your market research. Here’s what you should look for and why…
a) Questions with No Real Answers
Questions with no answers can be a great source for inspiration and new ideas because it means a potential customer has a problem and no one else knows how to solve it.
If you solve that problem, assuming it’s a big enough problem, that customer and many more will be forced to buy from you because you’ll be the only one in the world offering a solution to that problem!
b) Questions with Dozens or Hundreds of Answers
Questions that get a lot of answers and views mean it’s a hot topic. Chances are, out of a hundred answers, you might find one or two that provide a truly unique twist on current best practices or common sense.
If you can take one of these new ideas and apply them to your product or service, you just might be able to come up with something unique and totally different than what anyone else is offering in your market.
c) Ask Your Own Questions
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, go ahead and ask your own questions for market research. Here are some examples of great market research questions:
- What’s your biggest challenge with [insert your topic, market or product]?
- What new product or service would you invent for [insert your topic, market or product] if you could?
- What do you hate about [insert your topic, market or product]?
- What do you love about [insert your topic, market or product]?
- What problems are there with [insert your topic, market or product] that most people don’t know about or understand?
These are just a few quick suggestions. Brainstorm with your team on more great market research questions you can ask on Quora. You’ll never know what one answer could change your business and your life forever until you ask!
Using Quora for Reputation Management and Proactive Customer Service
Many big companies and brands still don’t realize that their products and services are being discussed on Quora. That’s a huge mistake and a lost opportunity for them. But it can be a gold mine for you!
The first thing you’ll want to do is type in your name, your company’s name, and any product or service brand names you own in Quora to see if anything comes up. If there are already questions about you or your company, go ahead and answer them intelligently.
For example, there’s a question on Quora, “Is Coca-Cola toxic?” Maybe Coca-Cola doesn’t feel like it needs to address such issues, but if you’re a small business, you can’t afford not to answer a question like that!
Provide your customers with the best, most up-to-date information you can, and they will appreciate the information and your proactiveness in responding to their concerns.
You can also have a friend ask your own questions for you, or just ask them anonymously yourself about your products or services. Then answer the question as thoroughly as you can.
This is being proactive about customer service. If someone does have a problem in the future and types that question into Quora, it’ll pop up and they’ll see your answer right away.
Interacting with Other Users
If you are using Quora to promote yourself or your business, then interacting with other users is a critical part of your Quora experience. These interactions can be brief or ongoing.
The most important thing is to make them repeat. The more often someone sees your name, the more likely they are to remember you. The more often they see you have something interesting or relevant to say, the more likely they are to seek you out when they need information or assistance.
Useful Quora Features
Many of these Quora features will save you time, some will help you find information faster, and others are just really cool or interesting.
1. Search page
You can search for any questions, answers or topics on Quora.
2. Monitor Questions
Monitoring questions is a great way to stay in the loop if you want to learn more about a specific topic. It’s also a great way to spy on the competition and see how they’re answering questions.
3. Manage Topics
By managing a topic, you can add aliases, merge two topics that are the same, delete topics, and more.
4. Answer Change Log
Quora keeps a log of all changes to answers. Some users don’t like it, but it provides a lot of transparency and openness to the system. It can also help keep users from stealing other people’s ideas, or crowdsourcing responses, to make their answer appear the best or most comprehensive.
5. User Endorsements Page
You can endorse other users on Quora, and they can endorse you. This rarely used feature can be a great way to get more exposure and add credibility to your Quora profile. See www.quora.com/Tom-Corson-Knowles/endorsements
6. Redirecting Questions and Answers
You can redirect questions and/or answers on Quora. This is useful if there are two questions that are basically the same. Generally, you should redirect the question with the least answers to the question with the most answers.
You can also redirect answers if you feel that answer is applicable to a different question.
7. Mark as Best Answer
You can mark an answer as Best Answer and that will feature that answer at the top, as well as let people know it’s the best answer.
8. Editing Questions and Question Details
You can edit your questions and question details at any time. If you’re not getting any good answers, try changing the question or adding in question details that might help potential answering members!
If you get a lot of great answers to your question, you can add the main highlights in an Answer Summary, which will then appear just under the question and above the answers. This can help other users get the information a lot faster rather than reading through all the answers.
9. Not For Reproduction
Quora has a settings button under each of your answers. If you click it, there’s an option to mark your answer as “Not for Reproduction.” If you mark it not for reproduction, you will have to give a reason why you don’t want the answer reproduced. Then, the words “Not for Reproduction” will appear next to your answer.
Your reason for making it Not for Reproduction will be shown in your answer log as well. For example, if you’re sharing your trademarked system for a process in your answer, you might not want others sharing that information outside of Quora.
This gives intellectual property holders more flexibility and control over your content you post on Quora, which is a great improvement over some other social networks.
10. Browsing Best Answers
Click on any topic and on the topic page you’ll find a “best answers” section. This section usually contains truly inspired stuff. If you ever find yourself with some free time, you should go to topics that interest you on Quora and read the best questions.
Your Quora Blog
Blogging is a powerful social media tool, and Quora recognizes that. If you don’t already have a blog, don’t worry. Quora provides you with one.
Unlike a regular blog, your Quora blog is only accessible to other Quora users. However, that doesn’t make it any less valuable within the Quora community. And if you have linked your Quora account to other social media, you can share your Quora blog with those networks as well.
The Quora blog is the “next step” in building your Quora network and reputation. While your answers and questions will show up in the feed of anyone who is following the topic, your blog posts show up in the feed of the people who have chosen to follow you.
Your goal here is to make the blog valuable to these followers. To write about things that interest them, to share links to relevant websites and Quora questions and generally to provide value to them. When you provide value to your readers, they come back for more.
Everyone on Quora automatically has a blog they can post to. The URL for this blog is www.quora.com/user-name/blogs. The title of the blog will start out as “User Name’s Posts” but the title can be edited at any time. You can add other people as authors to your blog, write a description of your blog, and set topics that the blog will be about.
Your Quora blog settings allow you to change the blog from Public to Private to Secret. Secret blogs can only be viewed by blog members. Public blogs can be viewed by anyone. Private blogs will show up in other members’ feeds, but the full posts can only be seen by peoplethe blog owner approves.
The best option will vary from person to person, but in general if your goal is promoting yourself, keeping your blog public is usually a good idea.
Your blog should be updated regularly. It doesn’t matter what schedule you update on, just try to find a schedule you can stick to. The more content you put up, the more chances you have for someone to find your blog, and you.
Making Quora Work for Your Business
Quora is a relatively new platform, and is still growing and adapting. As you explore marketing your business on Quora, keep your eyes open for changes that may create new opportunities or alter existing practices.
Experiment to find the ratio of answers, comments, and blog posting that works for you. Play around with social media and how best to integrate your current social media plan with your Quora activity.
The possibilities may not be endless, but they are immense.
Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments below!