After spending several months on the Q&A site, at first just to listen and more recently as a participant, it’s safe to say that Quora is turning into something special. It’s been rather daunting to the say the least. Not long ago Quora was nothing more than an extremely niche service. It was kind of a virtual hangout for tech entrepreneurs and startup devotees. Some big name investors and tech commentators such as Robert Scoble and Mark Suster have been active on the site, but at first Quora was reserved just for the elite of the silicon valley and tech crowd.
The early adoption stage
Quora is still rather a niche site, but its grown from relative obscurity to the early adoption stage. Those outside the startup/social media/tech/investment spaces are for the most part oblivious, but those who are in those scenes are flocking to Quora in large numbers. Write ups from TechCrunch, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal are partially to blame. When I first joined only a few of my Twitter followers were on the site, and now a large portion of them have profiles. Many of which have become daily users. One only needs to spend a short amount of time on Quora to discover the attraction behind it. The process of finding answers, asking questions, and helping others is somewhat addictive. It’s genuine and can be productive (although very time consuming).
Once a social network begins to cross the threshold into mainstream appeal, opportunities will arise. Right now the question isn’t if brands should have a Quora strategy, it’s what will that strategy consist of. Currently Quora doesn’t allow brands themselves to have accounts (Mashable’s Quora account was made inactive recently and is a prime example), but that doesn’t rule out the possibility of using Quora to fulfill marketing and customer service objectives. Instead of putting a brand front in center, the employee’s within an organization can act as brand connoisseurs by putting their job title and employer information inside their profile.
Like all social networks, Quora is another place to form relationships and increase brand recognition. By answering questions and proving expertise within a certain field, there is an opportunity to develop relationships. At times opportunities may present themselves in the form of direct questions (if a user asks something in particular about your brand), but more often an opportunity will come up through answering an indirect questions (a question related to your particular industry). Don’t expect to receive a lot of site traffic directed from Quora at this point, but opportunities to form relationships shouldn’t be undervalued. The people who use Quora tend to be smart and web savvy. Use Quora as a platform to meet these people and form deeper connections with already established contacts. At minimum it’s time to start exploring the possibilities.