Quora is one of online marketing's best kept secrets. Savvy marketers and thought-leaders are using it to enhance their personal and corporate brands. However, some shifty self-promoters are also abusing it daily.
Whether you're already a dedicated Quora user or thinking about dipping your toes in the water, here are the right and wrong ways to use it:
The Wrong Way: Promoting your crap
Quora is flooded with questions from people who are looking for the best provider of a product or service. Inevitably what happens is founders and marketers descend upon these questions, recommending themselves. These users' profiles are filled with essentially the same answer to multiple questions: "Check out (my website)."
The problem with this is that it smacks of self-promotion, and the asker ends up with nothing better than if they had they just Googled their question.
If your product is good, people (who don't work for you) will naturally recommend your products and services. If this is happening on Quora, you've won the battle. If it's not, ask yourself why people aren't recommending you.
The Right Way: Being a helpful resource
Answering questions on Quora with thoughtful and informed ideas and advice is an excellent way to establish yourself as an expert and enhance your credibility.
Answering questions in the topics that your business operates in without promoting your business will have a "trickle-down equity" effect, in the same way that educational content on your blog does. Rather than presenting your products or services as the best solution, present yourself or your staff as experts. In doing so, people will make positive assumptions and judgments about your business.
Other Positive Uses:
Understanding what questions are being asked about a specific topic can inform your content marketing efforts.
There may be people discussing your brand on Quora threads. If your Google or Moz alerts aren't picking them up, consider spending a few minutes a week browsing topics that pertain to your business.
If you spend a lot of time answering questions, consider repurposing that content into blog posts that live on your domain.
Other users' answers are great candidates for content repurposing. Reach out to them and get their permission before you republish any of their expert advice.
What about you? How are you using Quora? Let me know in the comments below!