Now that the dust has settled down – thoughts about Quora and Q&A platforms
Quora has been under the spotlight a lot these past few weeks. In fact, the buzz worked very well at the launch – maybe even too well. Thanks to the scarcity of invitations, Quora’s launch was as successful as Wave and Gmail, since everybody was crazy about having an invitation to see what’s behind the curtain of the new social media darling.
And now that the buzz is slowing down, here are some thoughts about the platform and its value from a business point of view.
Q&A platforms – a place to express expertise
Quora by itself isn’t big news – Q&A platforms exist since quite some time on the internet – forums where probably the first place not only for conversations, but also questions, answers, and sharing expertise. Even these days, some forums remain the best places to find experts focused on conversations around specific topics. Yahoo! Answers is a popular Q&A platform that has had remarkable visibility in search engines for some time, but unfortunately became cluttered with all the discussions. And LinkedIn also created a specific service (LinkedIn Answers) to tap in your community experts.
One of the factors that makes Quora so specific at the moment is its restrictive access (limiting it to a certain category of population) and the quality of the profiles (contains prestigious contributions) on the platform. The question of trust makes a huge difference in the quality of the answers you’ll get. That’s why this platform is an excellent place to build great connections and online reputations.
Leveraging these platforms for brands and business
Questions are conversations, and as for any conversation, monitoring is key. Even if Quora’s sign-up process is still limited, the conversations are available online and well-indexed by search engines. Don’t think that what is in Quora stays in Quora – in fact, some search tricks will give you a quick overview of what’s going on (just type YOURBRAND/TOPIC site:quora.com in your favorite search engine :)
As always, you can listen to what your ecosystem and what challengers are talking about and their questions. But engagement is also very important. You must look at conversations about your brands and a good starting point is to engage in questions related to your business. It represents a great opportunity to position a brand and its experts and demonstrate knowledge and care of customers.
And what about the future Quora?
Number of search about Quora on Google in the last 90 days. Source : Google insights.
It’s hard to say if Quora will be a big player tomorrow, but for sure the buzz is slowing down. Other players also have strong assets – challengers such as LinkedIn offer the advantage of having already structured network of people you trust and experts you can tap into. Yet it’s still a great place for very targeted conversations with experts, demonstrating that conversations is all about two way exchange, and nurturing your ecosystem.
Trust, conversations, bringing value to a community – Quora is a good reminder for all of us about the basic principles of social media and what they can bring to individuals and companies :)
Other articles we recommend about Quora :
- Jeremiah Owyang’s opinion
- Great insights from the people of Vanksen about the features of the plateform
- A useful first steps guide on Quora by TNW
Note that in the US, Sweden and Canada, Quora is now open to registration.
Still don’t have an invite? Contact us via the comments and we’ll see how we can help.
Not in the US, SW or Canada? Use a VPN or a Proxy for the registration process.