Over the last few days Quora, the ‘question and answer’ community, has enjoyed a huge surge in interest.
I created a Quora profile a few months ago after reading about it in a few blog posts with people predicting that it would be the next ‘big thing’ in social media.
But, like most new platforms, an active community needs to be in place before it becomes useful (a classic chicken and egg scenario) so I didn’t revisit it again until today.
Now that it is adding users it is time brands started to think about how they’ll participate on the platform.
Here are some initial thoughts from me, and hopefully you’ll add yours to the mix…
Quora – why brands need to take notice
The premise is simple: People ask and answer questions about a variety of topics.
These questions are often about products and services which, in effect, extends the Q&A forums most brands house on their websites / blogs.
This gives brands a chance to answer questions posed by customers, ensuring the correct information is provided and misinformation is managed.
Quora allows users to justify why they are best placed to answer questions on certain topics, adding weight to responses given.
Quora – external engagement agents
Quora is the latest example of why brands need to authorise at least one member of staff to take part in conversations off their own platforms.
The obvious choice is a community manager (if you have one) or for bigger organisations subject specialists might fill this role.
Quora – linking to ‘owned’ channels
It makes sense to highlight the members of your team authorised to answer questions on behalf of your brand on your own channels.
There are a few reasons for this, but primarily, it will authenticate answers provided on Quora and discredit any brand-jacking attempts.
Quora – content curation and facilitation
In most cases, brands should have the answers to questions asked on Quora, so the facilitation of this process will not requires masses of ‘new’ content.
Fortunately, external links can be featured in responses so users can be directed to content on owned channels without too much hassle.
Quora – adding value
Quora is a great example of platform that lends itself to natural value adding behaviour.
It is still early days, but I imagine lazy users will predominantly use Quora to ask questions as opposed to answering them.
This is the clear opportunity for brands.
This is essentially an open invitation for brands to engage with users who have ‘opted in’ to receiving correspondence.
Obviously, if brands attempt to sell when engaging their efforts will be in vein, but when conducted appropriately goodwill will follow.
You can find out more about Quora here.
Over to you!
What other challenges / opportunities have you identified?
Do you think brands will be quick to recognise this platform as an opportunity / threat?
Add your thoughts to the comments section below.
COMMScorner.com is the blog from Adam Vincenzini which focuses on social media and PR. Connect with Adam on Twitter or subscribe to his blog. If you’d like to view this blog on a mobile device, visit COMMScorner.mofuse.mobi.