In this article, you'll learn...
- How Quora embodies future trends critical to social media marketing
- What next-generation content sites can learn from Quora
Love it or hate it, Quora is a phenomenon that can't be ignored. After using Quora for a few months now, I've come to appreciate that it embodies a set of principles and trends that will be critical to community management and social media marketing in the future.
Many companies already plan to integrate community as a core part of their offering; they have at least five good reasons for adding Quora to the mix.
1. Real People and Real Context
Unlike so many answer sites, Quora encourages you to use your real name. A general shift toward dispensing with anonymity is now a trend that's unlikely to reverse. The most important lesson to learn as more sites include community and commentary as a core feature set in their product or service is that anonymity doesn't work well.
When people use their real names, three things happen. First, anything that they contribute has context. Part of what makes Quora valuable is not only good questions and answers but also knowing both who asked and who answered them. Quora parlayed this feature into successful marketing in the early days when it recruited the highest order of Silicon Valley elite to answer fundamental questions such as "How should you launch your company at SXSW?" An answer from a person identified by his or her real name is more valuable than socialmediaguy42.
Second, when people opine in public and their real names are associated with their comments, the quality of the content increases dramatically and the bad behavior and flaming drops proportionately. If you want evidence, simply scroll through and compare the video comments on YouTube with those on Vimeo. Though loutish behavior will never go away, associating commentary with a real person significantly decreases it—along with the effort needed to manage the community.
Third, when people use their real names, they can start to build reputation, which engages them with and invests them in Quora.
2. Participation Is Now About Reputation