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Five Reasons Why Quora Matters to Marketers

by Niel Robertson  |  
June 14, 2011
  |  16,095 views

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


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Niel Robertson is the CEO and founder of Trada, the world's first crowdsourced PPC marketplace. He is also a founding member of the Crowdsortium, an organization for crowdsourcing companies and organizations. Find Niel at Trada.com/blog and @nielr1 on Twitter.

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  • by Bill Walker Tue Jun 14, 2011 via web

    What I don't like about Quora -- or any other new kid on the block -- is that you can't see or sample it without signing up. You have to divulge your information before they show you what's behind the curtain. Imagine if you were forced to buy a car without first taking a test drive!

  • by Chief Alien Tue Jun 14, 2011 via web

    I am a marketer and Quora means nothing to me. In fact I would rather use Google when I need information than Quora. I just feel it is kind of an ego driven network where often the people every seek out actually were more lucky than savvy in the business world. And often the responses are very subjective than objective. Just my opinion.

  • by John P Brown Tue Jun 14, 2011 via web

    @Chief Alien - you're thinking about this backwards. As a marketer, you should think of Quora as a way to show off how good your company is. Just like firms use blogs to show off their skills, they could also use Quora to serve their community and demonstrate subject matter expertise. Like blogs, blatant hawking of services rarely works - you'll have to establish credibility.

    You said you are a marketer: what better time to market to someone than after they've identified themselves as someone who cares about a topic and who needs expertise?

  • by Reginald Jackson Tue Jun 14, 2011 via web

    Hey, if its free-why not just jump in and see how it works. You never know what it may accomplish for you especially if it starts gaining a lot of support.

  • by Yinka Olaito Wed Jun 15, 2011 via web

    I am still learning about Qoura, I do hope it comes gto mainstream like other social media tools

  • by SpencerBroome Wed Jun 15, 2011 via web

    I understand and agree with all of the points you made, but I am still not sure if I see the growth potential of Quora? It seems limited.

  • by Heather Cuthill Wed Jun 22, 2011 via web

    I agree with @Bill Walker. I don't want to sign up for something without having a chance to check it out first to see if it's worth risking opening a new stream of spam.

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