Since its launch in 2009, Quora has gone from strength to strength. While it hasn’t hooked user imaginations in the same way as Pinterest, and while it doesn’t provide the demographic gold-mine that Facebook has built up, Kay Hammond of multi-award winning digital marketing agency TAMBA told technology journalist Emma Byrne that Quora should not be overlooked.
Analytics show that Quora hits a demographic that other social networks have found hard to cultivate. The average Quora user is highly technically literate, usually works in science, engineering or information technology, is relatively young and highly educated. The vast majority of their users are Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors.
Although Quora doesn’t collect demographic data for individual users – ruling out the kind of niche marketing that Facebook thrives on – their user base is a valuable one, and is one that other social networks tend not to engage with as successfully.
And Quora seems determined to keep it that way. A recent tie-in with Facebook to allow cross posting between the social networks aside, Quora is bucking the trends of social networks.
Quora’s unique style demands a very different mindset than many other social networks.
It doesn’t allow business accounts, has no space for advertising, and does no niche marketing. Instead it is committed to creating a space where highly savvy individuals can share their expertise.
Some suggestions, based on Kay's experience with the platform:
1) Consider Quora as an “inbound channel”.
Use Quora to learn from your customers: actual and potential.
2) Also consider using Quora as a channel for relationship-building.
While business accounts are not allowed on Quora, there’s nothing to stop individuals from contributing in their own right, nor is there anything to stop them from mentioning their affiliation.
3) Use Quora to build your personal brand by answering questions. If you become known for your expertise on Quora people will soon seek your input outside that channel.
4) Use Quora to build brand relations by asking open questions. For example, developers are asking what they should add to the next release of their product. VCs are looking for trends in investment. The demographic that currently dominates Quora is intelligent and tech-savvy and you can be assured of some insightful replies – if your question fires the imagination and interest of the community.
5) Use Quora to stimulate your own creativity and your development. Try sharing that knowledge on Quora - nothing helps us to learn like teaching.