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Quora is a question and answer site with social elements that is now starting to generate mainstream interest and traffic has been growing steadily for months. What is it and should you be using this social media platform that to date has been considered a cool platform for the digerati to date?
Quora was founded a year ago by two Facebook alumni, Charlie Cheever and Adam D’Angelo (the former CTO) and have raised $11 Million to date. The founders smartly positioned the site to be a high quality content site populated by intelligent people – keeping it private up until June of last year, when it was opened to the public.
With the intent to generate a large number of questions and answers provided by movers and shakers in the digital world including Steve Case (former founder and CEO of AOL), Marc Andreesen (Netscape’s visionary and now a very active venture capitalist), Mark Cuban (now Dallas Mavericks owner who made a fortune selling Broadcast.com to Yahoo).
Quora’s social elements are similar to Twitter, in that you can follow and unfollow others via the site’s well design interface. You can instantly sign up using a Twitter or Facebook account and also automatically post your answers to questions on Quora to your Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Quora’s FAQ is well written and detailed – in my experience you can be proficient using the site just about instantly, assuming you have some familiarity with web based applications.
Quora is private but I’ve read and heard from others that the community of users is estimated to be in the 150-250K range. But, these numbers could be way off.
Should you be on Quora with your personal and/or professional brand? Hard question to answer, as the site is not a mainstream web property or social platform like Twitter or Facebook.
It’s a cool experience for many – where else could you get a real answer about AOL’s carpet bombing CDs across America from the Founder/CEO Steve Case as an example? Or, have the opportunity to push a question to others, including industry execs like a Marc Andreesen or Steve Case? Doesn’t mean they will answer but you have a shot.
The cool factor for Quora is certainly unquestioned – you can spent a lot of time searching and wading through answers about anything under the sun, Marketers (self included) are embracing the platform – it’s certainly a good place to generate some buzz and visibility for yourself and your company. You can only create a personal profile at this moment in time, as corporate or business accounts are not available.
If you are B2C focused then it makes sense to establish a presence on Quora. Consumers are embracing the site to unearth feedback on restaurants, products and much more. If Quora’s growth continues to skyrocket then establishing content on this site could augment a presence on a review site like Yelp, especially if you are a consumer facing brand. Peer reviews on the social web; i.e. Yelp, Twitter and Facebook are certainly driving a lot of traffic and I anticipate this accelerating moving forward.
Regardless of your focus on B2B or B2C markets, answering questions on Quora does generate immediate rankings via Google and other major search engines. Like any content marketing strategy, the more you invest in developing quality content (answers in this case) the higher your visibility will be via Quora and broader web.