Move over Facebook, Twitter, use Quora to build your brand

Avanish Tiwary

Social networking sites have made it easier for businesses to promote themselves or induce a talking point around their brand, though the process is intricate and arduous. But the caveat here is that, online social media environment has become monotonous with almost all brands targeting two or three social media websites. Companies have gotten into a mad rush of getting as many  'likes', 'shares', 'followers' and 'retweets' for their brands.

A Breath Of Fresh Air

Quora was created by two former Facebook employees, Adam D'Angelo and Charlie Cheever, four years ago and it has become popular recently due to its question-answer model.

The website provides a platform for social media junkies looking for detailed information on different topics. After becoming a member, you can ask any question and people who have the knowledge or expertise in that area will answer your question, thereby creating a cycle of information.

Small entrepreneurs and businesses can also benefit from this Q&A-based social networking website as many people are inquisitive about the working of a particular company or want information about a particular brand's service areas, etc.

In October 2010, Kevin Systrom, CEO and Co-Founder of Instagram, answered a question about the genesis of the company, which got him more than 1,900 votes. He has also answered various other questions related to Instagram on Quora. Answers like these, which come directly from the brand, will cement the veracity of the answer and make the users believe that you are serious about customer satisfaction.

There are different ways to use Quora to benefit your business and build your brand among people who have immense knowledge in their field.

Here are a few points which can help you to educate people about your company or the sector you are in:

Active participation: Start by doing what Quora wants you to do -- ask or answer questions. If you want to build an image of your brand here, you must make yourself visible to other people by actively answering questions in the field in which you have an expertise.

If the question is related to the work that you do or the company that you own, mention it in a sentence showing why or how you know what you are talking about. This will serve a dual purpose: Your brand gets publicised (if your answer is credible and serves the purpose of the questioner), and people will take your answer seriously if they know it is coming from an expert in the field.

Follow related topics: Quora works in an interesting manner where people can follow their favorite topic and see or answer any question posed by other Quora members under that topic.

For instance, if you own a business in healthcare, then you can follow all the topics related to the subject so that you are in the loop of what people want to know about your sector.

If you are also able to answer some of the questions posed about your sector in a well-articulated manner, then chances are that it will give you a higher, more intellectual, platform to project yourself.

You can also look for any specific questions related to your firm by searching for your company's name and then clear all the doubts regarding your product, services, availability, new launches, etc. This will also help you stay on course with regard to your sector. It is advisable that you give a clear picture about your company instead of some third person answering a query that may or may not have the right answer and do damage than good.

Don't forget the competitor: Just as you have searched for your company, do the same with your competitors so that you know what they are doing in your area of work.

You can learn a lot from all this information which can help improve your business model. If you feel the need to answer a question posted on your competitor's business topic, do that in an unbiased way, highlighting your expertise in the area. Quora is about being a thought leader or expert in your industry. Seize that opportunity to benefit your work and be of help to others.

Get customer feedback: Not only is it important to answer questions, it is also imperative that you ask good questions. Only by asking the right questions will you be able to explore the changes needed, if at all. It is more than just a Q&A networking platform. Try and leverage it for your business growth.

You can also use Quora for getting customer feedback about your company. It can thus help you to calibrate and improve your products or services and help you stay on track.

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