SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues.
This week, we asked: Do you use Quora?
- No: 64.81%
- I have an account but don’t post: 22.22%
- I’ve posted to the network a few times: 10.49%
- I’m a regular user: 2.47%
Quora is a difficult social network for many corporate users to get their heads around. We’re all familiar with the dictum that companies should be using their social presences to educate and engage fans, not to overtly stump for their brand. But where self-promotion is merely frowned on with networks such as Facebook, Quora has strict moderation policies in place that keep the network from becoming a spam-fest.
Does that mean it’s not worth your time? Not at all! Quora is an excellent platform for organizations interested in showing open and transparent thought leadership. No, you won’t be able to dump your news release and yes, people will contest and question your viewpoint, but if you really know your subject matter, it can be an amazing way to establish your authority in a given field.
Even if you’re not in a position to use the network to demonstrate thought leadership, Quora can still be a useful tool for gathering customer intelligence. You can get candid insights into how users feel about all kinds of subjects and even ask a few burning questions of your own. It’s not a substitute for traditional surveys, since the user base isn’t a representative sample, but it can be an easy way to start getting a glimpse into how your customers think.
The network is doing more to lure corporate users, introducing features like a blogging platform that make it easier for brands to express a viewpoint. Maybe it’s about time more brands took a second look at one of the Internet’s most intellectual networks.