Quora is a rapidly growing Q&A social network that aims to grow and share the world’s knowledge. It recently raised $80MM at a ‘near-unicorn’ valuation of $800MM with investments from top VC firms and tech elite such as Tiger Global, Benchmark, Matrix Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners, and Peter Thiel.
While public numbers have not been announced, Quora is a MASSIVE platform that enables marketers, and anyone with anything to share, an audience to build trust with.
Like most communities, however, it takes some time to really understand how interactions across the site are perceived, what kind of content is valued, and how to get the most out of your efforts.
Quora is largely made up of (and rewards) intelligent people who are interested in learning from and sharing their knowledge with others. As it stands today, most of the active users have an interest in startups, technology, venture capital, academia and off-beat topics that most people do not know too much about, but are curious in learning from the few who do. In addition, most of the active users on Quora are keen on learning new things, which gives way to people who have interesting experiences, pieces of advice, and knowledge to share.
In short, this means that people who provide thoughtful and detailed answers, on just about any topic you can think of, are rewarded with upvotes, followers and are ultimately seen as experts in their field, assuming they provide quality content over a period of time.
So, how can you actually get people to see your contributions?
Promoting your content
While some answers on Quora go viral for seemingly no reason other than it’s a really interesting answer, that’s often not the case.
What typically happens, whether by chance or through intent, is the question is promoted to the right people (i.e. individuals with a large follower base) who then upvote it and subsequently broadcast the upvoted answer to their followers along with their stamp of approval.
So, let’s say you wrote an amazing answer to a question that either most people don’t know much about, or is a confusing subject, or maybe you just shared an amazing story with great tidbits of advice. How do you get this in front of the Quora influencers?
1. Choose as many relevant topics as possible:
After you write your question and Quora checks to make sure your question, or a similar question, has already been answered, you should check ALL the topics that apply. Quora will suggest some for you based on the keywords in your question, and you can add others that your feel are relevant.
Just make sure that the topics really are relevant, otherwise you’ll get in front of the wrong audience and you won’t receive any interest.
2. Ask people on Quora to answer:
Quora allows you to ‘ask’ others to answer, some of which are free to ask and some people require Quora credits, and if they feel they can provide a helpful answer, they will answer it which helps seed the question with some activity.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean asking just anyone to answer and spamming them, but you should ask a few influencers, assuming it’s a good question and you need a spark to get some interesting conversations going.
3. Mention people on Quora:
You can @mention members of the Quora community in your question, question details, answers, comments, etc. which will send a notification to them, and grab their attention.
So, if you want to make a reference, quote someone, use and an example or whathaveyou, make sure you you get their attention and hopefully they’ll upvote or hop in with an answer of their own.
protip: Have a direct CTA or stroke their ego a bit to entice an upvote.
4. Answer questions with a lot of followers:
People can ‘follow’ questions, meaning they want to be notified when people answer these questions. When a question only has a few or no followers, it shows that there isn’t a ton of interest, and vice versa. A good amount of followers, depending on how recently the question was asked, is usually somewhere between 20-100 (over 100 being very popular).
Answer these, and you’ll have a much better chance of earning upvotes more quickly.
5. Promote your questions:
You can earn Quora credits through upvotes on answers, follows on questions, and people just being generous and giving you credits.
These credits can be used for A2A’s (see #2), or to promote your questions to more people.
Here’s the ‘hack’. DON’T spend 1k credits on promoting to 200 people at once, for example. Spend a little every 15 minutes or so, such as 200 credits. It will keep your question in people’s feeds longer and be seen by more Quorans.
6. Follow and Unfollow your questions:
This shouldn’t be done too often, but when needed, simply unfollow your question (which you follow by default since you posted it) and then follow it again.
Your followers will see that you ‘followed’ the question, and it will appear in their feed again.
As with most things, creating something worthwhile that people want to actually read is the first step, but getting that in front of a targeted group of people is another aspect, and one that most people tend to overlook.
You need to put in just as much effort in creating your content, as you do in promoting it. If you can successfully blend the two, you’ll dramatically increase your chances of being seen and the ROI of your content.