When it comes to outbound marketing, you have to pursue every possible avenue - especially if it's a free one. Social networking is a bit like a skeleton key - it unlocks more opportunities than you could possibly imagine.
Gone are the days of stuffy exchanges, straight to the hard sell, hoping against all odds that at least one fish will bite. Today, it's all about transparency, providing your audience with value, and making sure that you're someone people feel they can rely on for accurate information.
In short, if you look like you're full of shit and only care about raking in the cash, people move on. If you're the kind of person who communicates value, answers questions, and networks like crazy, you're going to nail the outbound marketing gig.
Quora is often overlooked as a networking opportunity. Here's some sage advice: Don't be so quick to push it aside. It's one of the top platforms for you to shine!
The key to using Quora is to provide value to other users. It's that simple.
Before you can dig into those unanswered questions, you need to get yourself set up properly.
Getting Set Up: How to Optimize Your Quora Profile
It's not surprising that Quora is rapidly becoming one of the top social networks to connect not only with a targeted audience but with influencers as well. Quora is so much more than just a Q&A site. It offers you a chance to show credibility, the opportunity to connect, a clever way to learn, and the best possible place to show off your own knowledge.
To help make sure you’re getting the most out of the network, there are a couple of things you should do to your profile to help you stand out. Your profile can also help drive clicks to your website.
1. Edit Your Credentials
Your credentials are the 50-character taglines on your profile that are shown directly under your name. Always be sure to include your current job title and brand name in your credentials. This helps boost your legitimacy.
Not many people know that you can have multiple credentials on Quora. Knowing this will come in handy when you need to share your knowledge on various different topics.
If, for example, you want to answer the question: “What's the best way to publish a graphic novel?”, your credentials as a Sales Executive in the Food Industry aren't really relevant.
You could, however, change your credentials to: “Graphic Artist, 2014 – Present”. This might reassure readers that you actually know what you're talking about, since you're in roughly the same boat as other graphic artists.
To edit your credentials, click the Edit button next to the Credentials & Highlights section on the right-hand side of your profile. Depending on the questions you'd like to answer, add your credentials and remember to include places you’ve studied, locations, languages, and relevant topics.
2. Be Smart About Your Bio
Use your bio section wisely. Use this section to clearly and concisely explain who you are and what you do.
Quora doesn't appear to have a character limit on the bio section, so it gives you an opportunity to add a CTA. Feel free to ask readers to download a copy of your e-book or to sign up for your course. Just make sure that your CTA is related to the topics you're aiming to address.
While you definitely don’t want a description full of links, you'll want to make sure you add links to the homepage of your website, your social accounts, or a link to a page where people can contact you to learn more.
It's important to be mindful of mobile users when editing your bio. On mobile devices, the first three lines of your bio are visible. This is followed by the “Read More” prompt, which no one will hit unless they're super hooked. Do your best to make those first 3 lines engaging.
3. Edit the "Knows About Section"
Located under the “Credentials & Highlights” section, this portion of your bio allows you to showcase the topics you're most knowledgeable in. Feel free to list as many topics as you want but make sure to stay in the right niche. Don't list mostly marketing related topics and then fling out a random one centred around the performing arts, for example. Remember, Quora will only display the topics where you've contributed the most answers. As always, it's important to find your focus and stick to it.
4. Link Your Profile to Your Social Accounts
With Quora, it's easy to add links to your other social accounts. Simply navigate to your account settings and connect Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or any other available option that fits you and your brand. These will be displayed on your profile page, making it easier for other Quora users to connect with you elsewhere. Remember, social is all about networking, so it's smart to use every tool at your disposal (within reason).
Whenever you've answered a particularly pertinent question on Quora, you can share your answer on your other social accounts. Doing this will help boost the visibility of your Quora profile and ensure that you're making the most of all your audiences. Whether your aim is to set yourself up as an industry expert, or whether you simply want to be seen as communicating value wherever possible, sharing your answers far and wide will help you achieve your goal.
5. Use Analytics to Your Advantage
A major part of using Quora successfully is knowing your audience. Whenever you provide an answer, you'll notice that there are statistics on how many times that answer has been viewed. Click on the number of views and you'll be able to see how people are accessing your answers.
Users might be accessing your answers directly through your profile, by searching for a topic, or just browsing the site at their leisure. Knowing how, where, and why people are finding your answers will help you figure out where to refocus your optimisation efforts.
Once you've optimised your profile, you'll be able to get the ball rolling on searching for relevant questions to answer. Getting yourself set up properly is always the first step to a successful strategy and Quora is no different.
Stay tuned for the next part in our series on "Hacking Quora Like a Pro" where you'll get the nitty gritty on finding the right topics and questions to answer.