Influence and authority are huge buzz words now. These words should be taken seriously and not seen simply as part of online marketing catch phrases. Influence is the measurement of how well you can put people into action. Authority is the measurement of respect you garner for specific subjects. With influence, authority and the everl-so-important trust factor, you can accomplish great things. Quora is my favorite social platform for building influence, authority, and trust online. It’s more than a simple question-and-answer site. It’s a real community of intelligent people who seek and provide knowledge.
I’ve had a chance to work with Quora’s CFO, Marc Bodnick, on a couple projects for our client, Bomani Jones. I credit him with helping open my mind to the power of the platform. Below are some tips for leveraging Quora to build authority. Over time you will increase your influence and trustworthiness. Once you’re trusted, the possibilities for you and your career/business is limitless.
1. Be thorough in your answers
Most respected answers on Quora go into incredible depth. Show the community that you know your stuff by providing a detailed answer for a question. Include supporting links and references if necessary.
2. Don’t be overly promotional in your questions and answers
The Quora community does an excellent job in sniffing out questions and answers that are only meant to bring attention to a person or brand. The main goal is to educate (and sometimes entertain), so keep that in mind. Only reference your company, product, or website if it truly relates to the subject.
3. Use images and YouTube clips in your answers
Quora users love answers that include YouTube videos. We all appreciate things that appeal to multiple senses. A bunch of words can get boring after a while. Make sure the image and video relates to the subject. You don’t need the YouTube embed code to include a video. Quora will automatically embed the video in your answer if you include the YouTube URL in the answer body.
4. Get into the economy of Quora
Quora introduced Quora Credits to add an element of gamification to the platform. The more authority you build for a certain topic, the more you can get “paid” to answer a question. You can use the credits you earn to “purchase” answers for your questions from other users.
5. Topics and question details
Choosing appropriate topics and supporting your question by providing question details are the two best ways to optimize your question submissions. Topics help organize your question so it can be seen by users who are interested in the topic(s). Users can follow topics on Quora. The question details section is a great space to give background on your question and possibly promote your website. Once again, be careful so you don’t come off as being overly promotional.
6. Be social
Sharing your questions and answers on Twitter and Facebook is a great way to promote your quest for information/acumen on a subject. By doing this, you can build up your influence on other social networks.
7. Thank, upvote, comment often, and follow key users
Quora is a social network/resource at its core, so you should actually network with its users. If you find a user’s answer helpful, be sure to hit the “thank” and “upvote” buttons. If you like or respectfully disagree with an answer, let them know in the comments section. Lastly, you should follow key users and suggest topics to them. Be sure to read a lot of the user’s questions and answers so you can be informed on their interests before suggesting a topic to them.
8. Start a Quora Board
Once you have built up your profile on Quora, you should start a Quora Board for your brand, company or cause. Quora Boards are like Facebook’s Fan Pages. You can highlight questions and answers on your board. You can also share content from other websites on your board. Your board will collect followers and it will become your official hub on Quora. As of the day of this blog post, Quora is still refining the functionality of boards so excuse their dust.
I would love to connect with you on Quora. You can’t find me here: http://www.quora.com/Christopher-Craft