How Quora is becoming the Next Big Thing

I have to make a public apology, here, to Rob Brown. I orginally ‘shared’ this Answer from Quora  with a WordPress ‘share’ button and assumed, as similar social media ‘share’ tools do, that it would attribute it to Rob Brown.

This was his original post. I should have checked that the share tool included attribution and I didn’t. But I will point that out to Quora.

So, from Rob Brown:

A brief glance at my twitter feed at any point of the day yesterday and someone, somewhere was signing up for Quora.

Anxious not to be left behind in the social stampede, I followed the herd.  What I found was a nicely designed if fairly unremarkable social utility that feels like the love-child of Twitter and Yahoo Answers, with a bit of Digg DNA thrown in for good measure.  I actually quite like it, but so far I’m waiting to be convinced that the information I can get from posting questions on Quora isn’t available from a combination of Google and a bit of social search on Twitter.

What did stand out was the sudden surge in interest.  It isn’t simply that I move in geeky social circles, a quick look at Google search numbers shows that searches for Quora have increased ten fold since Christmas.  I know that no two social sites are the same but it has taken me over three years to amass a meagre 99 Facebook friends. My band of brothers and sisters on Quora hit three digits in a few hours.  Something had to be going on.

A quick trawl suggests that third-party recommendation from a trusted source is as powerful as it ever was and perhaps more so amongst those eager to discover the ‘next big thing’ in the social sphere.  Step forward one Robert Scoble; American blogger at Scobleizer, technical evangelist, author, former technology evangelist and oracle to 156,775 followers on twitter.  On Boxing Day he blogged ‘Is Quora the biggest blogging innovation in 10 years?’ effectively endorsing the site as the next big thing.  PC Magazine, Techcrunch, TNW and FastCompany were amongst the many media outlets that piled in.  Even the UK’s conservative ‘Daily Telegraph’ opined that ‘Quora will be Bigger than Twitter’.   Searches for Quora bear out the hypothesis that it all kicked off on Boxing Day.

Time will tell as to whether the early adopters stick with Quora and if the current flood of  interest is enough for the site  to break through in to the social network stratosphere.

Bear in mind also that Quora only went public in June.   For now it’s all about the hype and proof if proof were needed that if you have something to launch, the right kind of endorsement is still an crucial part of the mix.”

Originally posted at PR and the Social Web…

Post on Quora


Six social media marketing tactics for small businesses in 2011

Try and get some sort of perspective on social media marketing as a small business and you’re overwhelmed with advice, most of it unstructured and amateur. So many experts: so little expertise!

Here are six tactics to put into action quickly, improve your digital footprint and get results. You can safely delegate an intern, or find a part-time resource, to get this moving immediately.

  1. Produce interesting content in multimedia: videos are relatively easy to produce and use via YouTube. Rather than just write blogs (although, remember that a blog is the heart of a social media campaign), put some thoughts down on video. Editing tools are ubiquitous and adding music and titles is simple.
  2. Message integration: your enterprise’s ‘story’ should already exist and it will tell your key communities just how your enterprise brightens their lives or solves a headache. Retell that story in several forms, illustrate it with metaphors and use it across Yellow Pages, offline PR, ads in your industry handbook and…social media. Keep telling that story in different ways and use your keyword list to stay digitally on message.
  3. Make your blog professional: don’t just play at blogging. Plan an editorial schedule three months ahead and designate writers. Conform to your keyword list and hold a brainstorming session to find ways of telling the enterprise story in different metaphorical settings.

    Social media brainstorm meeting

    Collaboration is important for generating social media content

  4. Hyperlocal marketing: if your enterprise is geographically critical, social media marketing works brilliantly at a local level. Use Google’s free Local Business Centre, register on Google Maps and ensure you are listed on Facebook Places, Gowalla and Foursquare. Encourage customers to checkin with point-of-sales requests or discounts.
  5. Digital PR: social media marketing is digital public relations, with one important difference. It is very much a multi-directional conversation and your influence has to be subtle to influence people to talk about your enterprise.  But this is not a reason to avoid planning resources, activity and content. Plan social media marketing like a PR campaign.
  6. LinkedIn as a sales pipeline: if you are in a business-to-business enterprise, use LinkedIn as a sales pipeline (from your point of view!). LinkedIn now has profiling and listing tools, so go to it! From your communities’ point of view, you will be an interesting company that is helpful and full of resources and ideas.