4 Best Practices for Social Selling on Quora

March 24, 2015 Sam Laber

If you aren’t selling on Quora yet, you’re likely missing out on millions in potential pipeline each year. Alright, that’s a pretty bold statement — time to back it up.

As of March 1st, 3,407,391 questions have been asked on Quora. As a sales rep, you should see this as 3,407,391 opportunities to engage with someone who has a problem your product helps solve. Now of course, only a tiny fraction of these 3+ million questions are going to be worth your time, but with the right system of filters and alerts, you can quickly create a powerful lead generation engine that brings highly qualified prospects straight to your doorstep (or inbox). In the below, I outline a simple, 4-step strategy for getting the most out of Quora from a sales perspective.

Step 1: Identify relevant topics

To get started creating your Quora engine, you’ll want to pick out a few topics to begin monitoring. These topics should contain subject matter that is directly related to your business. A few things to keep in mind when browsing topics:

  • Activity: Make sure the topics you choose are decently active by taking a look at how recent and how frequent questions have been posed. Topics that do not contain a question within the last 6 months or so have likely gone dormant and are not worth following.
  • Popularity: Take a look at how many Quora users are currently following each topic. Questions posed to topics with high follower counts will attract a lot of eyeballs, which means more opportunities for prospects to see your great response.
  • Competition: Oftentimes, when people have a question or qualm with their existing solution, they will ask for help on Quora. If you’re quick, you can get to these questions before your competitors do and highlight your product as a differentiated solution.

Step 2: Integrate Quora topics into Feedly

As a frequent Quora user, one of the biggest challenges for me is staying on top of the most relevant questions being posed. Over the past few months, I’ve noticed that the first answer, when satisfactory, will often remain the top answer for weeks as people tend to avoid scrolling down the page to sift through other responses.

To ensure that you have the best shot at getting to relevant questions first, I recommend setting up a Feedly stream for Quora topics. If you aren’t familiar with Feedly, it’s essentially a free tool that aggregates your favorite news or blog outlets to help keep your daily reading material organized. In this case, when you’re on a Quora topic page, simply copy the URL link and add this link to your Feedly stream. Do this with all of the topics you follow and check your Feedly every morning for any new questions that arise.

Step 3: Answer questions first, sell later

Now that you’ve set up your very own system for monitoring relevant questions as they come in, it’s time to learn how to write concise, effective, answers. Here are a few best practices:

  • Be helpful: A strong tendency for sales reps when answering questions on Quora is to promote their product before taking any time to address the question. As a best practice, make sure you answer your prospect’s question first, then leave a link to your solution after you’ve created sufficient value. If a prospect upvotes your answer, it never hurts to find their email address and reach out later that day.
  • Use images: Whenever possible, use images in your Quora answers. Nice large screenshots take up valuable real estate on the page and help your response stand out from the crowd.
  • Mention competitors: Leaving a well-balanced answer is essential to getting the amount of upvotes required to keep your response at the top of the list, even if it means throwing in a few quasi-competitors. By doing this, prospects will respect you more than those who solely touted themselves, which usually leads to them checking out your site over the others.
  • Ask colleagues for upvotes: If you feel you’ve left a really great response and aren’t getting the traction you had hoped for, it never hurts to ask for a little help from your friends. If it makes sense, consider creating a team-wide system for leaving responses and upvoting answers as they come in.

Step 4: Follow your existing prospects

One last thing you can do to maximize your selling potential on Quora is to follow a few of your top prospects. This will allow you to keep tabs on all their recent activity, including questions they’ve posed, answers they’ve given and topics they’ve followed. Having this up-to-date intel will help set your outreach efforts apart and oftentimes give you the information needed to time your outreach and catch your prospect’s eye.

About the Author

Sam Laber

Sam is the director of marketing at Datanyze. He's a big John Hughes fan who occasionally fills the DZ office with the sweet sweet sounds of 90s rock giant, Creed.

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