You’re probably hesitant to get tangled up in yet another social media network. But what if I told you there’s a network that’s tailor-made to help your nonprofit establish authority online? Quora for nonprofits can be the gateway to a better understanding of your cause, a place where you can spread awareness and dispel any misinformation.
As with any social media channel, it’s important to note right off the bat that if your nonprofit doesn’t have the capacity to devote to learning Quora and contributing to the site relatively frequently, this may not be the best fit. Keep the option in the back of your mind and revisit this post when you have some additional time and manpower to devote to social media.
If your nonprofit does have some room for a social media addition, Quora could be just the platform you’re looking for to join the conversation about important issues and demonstrate your leadership.
Good question. We’ll start with the basics. Quora is a question and answer social media platform. Any member can ask questions and/or answer them. The best answers are voted to the top and seen first, whereas the less helpful or incorrect answers can be voted down. It allows experts and industry insiders to answer questions that the general population may have no other way of knowing.
A Rundown of the Basic Features
- Ask and answer questions
- Upvote and downvote answers
- Target questions to a specific user
- Search for specific questions, topics or users
- Follow topics, users and blogs related to your interests
- Receive notifications on topics and users you follow
- Publish content through the Quora blog feature
In general, the community upvotes helpful, well-thought-out and considerate content and will downvote pure self-promotion, incorrect or half answered questions. Responding to a question with just a link to your website will never make it far on Quora. The point of this social media channel is to spread knowledge, pure and simple. The community on Quora is fairly good at weeding out those answers that don’t accomplish that goal.
Quora for Nonprofits
There are a variety of benefits to hopping on the Quora bandwagon. Let’s dive into the three biggest benefits of Quora for nonprofits.
Establish Your Authority
The draw to Quora is based on the ability to answer questions in a helpful and meaningful manner in order to establish your nonprofit’s authority on topics relating to your cause. Answer questions thoughtfully and completely, and your answer could be upvoted right to the very top. That means that your answer will be the first answer people see when they look at this question in the future.
You are knowledgeable about your nonprofit’s cause and the topics surrounding it. If other people are wondering about those important issues, this is your opportunity to provide them with helpful and insightful information on the subject. Over time, people will recognize that knowledge and begin directing questions directly to you or even communicating outside of Quora.
As you’re answering questions, think about the content currently on your site. This could be an excellent place to repurpose that content or drive additional traffic to it. Find a question that you already answered in a recent blog post or report? Briefly, answer the question and link to your post!
Stay In-Tune With Your Community
While looking for questions to answer, you’ll become more in-tune with the types of questions people are wondering about at any given time. You might even find one that mentions your organization specifically! These types of questions could spark new and different opportunities for anything from an idea for a helpful blog post to a new program or service offering.
You’ll also get to know the other players involved in your cause. Quora for nonprofits is an excellent place to find experts, connect with them and learn from them. Direct a question to a particular expert to pick their brain on an issue, or join forces to collaborate on a mutually beneficial project. You can also use Quora as a way to gather information from people in your service area or to learn about like-minded efforts and programs in other areas. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as well as answer them! Quora has the reputation of being an open and helpful community, willing to connect with or help out a fellow member.
Further Your Reach
More often than other social media sites, Quora questions can appear in search engine results, such as Google and Bing. When another person is wondering about a question you answered, they can find your answer (especially if it’s been voted favorably) with a simple Google search.
Potential new supporters can then find your website and more information about your nonprofit through a link in your answer. Not everyone will click that link, but those who do will be genuinely interested in what you have to say on topics relating to your cause — the first step to a new supporter.
It’s important to note, however, that links within Quora answers are classified as nofollow, meaning the link itself doesn’t do anything for your ability to rank in search engines. Unlike other types of inbound links that help to optimize your website for search, the only benefit would be additional traffic when someone clicks the link to your website.
Ready to dive in? Begin by getting acquainted with Quora and learning the ins and outs of the platform. Join with your email, then follow topics, people and blogs related to your cause. Once you’re accustomed to the style and audience, try your hand at answering a few questions. If things get a little crazy and you’re short on time, you can always scale back the amount of time you spend on the site — but be sure not to disappear completely. Follow along and answer questions when you can. The more active you are, the more benefits you’ll see.
Do you have any reservations about Quora for nonprofits? Have you already joined and started answering questions? Let us know what you think in the comments!