co Is Quora The Next Twitter? |

Everywhere I look now I see Quora being mentioned as the next big social media site for marketers. But is it?

Open disclosure: I’ve recommended Quora myself.

But let’s qualify just what is meant by using Quora for marketing. If you think you should go there, set up a profile, and start plugging your business like you do at Twitter and Facebook, think again. The key to effectiveness with any social media website is to first understand what that site is all about.

Quora is a Q&A website. It’s base, or core user, is a tech-savvy person or someone intensely interested in Web 2.0 startups, or Internet startups. Some of the most high profile CEOs of Web businesses are there. So you should be too, right?

It depends. From what I’ve seen, the Quora community likes long answers that give detailed responses to serious questions. There has been an onslaught of less serious questions and opinion-based questions lately, but if the community at Quora controls the spam, those questions will fade into the background as they are ignored or the answers to them are voted down.

Two things can happen: Either the tech-savvy will win and drive away the marketing-exuberant like they did at Digg awhile back or the marketers will take over and Quora will just become another spam bucket. If that happens, it won’t be much useful for marketing.

Here’s my recommendation. Join Quora if you have the time and think you have something to contribute. Don’t do it out of obligation. Subscribe to questions specifically related to your niche. Spend a couple of weeks reading other people’s answers. When you think you have the feel of it, jump in with a couple of your own answers. But make sure your answers are thought out, logically presented, detailed, and answer the specific question being asked. If you can’t do that, leave Quora alone.