Question-Answer social networking is gradually trending as sharing content is becoming the new way to build online relationships. People enjoy sharing pieces of advice with their peers to benefit others and build their own exposure as well. Answers are a great way to build and expand your network because unlike search results they are biased. In this way, humans can recommend products to their peers that will help them solve their own problems. In this post, I am going to share with you some of the most traffic reaching social networks.
Yahoo answers is by far the number one questions and answers social network today. Around 75% of all visits of question and answers network were being directed to Yahoo! Answers, therefore it is the most authoritative social network for questions. Yahoo! Answers has hundreds of millions of users and there are hundreds of millions of questions and billions of answers provided. Ever noticed when you type a question into the search engine, Yahoo! Answers link comes up? This is a great tool for social media marketing, because of the high search rankings. In this network, participants ask questions and other members of the community answer them. Community members will receive points for every question they answer, and answers that are voted “best answer” receive even more points. If you answer many questions and receive many points, you will receive a credible reputation. Higher rankings have privileges that the lower ranking users do not have such as asking more questions in a short-amount of time. In addition, you will be able to vote on answers more frequently as well. Now I am going to delve into how you can build your credibility through Yahoo! Answers.
Promoting Your Business:
If your business provides a service or a product and you have a web page that answers the question, then capitalize on this opportunity. Recommend your product of service to someone who maybe seeking an answer. Remember to follow the rules and regulations so you are not spamming the community. If you spam on this network, you will be red flagged and your account may be deleted.
Giving Back is Gold:
Remember to have altruistic motives when dealing with your online community. This network has so many questions, that there should never be a shortage in the amount of questions you can answer. Now there are many answers that are provided by the same community members, over and over again, they aren’t even the best, but most generalized. Here is your chance to make a difference, and add value to the conversation. By writing researched answers, you can be developed into a highly ranked member. Once you find a question you can answer, click the answer button and you will be able to compose an answer to the question. The field below the answer box is what you fill in as your source for your answer.
Now you have the opportunity to use the Advance Answer Search to find searches for a particular phrase. Make sure you indicate that you are only looking for Open Questions, so you will be able to participate in a thread that has not been closed yet.
Associating Yourself to Your Business:
If you do not seek to achieve business objectives then you might want to leverage Yahoo! Answers in a different way. Add links to the “About Me” section of your profile so you can showcase your blog and website. Remember, to always sign your answers with a URL of your choice, especially if you believe that it associates with the answer. This is a good way of getting more eyeballs to the associated page. None of the self-promoting activity is prohibited by Yahoo! According to the guidelines, you can associate yourself with a knowledgeable profession when appropriate. As you contribute more and more you increase your chances of getting to the “Best Answer” point and have a greater opportunity to stand out from the crowd. This can even get you voted as the “Top Contributor” on the site, which is assigned to a person of a particular category.
How can you stay consistent with Yahoo! Answers? You can visit the site frequently or you can subscribe to a RSS on a particular search so the Advanced Results will be poured into your RSS reader. In addition, you can even subscribe to RSS feeds of any categories featured on the left side of Yahoo! Answers. This will help you build a more relevant presence within your categories.
Even though Yahoo! Answers has the largest share of visitors, there are other social networks you should take advantage of as well. When you engage in these sites, excessive promotion can ruin your brand, so be careful.
Wiki Answers (http://www.wiki.answers.com)
This is the second most popular Q&A site, and it is a hybrid of Yahoo! Answers and Wikipedia. Just like Yahoo! Answers, you can ask questions and community members answer the questions. Similar to Wikipedia you can watch the updates and enhance existing answers. In this sense, only one answer is provided and can be edited by account holders.
Ask Metafilter (http://www.askmetafilter.com)
This is a close community of individuals who want to help one another. In this network, I have seen that the answers are of higher quality than many other Q&A websites. Also, the members are very engaged and actually passionate about what they are writing about. Therefore, this network only seeks to accept people who are serious about distributing content, so they charge $5 for each new sign-up. It is paramount that you are not overly self-promoting on this site. A tip: be a contributor who is a seller but cares about improving the community by distributing their content. The best content is contributed through an unselfish way. Think community, think leadership, and networking when deciding on contributing to these channels.
This is another social network similar to Yahoo! Answers in the sense that it gives you the ability to ask and answer questions. The users also rate the questions and answers and they can also comment on the answers. This is a great way to correct wrong answers with commentary of your own.
This network is owned by Amazon. The answers on this site are well-researched and detailed. This community encourages their users to add commentary and resources they use to answer the question on the site. Also you can attach the answer to a product that can be found via Amazon or video that is portrayed by Google.
Twitter Answers (http://mosio.com/twitter)
Learn how to use Twitter to answer questions, however you must have a twitter account and a Mosio account. Follow the twitter user “QNA” to ask a question. You can receive up to four answers to your question. This will be directly posted on the website or on your mobile phone. This is more of an informational resource than social media marketing because the answers are provided to the individual.
When using the network, make sure you start the question with @answerme. Then you can start an answer with @answerme @username and then offer your answer. This is a great tool for offering information and seeking to help someone who is trying to get an answer for their question. However, using Twitter as a standalone tool to receive answers to questions may be the easiest way to receive answers.
Linked In Answers: (http://linkedin.com/answers)
Use this network to solicit information from experts from a particular area. In addition, you can also connect with individuals in your network and even gain new leads for your business. This is one of my favorite networks for business professionals.
This site was launched in 2009 and allowed users to get answers through their social network. You ask the question via IM, then the service researches through your contacts and second-degree contacts (friend’s contacts) to get the best answer to your question. This tool demonstrates how you can use social communities to increase knowledge.
The best part of contributing your knowledge to these different social networks is that you are enabling individuals with information that will change their opinion about your credibility in the field. In today’s social media world, both parties benefit from sharing knowledge. When you contribute knowledge you collect links that point to your social media networks or even to your website. Remember, when you answer questions, people can also recommend your social media links to their peers. In addition, the more links you give then more authority you have. When search engines see different links pointing to your page they will begin to trust you as a contributor as well.
Creating a Wiki
By utilizing open source applications you can even create your own Wiki through Mediawiki. Don’t forget, a wiki is just a collection of webpages that can be modified by anyone that has access to the application. The live document allows collaboration and ongoing updates. If you have your own hosting, then MediaWiki will help you create your own Wiki with the look and feel of Wikipedia. If you want to host a wiki elsewhere, consider using pbwiki (http://pbwiki.com) . This is a wiki for businesses, college course work and other user-friendly content. Another hosting option is Wetpaint (http://wetpaint.com). This is a great way to inform the public on recent updates without having to ask an administrator to make such an update.
Are there any networks that I forgot besides the newest one Quora? Please share it below.
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