Last night, while reading a Business.com report called Social Media Best Practices: Question & Answer Forums, (report available for download near bottom of page) I came upon this quote on page thirty, and it prompted today’s post:
“Use Your Network – You won’t know the answer to every question, but you’ll probably see things you know others in your company or industry could handle. Forward them the link (there’s an “Email to a friend” link on every question) with a personal note. You’re helping the person who asked the question by lining up the expertise he or she needs, and you’re helping your friend or colleague by introducing him or her to a valuable marketing opportunity.” – Business.com
This point kept me up thinking for quite a while. I couldn’t get the words “Use Your Network” out of my mind. I can see clearly why individuals would chose to participate in Q&A forums on sites like LinkedIn Answers and Yahoo! Answers, as the merit gained would be great for an individual, but perhaps not so great a marketing opportunity for a company. We all have our title and company listed there, sure, but when “Steve” delivers an expert answer to a question I’ve asked; I’d love Steve, not his company. I can however, see that this might indeed grow Steve’s own network…which is also a good thing.
I’m not trying to dispute or expound on the value of Q&A on public forums for an individual vs. small business. I really do think that there is potential and great opportunity for small businesses. Today I’m more into field research, so to speak. Time will tell if I’m mistaken, but I believe that an individual’s own platform, among his own peers and network is also an appropriate place to introduce Q&A. I’m exploring the potential to “use your network” in this way to add value to a topical blog or website.
I’d like to ask a simple question here today. I ask in an effort to connect and to find out more about my readers. Statistics tell me quite a bit about the readership here, but unless you’ve commented before, I have no real idea about who you are and what you do. More importantly, I don’t know beyond generalities what types of answers you might have come here hoping to find. I want to supply useful content that is relevant to my readers; this certainly includes what happens in the comment section, so I’m asking:
Introducing NotEasyToForget Q&A beta
What one question do you have right now whose answer could help you to better integrate social media with your business?
Thank you in advance for your participation. I will address questions as quickly as possible today. If you have insight to offer for a question that’s asked, please respond appropriately. This isn’t about me; it’s about the community discussions for the benefit of the readership here. Keep an eye on the blog throughout the day. You can help by tweeting and sharing this post. This may get interesting!