If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, you should know about Quora. Founded by two former Facebook employees, Adam D'Angelo and Charlie Cheever, this easy-to-navigate Q&A site has been growing considerably and generating a lot of buzz.

What is Quora?

Quora is a storehouse of crowd-sourced knowledge and has attracted people from all walks of life, including high-level executives, journalists, industry insiders and entrepreneurs, all eager to answer a vast array of questions for free. The diversity of topics includes almost everything under the sun.

Apart from everything mentioned above, it offers a platform for businesses and their marketers to execute a variety of marketing tactics and strategies to grow their business. Read on to learn how ...

1. Establish thought leadership: Quora is full of people asking questions. Marketers can answer questions in their niche and establish their reputation as a thought leader and industry expert. This can lead to sales and/or valuable business contacts.

2. Strengthen customer experiences: There is a high chance that people are asking questions about your company. You should not only be monitoring them but also answering them. A prompt answer will enhance the experience of the customer with your company. On another note, regardless of the tonality/sentiment, questions and answers by other people also generates valuable feedback for your business.

3. Research the competition: The Quora community has many questions and answers about your competition, which would help in your market research efforts.. A quick search can help you find these conversations and keep tabs on your competitors. Not only customers, but ex-employees of your competitors also generate questions and answers, which can help you stay updated and alert.

4. Expand your network: Looking to connect with important people in your industry? Follow them on Quora. Start answering questions they have asked and/or are following. If they upvote (like) your answer or comment, only then reach out to them via direct messaging.

5. Connect with journalists: Want a famous website or news site to cover your company? Quora can help. A number of journalists are active on the platform and offer advice to those seeking media coverage. Who would not want some free PR?

6. Explore new ideas: Monitoring unanswered questions and questions frequently asked in topics relevant to your business is a great way to find inspiration for your next blog post or any other form of shareable content. Quora also provides great content which can help improve your knowledge and possibly provide a great idea you can use in your own business.

Here are a few pointers that will help improve your experience and efforts on Quora:

  • Don’t self promote, answer questions in relevant topics and establish your expertise
  • Integrate Quora with your website (select "create a follow button" on your profile)
  • Integrate Quora with other social networks to show your answers to your networks
  • Only upvote relevant and good content

So now you have an idea of why Quora can prove to be a great tool for your business. Using Quora wisely, without abusing its potential as a sales tool, could generate great results for your business.

To read some great content generated on Quora, download the Best of Quora 2010-2012 PDF.