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InsideFMM | December 18, 2014

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What Quora Means For The Fashion + Beauty Industries

Quora is another one of the social technologies that’s taking the web by storm.

As Twitter and Tumblr are now to fashion bloggers and street stylists; Quora and LinkedIn are to fashion business professionals.

Does the fashion industry need to pay attention to this new social phenomenon? Yes.

While, I’m not going to get into the pros and cons of Quora (do your own free online research), I am will tell you that you need to take time to explore it. As a fashion brand, big or small, before you approach Quora, make sure you devise a strategy to use it. This site is in it’s early stages, so you have a lot of time to figure out how to use it and how to evolve you communication with it. There’s even a longer time before you see sales conversions from the traffic.

1. Article Research & Education Via Questions: Following questions is like delicious bookmarking meets my Google reader, but so much better! I can follow a question I’m interested in, but then I can like and follow the comments in that question I found most relevant or to my liking and save them for future reference. That’s primarily what I use social bookmarking for – to find articles and posts I wish to reference or site later. With this option, I can “bookmark” and have a host of expert quotes at my finger tips!

If I want to find those insights on if Dove’s Campaign For Real Beauty was successful; the question was saved when I followed it, instead of bookmarking it.

2. Reputation Management & Customer Insights: Not only are brands and retailers going to have to add this site to their conversation monitoring duties, retail and fashion oriented dot coms and online products will as well – and that includes their marketing and PR teams and agencies. A question on the success of Mint.com had answers from it’s PR team addressing the strategy behind all facets of the project’s success as it related to user acquisition.

Currently, the are just under 150 questions that relate to Fashion. Everything from how does Gilt’s business model work, to what are the best men’s fashion magazines and the best fashion blogs, to how to find a plus size model agency in Spain.

Discovery: Quora has potential for brands to market to shoppers – online and offline. I found a question on where can a guy find good men’s suits in Palo Alto (hyper local marketing anyone?)

3. Thought Leadership & Influence Outreach: As a business or single professional, Quora lets you answer questions relevant to your expertise in a much more streamlined way than answering posts in LinkedIn Groups. Thank you Hill and Knowlton for helping lead me to this insight.

The ONLINE FASHION threads are already exploding, offering up some of the best minds in online fashion and digital strategy. Want to get a leg up on getting their attention? Influencers and early adopters are here because it’s not mainstream yet. It’s why we’re all using Instragram, Posterous and DailyBooth as well! If you want easier access, go play in new territories. I’ve already spent two hours answering and reading questions.

Things That Quora Should Improve Overall

1. Search – Searching questions and topics is extremely difficult. A dedicated search box above the fold would be delightful.

2. Revenue Model – Quora needs to devise a revenue model immediately, the later it’s implemented, the harder it’s going to be to maintain its swiftly growing user base.

Feel free to friend or follow me on Quora.

Comments

  1. The Fashion Office

    Well done! Fashion & Beauty Industry Influencers would benefit from “hanging around” Quora to learn a thing or two. xxxxoooo

  2. I've been using Quora for a little while now and although I found it difficult to find content at first, it's usefulness far outweighs this. To state the obvious, not everything is google-able and information that can be found on Quora via industry insiders is really valuable. Thanks for the fashion links, I've spent a few hours pouring through most of the threads.

  3. loudpen

    Sounds like an interesting site. I went to it but I'm not sure if I want to sign up yet. It sounds like a good idea but I'm learning that as a blogger, sometimes it's just better for me to stick to what I'm already using. It really is difficult to manage FB, Twitter, LinkedIn and the blog itself. There should be a site that helps manage everything.

  4. Hey Macala, saw some of your postings on Quora and also got one for one the questions I'm following…'what are some good men's fashion blogs', I believe. To that point, I definitely think it's a good and interesting tool and is a boon for anyone looking to tap into thought leaders and influencers in the online space for discovery and general connection beyond the short-form interactions afforded via Twitter. However, I feel like I'm not necessarily seeing a ton of interest or participation from the non-digitally savvy – and I don't mean the positively archaic, but ppl with active FB and Twitter presences, that aren't early adopters or aren't chasers of the “new, hot, thing”. Maybe this is to their own detriment, but it seems to leave out a wiide swath of those in the fashion industy. As well, when it comes to stuff like brands marketing to shoppers both online and offline I find a lot more opportunity in a tool like Aardvark, which while their questions aren't necessarily trackable in the same manner as Quora they do the hyperlocal marketing and “village” as opposed to “library” search much better. Have you played around with it much? I love it. In fact it's become a repeated reference and inspiration for the startup I'm working on.

    • I haven’t played with Aardvark, now I will. To me, early adoption is something that the fashion industry has never really capitalized on. Some brands test things – new communities, new technologies – only for the press release value. The point of breaking down Quora, Instagram etc is to lightly encourage the fashion industry to start using early adoption as a long term marketing tool.

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