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  • Can Sites Like Quora Really Help Your Personal Brand?

    With so many social and professional networking tools, it can be difficult to decide whether to jump on the bandwagon of the “next big thing.” You might not feel like you have the time or energy to participate in another social site if you don’t see the benefits instantly. So, is it worth joining social Q&A sites, like Quora, to further your personal brand?

    Quora is described as a continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it. How does Quora differ from what’s already out there in terms of social networking?

    Making valuable connections

    On Quora, you’re able to view questions from specific people about various topics, or simply follow all trending topics and people. Unlike purely social sites, Quora allows you to dig deeper into important issues by asking questions that experts and thought leaders can answer by encouraging thoughtful answers from real people.

    It’s a great way to start a dialogue about a topic with other industry professionals, much like you would in a networking situation. Asking strategic questions to prompt others to share their experience and expertise can not only help you learn more about a topic, but gather several viewpoints at once.

    Much like other social sites, you can follow thought leaders, professionals and leaders in your field and read their activity. Because of the question and answer portion of the site, you can start to learn a lot about a person or the industry just through following an individual’s activity. You can also connect with those individuals and increase your visibility by participating in conversations.

    For example, if you agree with someone’s answer to a question, you can vote it up so it appears higher on the list of answers—increasing your visibility (your name appears next to the vote button) as well as the visibility of the individual who answered. You can also choose to comment on a specific answer or provide your own.

    Heather R. Huhman is a career expert and founder & president ​of Come Recommended, a career and workplace education and consulting firm specializing in young professionals. She is also the author of#ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), national entry-level careers columnist forExaminer.com and blogs about career advice at HeatherHuhman.com.

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