social media how to Do you want to use your in-depth experience to help others?

Are you a trusted resource?

Successful marketers spend time sharing what they know.

In this article I’ll share where you can answer questions from fans, customers and even strangers to build your credibility as a recognized resource.

Why Write Content That Answers Questions?

One of the easiest ways to create a solid community is to answer questions others have asked you before. Keep a running list of these questions and answer them via blog posts or social media. The right medium depends on the question.

The more information you can give, the more likely people will come to view you and your company as useful, trusted sources of information.

#1: Help Your Connections With Jelly

Jelly is a fairly new Q&A platform. It’s different from traditional forums in that it’s a smartphone app and uses photos or maps paired with questions. Users get or give answers, advice and guidelines in real time.

With Jelly, you can help your colleagues decide which headlines to use, do a little brainstorming or even help them find the best local pizza place.

jelly app

Ask and answer questions in real time.

The catch is that you have to connect the app with your social networks because you’re only allowed to answer questions from people in your immediate and extended networks.

Every time you open Jelly, it shows you any questions you can answer and how you know the person asking the question (e.g., someone you follow on Twitter).

jelly question

Help your networks find what they’re looking for.

Q&A platforms like Quora and Jelly give you a chance to establish your credibility while genuinely helping people who need it.

#2: Answer Questions on Quora

Quora is a valuable website for finding in-depth answers to difficult questions. This no-frills Q&A forum attracts experts from some of the world’s top organizations, including Google.

You can add your voice to the community by sharing your own expertise whenever you can.

quora sign up

Connect your social media profiles to Quora.

When you sign up for your account, Quora encourages you to connect via one of your social accounts. This simple step helps keep the space professional and cuts down on trolls.

While you can choose to sign up with your email address, connecting one of your social profiles adds to your credibility. I suggest using a personal account rather than a business account. It helps people feel more connected—like they’re talking to a real person, not just a random company representative.

Quora also asks you to provide a little more information about yourself. Definitely take the time to fill out your bio because Quora uses that information to match you up with the questions you’re most likely to be interested in or can answer.

The questions Quora suggests are chosen based on useful criteria such as location (current and previous places you’ve lived or been to), education and recognized topic experience (e.g., you have an advanced degree or significant work experience in a specific academic area, like nursing or investing).

quora profile

Quora gives you questions based on your familiarity with a subject.

As of now, you can connect your Quora account with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr and WordPress (although you can only connect either a Tumblr or a WordPress blog—you can’t have both at the same time).

Connect as many of your social networks as you feel comfortable with. The more networks you add, the more questions Quora can find for you to answer.

But you don’t have to rely on Quora to share questions with you. You can do your own search to find and follow topics you’re interested or experienced in. When you log into Quora, your Questions and Answers section shows the top questions and answers in those specific areas, as well as posts from people you’re following.

quora q&a

Start answering questions!

Quora’s Open Questions section shows questions that align with your interests and profile and still don’t have any answers. This is an easy place to get started when you’re ready to jump in.

If you want to participate in other discussions that already have answers, visit Top Stories or search by topic keyword. Quora automatically sorts search results by a mixture of relevance and popularity.

quora search results

You don’t have to stick with predetermined questions.

Add your voice to the mix and give feedback on other answers. Like Reddit, you can upvote or downvote answers to questions depending on how well you think another user responded.

Quora’s simple layout is simple to learn and easy to integrate into your social media routine and lend your expertise to others.

#3: Contribute to Help Forums

Because product or service creators can’t be everywhere at once, many companies turn to crowdsourcing. Product and general support forums allow experienced users like you to jump in and answer questions as you can.

Google and WordPress both have user-driven forums that often have non-employees answering questions faster than the company’s employees can.

And because many of the people answering questions—including you—have experienced an issue or scenario firsthand, they may have a unique view or workaround that the company itself may not have thought of.

wordpress support forum

Helping new users is an excellent way to introduce yourself to others.

Being an active participant in support forums is a great way to share what you know and become an invaluable resource in the process.

Over to You

It’s important to think of social media as a place to drive conversation, not just a way to market your products and services.

Q&A platforms like Quora, Jelly and forums give you a chance to share your expertise and establish your authority while also sincerely helping others. Proactively answering common questions in a blog post reinforces that reputation.

When we all put forth genuine effort to help people, the Internet continues to grow as a community that can solve just about anything.

What do you think? How do you establish yourself as the go-to resource for your niche? Do you have additional advice? Share your comments and questions below.

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  • Nakul

    An interesting & insightful read! However, I am little skeptic about Jelly. In terms of userbase and popularity, isn’t Jelly a deserted portal?

  • Kelsey Jones

    Thanks for the comment, Nakul. I’ve actually seen more users on Jelly than when it first came out. When I first downloaded it when it was available, there wasn’t really any questions. now, there are a lot from my network. It probably depends on a user’s network for the amount of content that is on there.

  • I didn’t know about Jelly and do need to look at it. Thanks Kelsey. I’m on Quora but have a few doubts about it. Some of the answers are great and some seem like online venting. There must be something wrong with their site because today I received a question about coffee helping in crash dieting and I clearly remember not stating anything anywhere about being an expert on weight loss though I admit on an aside, that I love coffee. Any views on that?

  • Nakul Patel

    Thanks for the prompt reply, Kelsey. I agree that the user’s network in itself can be a significant factor; but again, this will be affected by the people in network who uses this app. And on this front, Jelly has been consistently losing the ranks since it was first made available. (Source: AppAnnie:,US&start=2013-12-31&end=2014-06-19&view=rank&lm=f)
    However, it would be wrong for me to make any strong statements against anything this early, as Jelly is still young and I’m still learning 🙂

  • Nakul Patel

    Thanks for the prompt reply, Kelsey. I agree that the user’s network in itself can be a significant factor; but again, this will be affected by the people in network who uses this app. And on this front, Jelly has been consistently losing the ranks since it was first made available. (Source: AppAnnie).
    However, it would be wrong of me to make any strong statements against anything this early, as Jelly is still young and I’m still learning 🙂

  • Kelsey Jones

    It probably picked up on your coffee obsession, instead of the weight loss factor. I believe it can pick up keywords from your SM content.

  • I thought so too, Kelsey and went back to check on Quora but i haven’t mentioned coffee anywhere not even in the 1 linked account. Must have been a fluke.

  • Nakul

    Sorry to barge in but couldn’t resist posting! As already explained by Kelsey, my first guess was that it might have picked it from any of linked accounts. My second guess would be – you might have inadvertently followed any health related topic while browsing through questions (I do this a lot – surfing away, following anything that comes my way) – you can check topics followed by you. And my last guess would be – the question might have been suggested because it might have been either asked/answered by someone followed by you.

  • Delighted you barged in Nakul. I think you might have stumbled upon the right answer, even if inadvertently. One of my friends on Facebook with whom I am connected on LinkedIn and Google Plus as well but not Quora, is promoting a brand of coffee and sometimes I like the photos she posts. That is eerily intuitive on the part of the program. I’m just wondering aloud, but it would be interesting if coffee ads start appearing in my Gmail account based on our discussion. One never knows! Thanks again.

  • Nakul

    Glad I helped!