The Importance of User Generated Content and How to Get It Right

The Importance of User Generated Content and How to Get It Right

There was a time, before the internet, when word of mouth advertising was what most companies tried to capitalize on. While they could advertise on radio and television or place ads in newspapers and magazines, it was a time when referrals were the backbone of most businesses, especially local mom and pop shops. However, what many people still don’t understand to this day is just how important that word of mouth is in the digital realm and how to use it to their advantage. Typically, word of mouth is in the form of user generated content and if you aren’t taking advantage of that, you are missing a huge potential for expanding your market.

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What Is User Generated Content?

To put it simply, user generated content is anything that visitors to your site put out. It could be pictures, videos, blogs, tweets, testimonials and everything in between. User generated content is that which is not paid for and so it carries a lot of weight with your audience. So many websites forbid commenting on posts or products, and that can be a huge mistake on a couple of levels.

Why You Want to Allow Those Comments

In the real world, you aren’t always going to satisfy every customer all the time. It’s unrealistic to think otherwise. However, if you monitor your website and watch what is being said or displayed, you can make effective use of both the good and the bad. Leaving a few negative comments is, believe it or not, actually good for business! Not only does it give you a chance to respond but it also shows visitors that you are honest and ethical.

How to Monitor Content

Say for example you have a blog on your commercial website. You open it up to guest posters, but unfortunately, you can’t accept every post submitted. Sometimes the content is poorly crafted and other times the images submitted are of such poor quality that you couldn’t post them even if you wanted to. Also, in this day of viral memes, you need to be especially critical of both the image and the verbiage and that takes a lot of time or a high quality image moderation platform that will continually monitor content.

Even the Best Err from Time to Time

Speaking of image moderation and user generated content, it’s important to note that even the pros get it wrong from time to time. Something may smack of social biases and other times images may not be of a quality you’d want to post. It’s more than just the image in question, but the image of your company as well that will be frowned upon. By using software that runs seamlessly in the background to monitor what is being submitted, by users or paid content writers, you can better control what is being posted. When it comes to word of mouth and user generated content, this is of prime importance. Why not automate the process so that you know it’s right the first time and every time thereafter?