Nearly 80% of online content is user generated.
What does that mean?
User generated content includes things like blogs, videos, and forums that are written and created by “end users.” This is different from content you create yourself or hire content writers to create.
If you are a business, these are your customers! Not only are users generating the majority of the content online, but consumers are more likely to trust messages they read from other consumers.
Why it’s Important for Your Business
So what do you do if you are trying to sell a product or service?
You can’t guarantee consumers are going to create content that promotes your business, and you also can’t control whether messages about you are good or bad.
Or can you?
If you want people talking about your business you have to give them a reason to. The best way to do that is to get engaged.
No, you don’t need to run out to the jewelry store and start buying diamond rings, but striking up conversations with your audience on a social media site, like Twitter, is a good start.
Make sure your interaction is always two-sided. Never leave a question or comment from a customer unanswered. Just a simple thank you for a mention will leave a great impression with that consumer and they are more likely to talk you up in the future.
Sticks and Stones
You know the old saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
Well, that is not exactly accurate when it comes to business. Words, particularly those that are user-generated, can be very harmful to your brand if not handled appropriately.
Got a not-so-glowing review of your business from a disgruntled customer? This is a golden opportunity to transform a “hater” into someone willing to give you another shot.
If you make it right with them, others will respect the effort you put in and may be less influenced by the negative review.
Incentives – Work Every Time
Not sure how to get your customers to talk about your business? Sometimes a little incentive is all they need.
People love free stuff, so have a contest and give something away if people mention your business or give you a review or referral.
Make sure to follow through on the giveaway and encourage the winner to share their experience. Everybody wins!
Need some inspiration for engaging with your customers? Check out what LEGO did.