Why User Generated Content is King

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.

Judith Barron

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I have a background in marketing communications, writing creative copy for various medias and industries including insurance, financial and automotive. Don't let these boring industries deceive you though, my style is witty, funny and charming. (At least I like to think so!)

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Ebony Logan
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Ebony Logan

Very well written post.

Emma Chapman
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Emma Chapman

I agree with Ebony. Your article offers excellent tips that can help business entrepreneurs earn good online reputations. Business owners who get involved with their customers are more likely to achieve success.

Judith Barron
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Judith Barron

Thank you Ebony and Emma!

Lewis Kipling
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Lewis Kipling

I certainly agree with what you wrote concerning answering questions and offering replies, Judith. “Thank you” never sounds simple when it’s offered genuinely.

Georgia Potts
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Georgia Potts

Interacting with your customers is so important online. Many people choose to do business with the companies they do because they see personal interactions online. They see that there is a place to go to complain if they don’t like something and that they are listened to.

Earl Dotson
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Earl Dotson

The idea that words will never hurt you is inaccurate not just in business but life in general. I don’t think there’s a person out there who doesn’t feel pain when on the receiving end of hurtful comments. Why adults insist on peddling that fiction to children is beyond me.

Georgia Potts
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Georgia Potts

That’s true. They used to use that “sticks and stones” rhyme when I was little, but they’ve found since that words can be far more hurtful than we ever knew before. There are few things that can do more damage than hurtful words.

Tay H
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Tay H

Wow 80% this surprised me but it completely makes sense.

auntieemily
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auntieemily

I think that giving something away in order to get people talking about the products offered by a company is a very great move. Good post!

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