Engage With User Generated Content
Remember the old radio jingle contests? Social media has put a new spin on this decades-old consumer engagement tactic. User-generated content (UGC), also called consumer-generated content, is media produced by end users and shared on social sites. And everyone is doing it. In fact, in 2008 alone, more than 82 million Americans created online content.
News media outlets have utilized UGC for years. In the old days, news stations would ask viewers to drop off video of newsworthy events at the station office. Now programs like CNN’s iReport engage viewers by asking them to submit their own reports of events that may—or may not—be covered by mainstream media.
So how can you encourage the creation of user-generated content?
- Social incentives – Writing.com, a community of authors, offers electronic badges for members who provide helpful reviews or produce well-written stories. While social incentives cost businesses very little, they may only be effective if the community or audience is large enough to make the recognition appealing.
- Tangible incentives – These programs offer hard goods to encourage participation. Heinz, for example, invited consumers to create ads for their flagship ketchup line. The incentive was a $57,000 prize for the winner. This type of social engagement garnered more than 2,000 entries, and what’s more, 40,000 plus consumers voted for the ad finalists.
While video content is popular in user-generated campaigns, you can use any social media technology to engage consumers, including:
- Discussion boards
Along with the potential to get consumers talking about your brand, there are drawbacks to incorporating UGC into a social media strategy. In the Heinz campaign, for example, some of the ads made their way onto YouTube despite the fact they’d been rejected by the company for not representing the brand in a positive way. One of the unflattering entries garnered more than 12, 000 views.
But don’t let the drawbacks stop you from creating positive brand buzz with user-generated content. An experienced social media monitoring service can guide you through a successful social engagement campaign. Contact Social Strategy1 to find out how their dependable technology and expert staff can engage users to boost your brand.