How to Benefit From User Generated Content

Posted by on January 9, 2012 in Business Technology [ 0 Comments ]

The New Year is shaping up to be the year of the consumer. The rise of social networking sites has given customers the power to rapidly spread their like or dislike of a product. According to, 53% of people on Twitter recommend companies and/or products in their Tweets, with 48% of them delivering on their intention to buy the product.

Whether negative or positive, you as a company can make this work to your benefit. User generated content is a way to harness the reviewing habits of your customers in a constructive way. When you foster an online community you can build an environment where even unhappy customers can leave feeling better with your company or product.

1. Customer Q&A Forum

Getting a customer Q&A page on your website can be monumental in making every one a returning customer, and it gives you the opportunity to get free recommendations from your product users. People want to be heard, and this provides them with a platform to do just that. Allowing for constant chatter in a setting where your products are easily accessible will be helpful to the customer and you alike.

For the Customer:

  • Customers want to see reviews. It has been proven that your customer will spend more money after reading reviews from other purchasers; even ones they don’t know.
  • In a forum setting, customers can answer each others’ questions. Only 5% of returns are because of defects, so it’s safe to assume that a lack of knowledge about using or maintaining the product could be the issue.
  • You can create a rewards program for customers that are giving feedback. Making this seem exclusive will give further incentive to be a part of the conversation.

For The Business:

  • When customers post grievances, you can then modify your product or address the issues. Customers appreciate a response from the company; it gives a more personal feeling.
  • Rubbermaid’s success story proves the effectiveness of user generated content. After releasing a new product, the Produce Saver, customers returned with terrible reviews. Turns out, customers were using the product wrong. The concerns were addressed by adding further instructions on the website. This product is now recommended by 92% of customers.
  • You can use this forum to post questions about products. People want their opinions heard, and this can work to your benefit. You can create the product that your customer wants.

2. Going Mobile

Though a whopping, 71% of all U.S. adults shop online, even more people are using their mobile phone and tablets for everything from social networking to shopping advice. Creating a review app for your products can be a strategic way to tap into this market.

More and more we are seeing that 2012 is going to involve internet specific products such as mobile applications.  This is the first time that you can actually be in someone’s pocket when they are making the decision of whether to purchase your product or not. Acquity Group estimated that approximately 52% of Smartphone users will use their device to research products, redeem coupons and use apps to assist in their holiday gift purchase.

Whether you have employees who already know how create applications or not, you can get involved. As the demand for mobile application development has increased, it’s very easy to find training, or hire out the designing process to a number of specialty companies.

3. Get Out There in 2012

The New Year is shaping up to be one for user generated content. Putting power in the hands of your customers can be an invaluable asset to your business. Take the capabilities of Twitter and Facebook and employ it to your benefit. When you give your customers an easy and helpful way to give feedback, you can create a better product and provide a venue for a productive user recommendation.

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