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Strategies for Using User Generated Content

I read an interesting article on Customer World about strategies for companies to use User Generated Content (UGC) in the travel industry. I’m not really fussed about the travel industry but I think this article has some juice for a lot of companies out there. For those who haven’t seen or heard much about user generated content, it’s all around us on the internet - from every video mock-up on YouTube to all those blogs out there that people are commenting on - people are making content on sites around the world every day which help to influence company reputations. In addition to this, the high level of interaction between companies and consumers using UGC are helping to create rock solid relationships.

The article I read on Customer World outlined three strategies for making use of user generated content based on two variables - control and exposure. You could have a high level of control and small level of exposure, such as at https://direct2dell.com/one2one/ with their single blog for talking about Dell’s news, products and services. You could have a 3rd party Site devoted to your company like https://www.civfanatics.com/ and have no control over what the site says about your company. You could have a mix between the two by offering forums, chances to review products, links to peoples websites and integration with 3rd party sites just like https://www.amazon.com/. Otherwise, if you’re not going to use any of those strategies, you won’t get a lot of attention through UGC - such is the case with my uni https://www.qut.edu.au/.

  Low Exposure High Exposure
Low Control Not Aware of or Using UGC (e.g. https://www.qut.edu.au/) Leave 3rd party Blogs and Forums to produce UGC (e.g. https://www.civfanatics.com/)
High Control Make Company’s internal operations responsible for UGC production (e.g. https://direct2dell.com/one2one/) Integrating company‚Äôs web presence with 3rd Party UGC (e.g. https://www.amazon.com/ with their user reviews, websites and affiliate programs)

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April 2007
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