Social NetworksUser Generated Content

How Reviews and Ratings Can Help You Grow

The web provides endless possibilities for growing your business. You’re probably already using email marketing, blogging and social networks to spread the content that you create as far as you can, forcing you to focus on content creation. But did you know that the most authentic, compelling and cost effective content you can use can be created by your customers?

User Generated Content (UGC), is made possible through the technology of Web 2.0 platforms, such as social networks, and the culture of participation that the web enables. This participatory culture of the web sees people not only consuming content that you’ve created, but also making mashups and remixes of your content as well as creating their own. Traditionally, business would move to protect their content, but more and more are starting to embrace UGC.

So, how can you use UCG to grow your business?

UGC needs a place to flourish. If you don’t provide that place, then it will start somewhere else and you’ll have little control over it.

As a starting point, allow for reviews and ratings of your products and services and show them on your site. This creates content around your brand, that you can use in ads and on social posts and it also helps build up Search Engine Optimisation. Secondly, it presents an authentic, customer centric voice to your audience, which they will trust. Last of all, reviews will show you how you’re perceived and shows your audience how well you can respond to feedback.

Further down the track, you could look at providing a Q and A page or a fully fledged customer community! We’ll be examining these more in future posts.

How are you using UGC to grow? Let us know in the comments.

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