If your neighbor or friend wrote an article in the most recent issue of a magazine, would you stop by the news stand on your way to work to pick up a copy? Let’s say you’re a wine lover, and you ran into a reliable connoisseur in the dairy and cheese aisle while grocery shopping on a Sunday afternoon. This wine expert generously decided to spill the beans on a personal recommendation with you. Chances are you’d be more likely to be influenced in purchasing or discovering more about their recommendations. The same rules apply in the world of social media. The only difference is content on social networks has the ability to reach individuals far beyond your own social circle.
With the right tools and methods of exposure, user-generated-content has the power to influence, extend reach and impact a greater population, while maintaining a sense of credibility. They’re fun to read and for the most part take the underlying brand bias out of the mix since the production of content has no obligation to an organization. As a communication channel, social media outlets have ripped out the pages of traditional publications and replaced them with a simple URL. User-generated-content has drawn so much attention because it’s refreshing, interesting, derives from true passion and provides a genuine experience.
That said, user-generated-content is only enjoyable if it’s relevant, reliable and properly organized. Eliminate the scatterbrain effect of content overload and think: wouldn’t it be valuable to be able to visit a single destination that has gone to all of the trouble of finding and publishing the best of the user-generated web for you?