4 Great Ways to Leverage User-Generated Content

Great user-generated content (UGC) should not exist in a vacuum—it should be reused, when and where appropriate, to bring color and authenticity to a brand’s marketing.

As brands expand their social-media footprints, many have also (smartly) placed more emphasis on engaging with their fans. As a result, they’ve begun proudly featuring selected consumer contributions in print, TV and online advertising. Dedicated fans often create a gold mine of content that’s just waiting to be explored, and in due course, brands have begun to dip into this resource. It’s the easiest and most direct way to build relationships with customers, because their passion for their favorite brands makes them happy to respond and share their stories—messages that are infinitely more compelling than what the brand might say.

Here are some great ways to use freely made consumer-generated content from social channels to great effect.

Social Media Overpowers NBC

Social Media Overpowers NBC: A Vision

RFPs may suck, as Tom Searcy's new book proclaims, but Story Worldwide was recently asked in an RFP to write down Story's "vision for the future of social media" and I thought it was a really good question. Where exactly is all this going? What does it mean? Here's our take: Story’s vision is that “social media” soon will be called just plain “media” and the world will accept that the power to publish or broadcast to large audiences has passed irrevocably from a select few to virtually everyone. It is common wisdom these days that marketers no longer own their brands; the audience does. It’s critical to understand that this is true because marketers are no longer the masters of communicating about their brands; social networks have given that power to everyone. This profoundly game-changing democratization of mass communications is going to accelerate. One day soon, social media will trump the power of traditional media, meaning that national newspapers, network TV and brand advertisers will become, in effect, just another voice in the crowd. On that day, brands without a credible presence on social networks will cease to be competitive.