In a previous post, I detailed how you can effectively leverage “proactive” UGC – User Generated Content. (This refers to the content generated by a user’s initiative without any stimulation on your behalf. )
Today, I will focus on another kind of UGC that you inspire and stimulate through a compelling call to action. I like to call it “reactive” UGC.
The beauty of “reactive” UGC is that, unlike proactive UGC, you are in full control of the outcome and you can tweak your call to action to meet your branding ,SEO, and sales goals.
Here are some examples of reactive UGC best practices:
1. Create a Community Forum
At first glance, creating a community forum would seem no different than any form of proactive UGC, since users will still have the first say.
Think of a community forum an implicit call to action that says: “Here is where you should ask questions or give feedback about my product(s)”. Here are some of the rewards you will reap in the process:
Monitoring your brand image and online reputation will become much easier when you provide a central location for customers’ feedback
Your customers and prospects can mingle and share ideas and insights about your product
You can control the nature of the forum , add voting and other interactive features to make it more engaging to your customers
Garious Experience with community forums
We created a feedback forum that is easily accessible from the homepage as indicated below:
We make the process fun for Garious scheduling users by encouraging them to share ideas on how to enhance Garious scheduling functionality and other users can vote on it. We also notify them of the ideas we will be implementing as illustrated in the screenshot:
Asking customers for product ideas is by far the best customer loyalty technique I can think of. Once you adopt their ideas and give them credit for it, you will win them over your toughest competition.
2. Hold Contests
Contests can be very a effective branding technique and I can safely say that social media loves contests. People love entering contests because of all the excitement and the rush of winning. If your contest idea is innovative and fun, many people will be happy to jump in.
Garious Experience With Promotional Contests
In celebration of the indepenence day, Garious held a Twitter contest asking people to share what they would do if they can save some of the time they spend on social media.
The nifty prize for the wittiest answer was a one year subscription to Garious scheduling tools. The following are some of the precious tips we learned in the process:
Make the contest fun and interesting to your target participants
Make the entry requirements clear and simple
The contest idea must reflect your brand message (We asked people to share what they would do if they could save the time they spend on social media. The contest was designed to promote Garious social scheduling product that is mainly used to save social media time. See the connection between the contest and the brand message? )
Our nifty prize was a one year free trial of Garious scheduling app, which again serves our marketing and branding goals
Blogs can inspire massive users’ engagement and create invaluable UGC.
For example, your closing line of a blog post should be an irresistible call to action, directing users on how to comment by asking questions and encouraging readers to contribute to the original post.
This is just one example of inspiring reactive UGC. Many articles have been written on this important topic. Here are some helpful ones:
Asking questions is the most effective form of reactive UGC. The more interesting and targeted your questions are, the more relevant UGC will come your way. You can ask questions everywhere applicable. Here are just a few examples:
Did you get the importance of coming up with innovative and reactive UGC techniques? Can you see the sales and branding rewards of initiating and directing UGC using the above tips? Are you incorporating some or all of them ? I can’t wait to find out.
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