User generated content (UGC) is specifically information put out into the online world by people who are not professionals. Users are the masses, who are willing to express their opinions and share their experiences online for virtually no exchange, and it’s a whole world of useful information that successful companies can and should make use of on a regular basis. UGC is a wealth of material that can improve your product, improve your customer’s experiences, and improve your team’s understanding of both categories.

What is it about UGC that is so valuable? Nearly everything. By focusing on your forums and watching third party sites like Wikipedia and Youtube, you can find a broad array of information from sources high and low in your customer base – from very frustrated to very satisfied customers, and everywhere in between. You will find open honesty without any ulterior motives, so that experiences can be measured and studied without the grain of salt that you need to study customer service-based interactions. You can find critical feedback, differing perspectives, and ultimately valuable content. In the jungle of the open internet, you will also find those people who are, without nudging, just glad to promote and defend your brand. It can even help your usage of SEO content, by getting right into the thick of it with seasoned, fluent users. The benefits of involving yourself with UGC are endless!

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This post was written by Hallie Dunn

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