Brands Value Your Social Media Efforts
User-generated content has silently made its way into the promotional campaigns of major global brands and into the mainstream media. Companies now want you to promote their products, and even believe you might be more effective at doing so than they are. Coca-Cola had released bottles with common people’s names inscribed on them. The result was that many people ended up sharing photos of themselves holding a bottle with their names on it, and the whole thing went viral. People may not even have realized they were promoting a product.
Outgrowing the Broadcaster-To-Viewer Paradigm
Newspapers have had their “readers’ columns” since the eighteenth century. And those columns were for a very long time just about the only example of the mainstream media reaching out to the consumer as a potential contributor. The Internet has brought about a radical change in their attitude. Some large sites like Wikipedia, are made entirely of UGC. Television channels were quick to understand that the modern day viewer wants to watch random people on TV, so programs like reality shows of all kinds and music auditions where anybody could participate became popular worldwide. BBC, CNN, and FOX have introduced shows like uReport, where members of the public, who are not journalists, can also report.
Word-of-Mouth Communication in the Digital Era
The shift in public perception, whether in relation to media or to the brands we purchase, has been driven by the notion that UGC is more authentic than professionally-generated content. You might not be a better journalist than a CNN news anchor, but the viewer is more likely to identify with you. Since everybody has access to the net, word of mouth, which has always been one of the most powerful forms of marketing, is being directed in a very articulate manner to create many successful marketing campaigns.