Just like most things, user generated content does have risks as well as benefits. Nevertheless, if used in the correct manner, you can ensure the maximum benefits with the minimum of risks. Knowing these will stand you in good stead regarding your website or blog etc and when put into action the benefits of user generated content will overshadow any of the risks.
So let’s look at some benefits of user generated content. Firstly, it’s free and plentiful and the benefits are obtainable in a short space of time. Secondly, the benefits received from free advertising and faster optimization of your website or blog etc. are increased greatly by the number of the platforms used.
Where it’s fitting to your particular site, construct a section where visitors can give opinions or leave remarks. The confidence of your customers can be increased immensely when reading reviews left by other customers about a merchandise or service rather than the hard sell. In the case of a blog, you will more than likely receive remarks from your visitors of additional new content and resulting RSS feeds will spawn further traffic to a greater extent.
With user generated content, new content posted by visitors to your site will accelerate your search engine ranking without you even bothering to add new posts and free up more of your time to do other important tasks.
Into the bargain with user generated content, you will be getting immediate and at no cost, market research enabling you to determine what your visitors think about your merchandise or service and any problems or inconveniences they have using them. Retrospectively, you will gain consumers trust when you respond to there posts about issues and doubts or any concern they may have. Users like sharing with other users all there findings about products or services be it good, bad or indifferent. Therefore, ensuring that you supply the facility for your customer’s voice to be listened to, this will reimburse you many times over.
Your site can beyond any doubt be boosted with user generated content but it would be a mistake to rely too much on it. To start with, there are legalities that you must take into account such as being answerable for postings on your site. It is essential therefore to scrutinize all remarks posted about legitimate consumer concerns. It is also essential to scrutinize all user generated content for other comments that could be construed as slanderous or contravene the laws of copyright.
Granted you can decide to supervise user generated content either before or after it has been posted to your site, but it would be wise to put in place some type of system to examine these comments. Your sites Terms of Service should be posted on your site insisting that users are in agreement with these terms before anything can be posted. To avoid any distasteful comments you should always reserve the right to delete or edit any comments that you fear are not in the keeping with that particular site.
Huge sites like MySpace and YouTube among others which thrive on user generated content have all had their share of issues. Nevertheless by taking advantage of user generated content and with some fine-tuning and correct scrutinizing of your site you will achieve great rewards and a large increase in traffic.