We dedicated our first lecture this week to user generated content. It enabled us to revisit some of the assumptions and myths related to user generated content. This includes the easiness of producing and sharing content, the reduced cost both of the technology making content production as well as of the platforms hosting it, the immediate availability of the internet and the users access to it as well as the users readiness to share content with others including organizations.
Dailybreak’s User Generated Content guide (available on myBU) struggle for consumer enagement image is particularly relevant in depicting the opposite of some of the assumptions ennumerated above. In reality, engagement online (and this includes the users creating and sharing content with organizations) is among the most difficult things to achieve.
There are a wide series of factors that influence the generation of content by the users. Beck (2008) offers an extensive review of the 5 determinants of user generated content production and the theories affiliated to them. The determinats are:
- group size
- topic and purpose
- member characteristics
- polcy and safety.
The lecture prezi (included below) enlarges upon most of them. We followed the interplay between these factors in a series of case studies showing both the positive and the negative side of user-generated content and its impact, especially on the reputation of some organizations.
Our candidates for user-generated gone bad include:
- the highjacking of Starbuck’s #top3percent #starbucks campaign by liberal activist and filmmaker Robert Greenwald who produced and shared a mini-documentary about the company’s unfair labour practices. More details about the story are to be found in The New York Times and on Bloggasm.
- Greepeace’s highjacking of Shell via the spoof “Artic Ready” campaign which featured a user-generated caption contest. Sarah Ryan from TweakYourBiz.com writes more about it.
- “Bic for her” and the snarky comments they received on Amazon. Kari Rippetoe from SearchMarketingSage has more details.
- The bespoke occupy network, Occuppii, and its extremely low levels on engagement from users that are supposed to be there because they share a common purpose, common ground and common interests. More details about the research covering this are on Ana Adi’s website.
- Other examples for you to check are #McFail, Nestle Killer by Greenpeace and David Carrol’s United Breaks Guitars.
Our examples for good user-generated include:
- Litter Robot and their YouTube competition.
- Dunkin Donuts’ #Coolatta campaign.
- Daym Drops’ epic review of Five Guys Burgers & Fries.
- Other examples include #UWRightNow campaign of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Tourism Queensland and Iceland wants to be your friend. You can read more about them on Mashable and Postano’s blog.
The point we tried to make was that enterring the teritory of the user (this usually includes everything social media) exposes organizations to as many benefits as risks. Having a social media policy as well as some social media guidelines in place could be extremely beneficial when user-generated content goes bad.
Similarly, clear, simple and timely campaign mechanisms are necessary when aiming to take advatange of user-generated content and they have to be created with conversion in mind (from users to advocates, from users to buyers…).
If you have other examples of good or bad social media user-generated campaigns or efforts, please share them here.
- Sarah Perez’s “When user-generated content goes bad“.
- Jay Acunzo’s “Three Rules for Earning Quality User-Generated Content“