User Generated Content vs. Social Media

2011-03-03

If you would like to have user generated content and social media joint with your web site, here is proposition for a right and wrong order to do it.

On and Off Site

Let's clear the difference between the two:

On Site: User Generated Content is generated and displayed on your site. It' comments, or ratings, or any kind of interaction that you prepared interaction patterns for.
Note: UGC could be also anywhere else, not only on site. I use the expression "UGC" here in a way our customers do it in the briefings

Off Site: Social Media content is off your site. It's on facebook or twitter or anywhere else.

What The F*ck - the wrong order

In the past web site owners tried to drag users to their websites in order to interact there. As a second step web site owners tried to go to social media and promote their sites over at Social Media platforms. So the order has been:

FIRST: Website = User Generated Content on Site
THEN: Facebook + Twitter = Social Media
--> FAIL

Most of the time the problem has been: people don't have an intrinsic motivation to do what you want them to do on your website. Because you set the goals. Because you set the rules. Because you have a (hidden) agenda. Because they want to connect to each other with more freedom than you allow them. Or may be because you just don't have enough interesting things to "interact about" on a regular basis.

So my guess is: this order does not really work out. It's even easy to remember, if you look at the order of the first letters:

Web → Twitter + Facebook
= W T F
= What The Fuck

For The Win - the right order

People talk. They have conversations, about you and about your products. But they like to go where their friends, mates and colleagues are. Go to places these places where people are. You might be able to take the content from there. Then try to connect to this content on your web site. And you might get some people to use your site, too, if you have something of value to offer.

I'll take facebook and twitter as examples of social media, and your web site as

So the right order would be:

FIRST: Facebook + Twitter = Social Media
THEN: Website = User Generated Content on Site

Easy to remember:

Facebook + Twitter → Website
= F T W
= For The Win

User Generated Content performed by Yves Klein. UPDATE: As the ladies were carefully chosen models by the artist and did exactly what they were told, this would be more a bought review than real UGC.

(cc-by-sa) since 2005 by Konstantin Weiss.