Tips for Managing User Generated Content

Stock photos are horrible. 

I’m not trying to be mean either.

There was a day when all you needed was a website with stock images and you were ready to rock in the sales.

Those days are gone forever, fortunately.

Anyone with an internet connection can distinguish between stock photographs are unique, genuine imagery. 

There is a website that shows just how mundane and useless stock photos have become. Additionally, research indicates that over 50% of Americans trust user-generated content (UGC) over all other forms of company information. Even more, 84% of millennials report that UGC on a corporate website has “at least some” influence into what they buy.

The upshot: UGC is better than stock photographs in today’s social media and socially influence world. But caution…marketers thinking about implementing these UGC campaigns must be cautious. That is so because using content from the public can create scandal and potentially embarrassing situations for the corporate marketing department.

For instance, when the New England Patriots auto-tweeted a racist jersey, that scenario was hurtful to the Patriot brand. Or the drug reference contained in a Puma auto-tweet of personalized autographs. Puma probably did not have a clue what was in that tweet.

Content moderation is the solution to this potential issue, but it may be tricky or complicated. While it is simple to filter naked people, offensive gestures or vulgar language, some items of potential controversy require actual eyes on the content. They need actual content moderation filtering and possibly a profanity filter.

Josh Buxbaum is the co-founder of WebPurify, a leader in the content moderation field. Josh consults global brands on the means for keeping their websites safe and clean from the potential harms living in UGC. Josh has 3 tips for managing UGC. Here they are:

Who is your audience?

Josh says that when creating a “content moderation campaign” you should 1) find out who your audience is, and then find out their concerns and vulnerabilities. Then, he goes on, you need to balance the audience profile with your brand’s voice. This will let you define what’s appropriate and what is not given the content your garner from that audience.

Balance your budget with user safety

In setting a cost for any UGC campaign, the marketer must add in the price of content moderation. Further, the marketer should consider the risk involved with having to do damage control if something goes wrong.

Adjust moderation criteria after the campaign begins

As you set parameters for content, you will undoubtedly encounter users that submit content out of bounds for what you initially sought. In the midst of obtaining some off but useful content, the criteria for your content moderation might need to change in order to accept the new content type.

The ultimate objective image moderation based on your criteria is controlling what can be controlled without limiting the ability to receive worthy and creative content from users. Follow the three steps above and you will be fine.