User-generated content helpful for small firms to boost brand equity

946332MUSCAT: Social media can make a positive impact on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is one of the best ways to increase profits and to communicate with customers easily. A common challenge facing most businesses is creating an excellent content. Creating an excellent content can be costly and time-consuming.
Producing a great content enables businesses to attract people and encourage them to share. Businesses can use different techniques in order to differentiate themselves from other competitors.
Basically, User-generated content (UGC) is a content not produced by a brand. It is a content created and shared by customers. UGC is a powerful tool that businesses can use to promote their brands. Businesses can repost UGC in Instagram, retweet in Twitter, and share in Facebook.
In fact, people love being recognised by brands. If the company highlights their content, they will tell their friends about the company. Businesses should highlight UGC, so that users will get excited about their brands.
What is really impressive about UGC is that it is influential because consumers trust other consumers. There are different types of User Generated Content, such as photos, videos, blogs, and comments.
Businesses should utilise User-Generated Content in their marketing strategy. Another important thing about UGC is that companies can collaborate with those people who have many followers. For example, brands can collaborate with famous photographers, you-tubers, or actors.
One of the main benefits of UGC is that it is an easy and cheap marketing tool. Very often, User-Generated Content is produced by unpaid people.
Usually people share their experiences and their personal opinions about products or services in social media platforms. User-Generated Content is a source of advertising that is free.
On the other hand, user-generated content has some drawbacks such as lack of participation, uncertain quality, and conflict views.
UGC is a useful tool because it has a plenty of advantages. Nowadays, it is playing an important role in increasing customers and increasing brand awareness.
To start with, through UGC, companies can create a great brand awareness. Businesses can use this technique as a marketing tool. In fact, it allows businesses to demonstrate their products and services. Advertising on social media is less expensive. As a result, businesses can improve their business visibility easily.
In addition, UGC allows brands to communicate and interact with customers. It is a source that contributes in product development. Through comments section, companies can get a feedback.
UGC is also a powerful tool to increase loyal customers. Having loyal customers means having long-term profits. UGC allows businesses to develop strong relationships with their customers. Also, companies can build trust with their customers, and increase sales.
By Buthaina Sulaiman Salim al Hinai, Juma Said al Ruqaishi, Ruqaiya Ahmed Ali Alsirairi, Anas Abdulrehman Hassan al Matarafi, students, Department of Information Systems, Sultan Qaboos University