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Newsletter #849: The “Feature Your Fans’ Content” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

When you start featuring the work of your fans, two things happen: 1) You get a ton of great content, and 2) More fans see it and start submitting their work too. A few forms of fan content you could start with:

1. Their ideas
2. Their art
3. Their comments
4. Check it out: UHpinions

1. Their ideas

Everyone from loyal fans to casual customers love sharing ideas and feedback to make things better. It just takes a little encouragement and the assurance that you’re listening. There are tons of ways to do this, but one of the biggest is to actually hire those with the best ideas. That’s what Microsoft did with Brandon Foy when they offered him a design job after his two homemade commercials for the Windows phone each got more than 100,000 YouTube views. It’s a big way for them to show their appreciation for great ideas and to demonstrate they’re willing to reward their brightest fans.

The lesson: What big gesture could you do to inspire more fans to come up with ideas and suggestions for you?

Learn more: Adweek

2. Their art

If people are using your stuff to do amazing things, do everything you can to help the world see it. Sharpie’s love and support for the artwork of their fans has grown from a gallery on their website to elaborate multi-media ad campaigns featuring fan creations. Their latest effort was a “YouTube takeover” — the result of thousands of fan submissions over several weeks. Through it, Sharpie filled YouTube’s homepage with an interactive mosaic of amazing artwork — all created by their talented and enthusiastic fans.

The lesson: Look for the people doing creative and unexpected things with your stuff and help them show off their work.

Learn more: brandchannel

3. Their comments

If you want more comments and conversation from fans, try encouraging it by highlighting their efforts for everyone to see. You could do it by featuring their comments in your sales material, your publications, or your three-story Jumbotron. That’s what the NFL’s New York Giants are doing this season. During games, the team will feature fan tweets on their giant video screens, their “ribbon” LED displays between stadium levels, and more than 2,000 TVs throughout the venue. And for their preseason games, fans watching at home will see the Twitter conversation integrated into the Giants’ broadcast coverage. It’s all an effort to promote the existing fans and their conversations — and to get a whole lot more talkers involved.

The lesson: Get more people tweeting, commenting, and leaving feedback by featuring the fans who are already doing it.

Learn more: MediaPost

4. Check it out: UHpinions

When it comes to user creations, the world of user reviews can be the source for some of the best, most helpful, and — sometimes — most hilarious customer feedback. This website is all about that last category.

Learn more: UHpinions

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