21 Apr Utilizing User Generated Content
You’ve likely seen the term “User Generated Content” floating around the internet. You may have even started exploring how to tie some of this content into your social media marketing plan. User Generated Content might be one of the most important organic means of generating buzz around your business or brand. Today we’ll break down our best practices for implementation.
First things first: what is User Generated Content?
User Generated Content vs Influencer Content
User Generated Content (UGC) is any online content created by people using products and services rather than businesses or brands. This runs the gamut from videos to photos to reviews and blogs centered around your product and business. “Users,” by definition, can have large or small followings and their social media presence is not necessarily business related. These are fans and followers sharing their love for a product or brand, usually without compensation. Consumers find UGC 10 times more impactful than Influencer Content, and 79% of consumers say UGC influences their purchase decisions. 31% of consumers find UGC to be more memorable than other types of branded content.
User Generated Content is not to be mistaken for Influencer Content. Influencers are social media personalities that businesses connect with in order to spread awareness about the brand/business. Influencers by their definition usually have a large following, and businesses will usually seek out influencers that present a specific online persona that relates directly to their brand. Influencers are usually compensated for their branded content. 60% of consumers believe UGC content is the most authentic content. It makes sense. We tend to trust people who feel motivated more by the love of a product or brand, rather than by the promise of compensation.
Best Practices for User Generated Content
Ask & Credit
The likelihood is you’ve found a consumer’s post featuring your product because they’ve tagged your business or used one of your branded hashtags. However, just because they’ve posted about your product, doesn’t mean they necessarily want that post to be shared by your business. Many social media users have privacy concerns, or may not want to be featured in branded content. For that reason, it’s always important to ask for permission before reposting content. While you could send a direct message, asking for permission can be as simple as leaving a comment on their post. Assure the original poster that they will be tagged and given credit.
Put It In Your Profile
To make it easier to find UGC, remember to include language in your social media profile alerting followers about the right hashtags to use to get noticed. It’s a good idea to choose 1 or 2 hashtags that you use consistently for your brand. These should be both short and unique to your business. Put these hashtags in your profile. You can include language along the lines of: “Remember to use the hashtag #StitchcraftMarketing or tag @stitchcraftmarketing in your posts so we can share your awesome work!” It’s still a good idea to ask permission, but this sets a base level of understanding about how their posts might be shared with a wider audience. Searching your own business’s hashtag makes it incredibly easy to find UGC, so this step is very important.
People love giveaways and freebies. To generate buzz around a product, create a giveaway, then encourage your audience to post photos or videos as submissions using a hashtag that ties into the contest. Maybe you’re giving away a few skeins of yarn in a new color. Create a post asking your audience to show off favorite projects they’ve made with the yarn and let them know you’ll be sharing your top picks and choosing a winner. This circumvents the need to ask for permission and should also generate a lot of usable UGC.
Encourage Audience Participation
With platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels and Stories, you can create posts asking questions (example: Of these fabrics, which is your favorite and why?) and then post results. You can also run a poll and allow followers to comment, and then post your favorite responses. The call-and-response technique is very effective at generating UGC. TikTok has made it a central feature of their platform with the Duet feature.
Make It A Regular Feature
Make sharing UGC a regular feature on your platforms. Maybe once a month you share the most unique image that features your brand or product. Fringe Association used to host #Fringeinthewild and encourage followers to post pictures of their Fringe Association bags in different locales around the world. A winner would be chosen and given a discount. This is a great method for creating ongoing UGC around a product or your brand.
User Generated Content is impactful because it’s organic, centers the customer’s experience, and communicates authenticity—all of which create a level of sustained trust between your business and the consumer.
To learn more organic marketing tips, contact us today for a consultation!