Tapping Into User-Generated Content
As a brand, you already have a Facebook and Twitter following. Also, you are already curating your Instagram feed and have just started taking snaps on Snapchat. Every day you diligently post branded content that spreads your message and hopefully resonates with your audience; therefore, you think that you’re covered — but you are not. Your brand’s social media is limited by a one-way content model. The objective of publishing branded content is threefold: to be liked, to be commented, and to be shared by your customers. How do you follow a two-way content model? How do you put the “social” in social media? The answer is by tapping into user-generated content.
User-generated content is made by consumers around a specific brand. Brands can tap into this kind of content by integrating it into their social media strategy. There are many benefits of sharing and utilizing it for your brand’s own campaigns.
User-generated content is trusted and relatable. Since, this type of content is created by other consumers, not brands, they are seen as more authentic. This authenticity inspires confidence. Fifty-one percent of consumers trust user-generated content over information on brand websites, and 50% of millennials believe it more than any other media. Simply, consumers rely on one another over brands, and thus can better relate to a product or company if they know of others who have had good experiences with it. Essentially, user-generated content humanizes a brand.
User-generated content drives more engagement. Whether a brand officially requests its audience to send in content or just periodically shares fans’ creations, user-generated content increases customer engagement. Customers are more likely to comment on and share what customers produce themselves, and may even make their own in hopes that the brand will use it. These types of posts spark conversations, which is a critical function of social media. The best way to gain followers and brand loyalty is by talking to customers and showing appreciation for them.
Just like all social media and content strategies, a strategy that integrates user-generated content should work towards objectives and follow these key steps.
1. Choose a Social Media Platform
Each social space (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) has distinct demographics, so it requires a different strategy to accommodate its unique characteristics. Before you start sharing user-generated content, know the target audience and type of campaign you want.
2. Set Goals
Do you want to collect user-generated videos to create mash-up that will later serve as a TV commercial? Do you want to drive purchases by featuring customers using your products on your Instagram feed? Whatever goals you have in mind, design your user-generated content strategy around them.
3. Seek Out Content
Set up a contest on Facebook encouraging your audience to submit stories about their experiences with your brand for a chance to win rewards. Ask fans to post photos with your products and a specific campaign hashtag. There are many ways brands can collect user-generated content, choose one.
4. Pick the Best
Remember that what you choose to share will reflect your brand. Therefore, do not feel that you have to share all user-generated content brought to your attention. Choose only the highest quality creations that align with your brand.
5. Give Recognition
Always get approval from creators before using user-generated content and be transparent on how their work will be used. Once you get approval, it is very important to properly credit those who created the user-generated content your brand shares. Make sure to tag usernames, reblog or retweet not repost; and, for a personal touch, attribute content creators with their real names.
If your brand consistently delivers results and satisfies customers, you will likely amass a loyal following. Seventy-five percent of consumers are willing to share a positive experience with a brand. Tap into that user-generated content and integrate it into your social media strategy. Don’t waste this opportunity.
If you want to improve your social media strategy, call your local South Florida marketing agency. Our experts are happy to meet all your digital marketing needs.