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(User Generated Content)

When researching a product before buying, what do you do? Most likely, you google the product or company name with “review” after it to see what consumers, like you, have to say. You may come across a funny TikTok of someone using that product, see memes along the way, all things posted by real consumers, unpaid. That’s all user generated content (UGC). It’s free, and one of – if not THE – most effective ways of getting that ever sought after engagement on social media (and the web in general)! As an added bonus, it makes your brand more trustworthy and legitimate in the eyes of consumers.

Why should I care about user generated content? The real question is why wouldn’t you care? This genre of content is 42% more effective at driving sales than official branded content, and gets 6.9 times more engagement! Now that I know about the perks of UGC, how do I cash in on it? Keep reading to find out.

First, how do you leverage UGC? The best way is to reshare any content you find and share it on your profiles. Share it to your feed or story, but this next part is very important: always tag the original creator! Not only does it instill good faith in your brand because you’re making sure to credit someone’s work, but it’s always nice to see when someone shares your work. Further, it can foster a relationship with whoever created that content. In short: you’ll get more UGC organically, by a simple share and tag!

Don’t see a lot of user generated content for your brand to share? Try researching your industry competitors to see what they’re doing! If you need some ideas for how to prompt UGC outside of consumer reviews, we’ve got you covered. Here’s three ideas to get your consumers and followers to help carry some of the weight of social media marketing:

1. Host a contest/giveaway!

This is a great use of another engagement booster, giveaways! The way to get user generated content out of a giveaway is simple: base your entries around UGC. Everyone has seen a branded giveaway where the prompt is “share a picture of you with x product” or “share your favourite product” as a form of entry. Giveaways are a great way to get UGC because the winner will often share what they won from who.

2. Collaborate and get involved with your community!

We all know the social responsibility is a huge driving factor in buying decisions for consumers today. That means being community focused will reflect positively on your brand, and make your audience more likely to share your product or service! Associating your brand with social causes and community events will generate pretty easy UGC because there are always people taking pictures at these events to share. Consumers value knowing that their dollars are going to people and companies who use their profits responsibly; they are more likely to share/promote companies who – for lack of a better phrase – put their money where their mouth is!

3. Tell your audience what kind of content you want to see!

Finally, why not just tell people what you want? Encourage the use of branded hashtags when talking/posting about your brand. Include messaging that lets them know you’re actively looking for content to share on your platforms (ex; “use #MySpotifyFavs when posting your playlist and we’ll share it to our story!”). This doesn’t just encourage UGC, but streamlines it to you as long as the hashtag is unique to your brand. This is a great tactic regardless, because you can use different hashtags for different types of content, and even move into themed hashtags for different promotions and campaigns. This can be used in tandem with other tactics – like giveaways from the first tip. Run a contest for who can come up with the most creative logo redesign – and tell them to post with a hashtag. The options really are endless!

Now that you’ve got the run down on what user generated content is and how to get your audience to participate, go try it for yourself! Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t kick off right away, even Spotify took their time before realizing what a genius source of UGC Spotify Wrapped is once a year.

Good luck!

- Hanna from SamSocial


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