If you’ve not yet given user generated content (UGC) much thought, it’s time to listen up and get on board with one of the biggest opportunities to convert leads on social media.
Whether it’s a product image or a product review, it’s all about joining or creating conversations rather than pushing messages in front of the masses.
UGC refers to any form of content that is created by the public or influencers and shared on digital platforms. It often features amateur photography, with a caption that includes feedback and opinions related to the user’s experience with a product or service. Although it’s unpolished in its style compared with paid-for influencer content or studio photography, its authenticity has made this type of content the most trustworthy among social users, and the best part is that it doesn’t require huge budgets to get started.
Whether UGC comes from everyday customers or low-level influencers who have been #gifted a product by a brand or PR agency, both are valuable but both need to be encouraged as they don’t always just magically appear. This could be through the creation of a hashtag, like the #crackermehappy that Storm uses for client Olina’s Bakehouse to encourage Instagram users to tag the cracker brand in images featuring the product, or simple incentives such as asking people to tag the brand for a chance to be featured on its feed – a tactic usually reserved for those with higher followings. If a brand’s profile is new to social media, product seeding can get the UGC ball rolling and is a cost-effective way to generate valuable content in a short period of time.
Aside from the benefits of gaining genuine reviews that are trusted by social users, all of the content created by third parties can be repurposed on a brand’s own social channels and incorporated into monthly social calendars. Whether it’s on the grid or lives on Stories, the balance of curated lifestyle shots and UGC will drive engagement, follower growth and ultimately, sales. Just remember the golden rule of crediting or tagging the original creator for their work when posting.
Although the trustworthiness of UGC and #gifted posts have clear advantages, this isn’t to say that influencer ad campaigns aren’t valuable, as they certainly have a huge part to play in reaching a large and engaged audience. The key is to strike a balance of both and most importantly, select the right influencers to work with. Working with a handful of well-aligned macro influencers over a longer period of time on a commercial basis will build on that trust element and cement a relationship with their followers, while the underpinning UGC with micro influencers will generate mass content that will keep Instagram Stories filled with a constant stream of genuine reviews.
To find out how to get started with user generated content, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.