What is User Generated Content?
As a business owner, you know how important it is to connect with your customers and build a strong brand. User generated content (UGC) can be a powerful tool to help you achieve just that.
But what exactly is UGC? And how can you encourage your customers to create it? In this blog post, we’ll break it down for you and give you some tips on how to use UGC to your advantage.
At it’s core, UGC is any content that’s created and shared by your customers, rather than by you or your company. This can include things like reviews, testimonials, social media posts, and photos. You can find UGC on a variety of platforms, including social media, review sites, and your website.
Why Use User Generated Content?
There are many reasons why you should consider using UGC in your social media strategy. For starters, it can help increase engagement with your brand. Because UGC is often seen as more authentic and relatable, it tends to get more likes, comments, and shares than content created by businesses.
Another perk of UGC is because it’s created by customers who have previously purchased from your brand and have enjoyed the experience enough to share it, it can serve as social proof that others are enjoying your products or services.
UGC can also help increase brand awareness by exposing your business to new audiences. And by looking at the UGC that your customers are creating, you can gain valuable insights into how they use and perceive your products or services.
How to Encourage User Generated Content
Now that you know why UGC is so valuable, you’re probably wondering how to get your customers to create it or where to find it:
Create a Dedicated Hashtag or hashtag strategy: A great way to generate (and easily find) more UGC is by creating a branded Instagram hashtag and encouraging your community to post using your unique hashtag! You can also search for content using hashtags that are relevant for your brand aesthetic, such as colours, specific locations, trends, industries, etc. For instance, for our client Tiny Door, we always post distinct hashtags that are relevant to Tiny Door but also encourage customers to use them as well.
Show Appreciation: A simple thank you can go a long way. Acknowledge and celebrate UGC by featuring it on your digital platforms and tagging the owner. For example, with Winnie Bagoes, we showcased content from a customer who tagged us and after getting permission to use this content posted it to our socials and gave them a shout-out.
Be Present and Active on Social Media: Engage with your online community by responding and interacting with their content. We do this with Kaiser Brew Garden by actively monitoring our mentions and tags where we find high-quality imagery which we are then able to post or share to their stories.
Search Using Location: Leverage Instagram’s geotags to gather images posted from your specific physical location. This method is beneficial as it allows you to connect with local customers, gain insights into how your locations are perceived, and showcase real experiences happening at your venues. Customers often find adding a location’s geotag less demanding than directly tagging the brand. This is because geotagging feels more casual while tagging a brand is perceived as a more deliberate endorsement or shoutout.
Don’t forget to request permission before reposting your customer’s UGC! Instagram’s Community Guidelines emphasise the importance of obtaining consent before reposting content. To secure permission, you can comment on the specific post, send a direct message to the user, or reach out via email.
At Digital Influence, we understand the importance of UGC and the role it plays in building a strong social media strategy. If you need help creating a UGC campaign or implementing any of the strategies discussed in this document, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to help you take your business to the next level.