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Leveraging User-Generated Content on Social

Posted 18 December 2015 9:00 AM by Stephanie Putnam @MoixeUSA, @_StephPutnam

More and more brands are looking to consumers for new ways to power their content marketing strategy. Consumers provide an endless amount of content on their social channels that can be both high quality and engaging. The Content Marketing Institute reports that 78% of B2C companies are planning to use user-generated content (UGC) this year.

As a brand, looking for those opportunities to leverage UGC and work it into your digital marketing efforts will help you to connect with your audience on a more personal and trusting level. Some stats to back up this claim: Clickz found that 55% of consumers trust UGC over other forms of marketing and, based on research by Hootsuite, UGC is 20% more influential on purchasing decisions than any other kind of media.

Brands are starting to use UGC in their marketing efforts by highlighting true fan experiences with their products across their social channels. When done right, this strategy of augmenting branded content with UGC is paying off: Based on a study by Comscore, branded content is 28% more effective when partnered with UGC.

UGC can be used across all social channels, but each channel can have a different role and purpose when it comes to highlighting your products to your brand’s audience.

Instagram

Instagram is the mecca of UGC. Consumers share beautiful, high-quality images of their daily life — from inspiring experiences to mouthwatering meals to showing off their newest purchase.

When taking a dive into this content, search for authentic moments that relate to your brand and would resonate with your entire audience. Use UGC that has a similar look and feel to your regular content — you want it to look like something your own brand would produce to keep the creative consistent.

Also, after asking for permission to use the fan’s photo, be sure to give him or her credit. Giving that fan a shout-out in your post copy not only rewards his/her loyalty, but it also demonstrates to the rest of your audience that the content you’re sharing reflects a real moment — one captured by a real fan who’s genuinely enjoying your product.

Twitter

Using UGC on Twitter’s platform will feature the fan in a different way compared to other channels. Retweeting fan content provides a new opportunity to message about your brand from those who are experiencing it in the real world.

Amplifying your message through retweets builds trust within your audience without coming across as too self-serving.  

Adding a comment to a retweet extends the breadth of the topic while, at the same time, highlighting the real star of the show — your fan’s tweet. When consumers see this type of content on a brand’s channels, it provides a relatable feel to your brand and its products.

Now it’s not only you — i.e., the brand — who is tweeting to your audience. You’ve brought your fans into the conversation by retweeting (read: promoting) what they are saying about you. This is the key to having a more personable and approachable positioning on social.  

Facebook

Facebook is known best for its community atmosphere. As a brand, you want to find — and share — genuine and relatable stories or conversations that really connect your brand with consumers. In addition to promoting and building positive sentiment, this enables you to share feedback about your products/services via a source that people know they can trust: Their fellow consumers.

Econsultancy said it best: “UGC is not a new concept, but it is snowballing to become the most powerful tool digital marketers have at their disposal. UGC is the modern version of talking over the garden fence — nothing brands can create themselves can even compare to the basic human love of gossip, and themselves.”

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