It is difficult to underestimate the power of user generated content (UGC) on social media today.
After the success of Coca-Cola’s Share a Coca-Cola campaign, 35% of B2C marketers said they had plans to use it in 2016. But, more than half ( 56 percent), of consumers believe UGC photos or videos are the type of content they want to see from brands. They’re also creating this content every day.
Brands are more trusted by people than brands. Your brand will reap more revenue and benefits from social media posts, images, videos, and product reviews that are created by customers than professional visuals. UGC is unique and trustworthy. It can also bring in more leads. If given the option, 65 percent of respondents said that they would trust a brand that uses UGC images over stock photos.
UGC is important because it allows you to use it correctly.
This article will explain why UGC should be implemented on your social media channels. This article will also share best practices to use user-generated content in order to turn consumers into brand advocates.
UGC is a great tool for marketing on social media.
Two phenomena exist: micro-influencers, and social commerce.
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Although influencer marketing is still a hot topic, brands now prefer to work with micro- and even nano-influencers over celebrities or people with millions. Marketers have noticed that micro-influencers on Social Media drive 7x higher engagement and 81% users say they are more inclined to purchase a product if their favorite Influencer endorses it during live streams.
This is why UGC from social media users can give your brand an incredible boost.
About 56 per cent of Gen Z now use social media to find information about brands. Social commerce is the rage, and UGC works across all stages of the social media marketing process. Users can discover your brand and get involved by sharing their feedback with others.
UGC social media marketing does the majority of your marketing work.
- Promoting brand authenticity. They are 2x more likely than brand-created content to view UGC authentic .
- Boosting trust and credibility in your brand. ( 92% of consumers trust recommendations from their family and friends and 70% trust opinions from other online consumers.
- Making people purchase (or not) from your company. 79 percent people say that UGC has a significant impact on their purchasing decisions. It is a powerful social proof tool for proving how satisfied customers are with your product.
- Helping content rank higher: Customer Reviews increase SEO efforts.
Your audience should feel included and valued by you.
Last but not least, a marketer should:
UGC via social media is affordable. Customers, visitors to your website, and social followers can freely create original content every day through social posts, comments on videos, reviews, testimonials and other forms. UGC can save you tons of time and money when it comes to content creation.
It is important to use UGC social media strategies that maximize your impact.
Sharing UGC via social media: Best practices
Here comes the exciting (finally!) part. Now for the most exciting and (finally!) tactical part.
These are seven top tips for using UGC social media to turn customers into brand advocates and engage a wider audience with your marketing messages.
1. Know your goals
While many brands want to use UGC in their content marketing strategies, very few have a plan or goals.
It is best to establish goals and guidelines before sharing UGC via social media. What do you expect from a user-generated content campaign? You’ll be able organize UGC in the best way possible to achieve the desired result by setting clear goals.
Example: Jennifer Taylor (a furniture store)
The brand uses UGC images from social media profiles to display their product page. This saves time and allows customers to engage with authentic imagery. If you wish to have your content featured, please tag it with #jentayhome
Some possible goals are:
- You can build brand trust by creating memorable brand identities and increasing awareness and credibility among your customers.
- Get a large audience of passionate customers to create content and tag it about your brand and increase discoverability.
- Collaborating with influential influencers that have a loyal and active audience will increase engagement.
- Your audience can be educated by answering their most frequently asked questions about your brand. Influencers can also help.
- You can increase conversions by collecting customer reviews and including pictures.
- Save time and get high quality content.
2. What to share on different channels
It doesn’t just matter where your audience is located, but also where your brand advocates are most influential. It is best to share UGC according to your goals and format.
Facebook is great for sharing customer videos. Instagram is for high-quality photos. Twitter is the ideal place to share some funny customer testimonials. LinkedIn allows you to communicate your message through case studies from customers, or thoughtful articles by niche influencers.
Use relevant hashtags to increase reach and visibility. Also, @ mentions can be used to credit content creators (more details later). Learn social media outreach and build relationships with influencers to include them in your UGC campaigns.
3. Tell your audience what you want
Make it clear to your audience what you expect them to do when organizing your UGC campaign via social media. Identify content types that are consistent with your brand and provide guidelines for users.
It is best to be as specific as possible. Make sure to check your brand rules, hashtags and regulations towards UGC twice in order to avoid unwelcome content.
Do your best to stay on the course.
You may need to follow specific UGC style or formats. Don’t change the guidelines before you have a chance to revise them. You may not be able to share the content immediately with users. Inconsistency or rush could result in a poor user experience.
Encourage your audience to share their UGC: Create contests or giveaways, ask them for content and tag you. Promise to include their content in the feed.
This brings us to the next best method for sharing UGC via social media.
4. You must be original, entertaining, and valuable to your audience
How you present user’s works on social networks is important. There is a lot of competition for UGC, as many brands use it in their social media marketing strategies. You must stand out from the rest.
Analyse the competition to see how they use UGC in order to reach their target audience. What can you do to make your brand’s mission and marketing goals more relevant?
You can think of something that will help you build a community. Take the example of Apple’s Shot On iPhoneCampaign, or GoPro’s annual GoPro Maker Summit:
GoPro hosts annual events that celebrate filmmakers, videographers, and photographers. To get to the #GoProCreatorSummit, you must share a #GoProCreatorSummit photo. This UGC allows brands to reinforce their values and show passion from their audience, thereby strengthening their sense of community.
UGC social media does not always need to be product-related. To grow and support the community, encourage people to be creative while adhering to your brand values and aesthetics.
You can, for example, try the UGC trend by reposting the tweets of your followers to your Instagram feed.
Another thing to remember:
Share UGC via social media with care. Your audience should find value in this content. It should inspire, showcase your product, and allow followers to make their own decisions.
It is a good idea to save UGC content from customers, and then repost it on Instagram Stories so others can see the product being used by real people. This would help prospects find the right product, and it would also increase brand authenticity.
5. Give something back
You can inspire your followers and encourage them to share UGC with others by offering something in return. It’s common for brands to host social media contests that offer prizes. But don’t be too obsessed with it.
Offerpop’s survey found that only 32 per cent consumers share UGC in order to win prizes. 60% of consumers share UGC to gain more followers or be featured by their favorite brands.
So, the best practice here would be to develop a branded hashtag for your audience to use so you could find relevant UGC quickly and regularly share the best contributions–giving credit to creators. Encourage your followers to @mention or tag your brand whenever possible. Users will be more motivated to tag your brand if you include UGC on social networks.
Even if you offer a hashtag to users, be sure to do the following:
6. Ask permission
It doesn’t mean that people tag your brand are waiting for you, but it does not necessarily mean that they want to be used. Hashtags can often live by themselves, so it is a good idea ask the original poster permission to share their content on your brand pages.
This will help you avoid copyright issues and it also gives you the opportunity to show your appreciation to the author for sharing content about your brand. This is a great way to convert followers into brand advocates and build brand loyalty.
Always credit the creator when sharing user-generated content via your social media channels. You can tag the account and indicate whether or not you used their words, images, or both.
7. Analyse and measure your efforts
UGC campaigns on social networks should be analysed and measured as part of any marketing effort. This will allow you to understand how they help you achieve your goals.
Social media analysis and social listening tools allow you to track engagement with UGC. You can also gain insight into valuable metrics like likes, saves comments, shares, and hashtags consumers use when interacting with your brand.
This will allow you to analyse your efforts and make adjustments to better serve your audience.
These tips are now familiar and you have a few tricks for sharing user-generated content. It’s time to start putting them into action. Although it takes planning, UGC can bring many benefits to your brand if executed well.
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