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How to Leverage User Generated Content For Your Brand

23rd Jun 2016
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If you are only using social media to share your own content or to curate content from news sources or professional bloggers, you might be missing out on a great opportunity. User generated content can be extraordinarily valuable to your brand. You can use content created and submitted by users to create engagement, to offer up a more robust selection of content, and to encourage users to become more bonded with your brand. In fact, if you want to create true brand ambassadors, you can begin by encouraging them to contribute their own original content. Keep reading to learn more about techniques you can use to leverage user generated content.

Encourage People to Share Pictures Thoughts And Videos to Your Social Media Pages

Single Dad Laughing is an extremely popular blog about the life of a single father. The man behind the blog, Dan Pearce, has created a huge social media presence from this blog and now has his own personal brand. If you watch his social media pages, you will find that he makes use of a lot of user generated content. This includes images, opinions, even videos. The result is that he now has a huge following, he’s monetized his brand through merchandise sales, and pages are full of interesting and engaging content.

So, how does he get users to share? It’s really simple. He asks them. Once or twice a day, he posts interesting pictures, videos, and memes from around the internet. Then, he invites people to share their own finds. He also posts the following quote very frequently: “Right here, right now, tell me the 100% honest truth.” His followers respond to the sincerity of that by contributing their thoughts and opinions.

Launch a Contest

One way to get users to share great content is by turning your request into a challenge. Launching a contest can be one effective way to do this. Mint.com is a budgeting tool that is quite popular among home users. When the company decided to become active on Instagram, they created a contest called “My Mint Moment”. Followers were encouraged to capture special moments where their good financial planning resulted in great life events. In return, they offered a $1,000 prize.

As a result, followers submitted pictures of vacations, weddings, new cars, and other celebratory moments. Not only did Mint receive lots of great user generated content, they also solidified the importance of their product when it comes to the quality of life of their customers. Lucy Allen, who is the managing director at Agency Inc had this to say; “Our clients are discovering that making engagement fun, and potentially profitable works quite well for them.”

Include Customer Testimonials Reviews And Influencer Quotes

Ideally, most brands seek out customer testimonials and reviews as a way to get feedback about their products and services. This is useful information when it comes to maintaining or improving policies, procedures, and products. However, this isn’t the only way that reviews and testimonials can be used. Positive reviews and customer testimonials can also be turned into web page and social media content. After all, what better way is there to promote your brand on social media than to allow happy customers to use it as a platform for expressing their thoughts. Finally, if you can get the ear of somebody who is influential in your  niche, and they are willing to help you out, a positive quote about your products or service from that individual can have an extremely positive effect.

Feature Images of Customers Using Your Products

Mod Cloth is a brand that sells vintage style women’s clothing and home decor items. While most apparel companies opt to use professional models to display their goods, Mod Cloth has taken a different path. They have chosen to use images of their customers instead. They do this by sharing images that customers have sent them in the ‘From Our Community’ section of their website, and by sharing those images on social media. As a result, Mod Cloth customers have developed a strong sense of loyalty and bonding to the brand. In addition to this, customers are able to see what the clothing looks like on a variety of body types.

Start a Hashtag Campaign

A hashtag campaign is a marketing effort that is launched around a clever hashtag. The goal of hashtag campaigns is increase user engagement, encourage sharing of user created content, boost website traffic, and increase a brand’s social media following. One example of a successful hashtag campaign is Expedia’s #ThrowMeBack. This campaign was created as a riff on the popular #TBT (Throw Back Thursday). Followers were encouraged to share vintage vacation pictures using the #throwmeback. The lucky folks who had their images selected were then flown back to those vacation spots to recreate their old pictures. The result was a huge increase of Instagram followers for the company and more than a quarter million engagements.

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