User-generated content (also known as UGC) is an important and sometimes-overlooked marketing tactic that brands can take advantage of when thinking about their social media strategy. UGC can help build brand loyalty and show customers that you see and value their input, and it helps that 85% of people would rather see brands share content from their actual customers.
So what is user-generated content?
User-generated content is original, brand-specific content created by customers, which is then published on social media. UGC comes in many forms, including images, videos, product reviews, testimonials, blogs, tweets, TikToks, and Instagram Reels.
It’s important to note that brands don’t pay customers for user-generated content. But, brands do need to credit and ask permission to use other people’s content.
Here are three reasons why your brand should incorporate UGC as a tactic in its social media strategy:
1. 85% of people would rather see brands share content from actual customers
Yes, you read that right. According to EnTribe’s state of user-generated content survey, content from actual customers is what 85% of people would rather see brands share on social media. Here are some additional statistics showing that customers demand to see more content from real customers from brands.
- 84% are more likely to trust a brand that uses content from actual customers versus paid influencers
- 65% of 18-to-44-year-olds would be more loyal to a brand if they were asked to submit a photo or video capturing their experience that was then featured in that brand’s marketing
All statistics are from EnTribe’s The State of User Generated Content (UGC) Survey from July 2022.
2. Establish brand loyalty & social community
UGC helps establish brand loyalty with customers and build that social community on the brand’s social accounts. Utilizing user-generated content gives customers the opportunity to be a part of a brand’s mission and open up conversations between the brand and the consumer. This level of brand interaction helps build and grow an engaged online community.
3. Drives purchase decisions
UGC acts as an authentic social indicator that your product is worthy of purchasing. For example, your audience sees people just like them wearing or using your product, which influences them to decide to buy. It also helps that 79% of people say user-generated content highly impacts their purchasing decisions, according to Stackla.
Incorporating UGC into your social media strategy can be easy if you know where to look and how to align it with your brand goals. Here are a few ways how to find and use UGC.
Establishing a branded hashtag for your company or for a brand campaign helps encourage customers to use the hashtag and be seen by the brand. Brandon has used this for clients and has seen much success by curating specialized UGC content! We typically recommend putting the hashtag in bios and using it in posts to encourage customer engagement.
Utilizing social media contests is a great way to reward your customers for being fans of your brand and have them create content that you can use. Make sure to set clear contest guidelines and prizes to avoid any miscommunication with your audience.
Resharing to Stories
Resharing the UGC your customers are tagging you in, whether it’s on the feed or in Facebook or Instagram Stories, increases visibility and shows your customers you see them.
We use this tactic for @victorymonkeys since they get tagged in multiple UGC posts a week. We started “Monkey Mondays” where every Monday, their followers, tokened as the Monkey Crew, get featured when they tag us in their weekly content.
We have seen real success starting Monkey Mondays because their customers feel seen and heard by the brand. At the end of the day, the customer is selling the customer when we foster a community like this on social media.
Could your brand use some expert guidance in growing its social media strategies? At Brandon, our team of certified brand strategists and data-driven marketing professionals has a wealth of experience in driving customer loyalty — and even eventually turning it into brand advocacy. To get started with help ranging from a simple website analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost the performance of all of your marketing campaigns, contact us today.