The rise of social media has seen the rise of the ‘organic’. Where before, businesses planned, dictated and created each and every ad or piece of branded content you saw, the thing I love about social media is its ability to give power back to the consumer.
User-generated content (or UGC for short) is defined as any piece of content that is created by consumers or end users, in a public environment/sphere. From a comment on a YouTube video to forums, the social media world is packed with UGC.
“Why is UGC so great, through?”, you ask. Well, firstly it’s useable and sharable content being given to you (for free!). Secondly, it engages your audience to get involved, making their role in your business perceived as more valuable. Thirdly, you can gain some invaluable insights into your audience, your business and new, innovative ideas just through UGC. While I could go on forever telling you why UGC is great, it doesn’t explain how you can easily benefit from this great content. For those of you starting with UGC or looking for simple ways to get involved, keep reading!
Encourage your audience to get involved with the UGC by commenting on your posts/replying to Tweets. You can do this by simply asking a question, starting a comment-to-win competition or just bouncing ideas for new products off them! Comments are good for boosting the reach of your posts on Facebook, too, so if you can encourage a comment over or as well as a ‘like’, then do!
Images are a great visual form of content, and good for getting noticed by others. You can benefit from image UGC by encouraging your audience to upload a picture of your product in a certain place, or get them to tell you why they love it in one picture. There are so many possibilities, it’s just a case of choosing the right one for you.
A great way to engage a well-involved audience is to encourage a more creative UGC. Starbucks nailed this with their #WhiteCupContest competition in which users got creative with their plain white cups to creative something amazing. Get your audience to design, create and compose their own content to send to you, ready for your to share on.
If you’re not using UGC already, it could be a great way to get your audience involved, generate buzz surrounding a product launch or simply your business, and create free content that you can share on in your community! How do you use UGC to make the most of your social platforms?