User-generated content (UGC) is, in short, content that your customers create. Properly collecting, sharing and re-purposing UGC is one of the easiest ways to establish brand credibility online. It’s the type of content that benefits both you and your followers! You get free content and your followers get recognition!
You want UGC! Once you’ve encouraged lots of UGC, here’s how to put it to good use.
Collect It & Organize It
In order to curate your user-generated content and decide what to use and what not to use, you have to collect and organize it.
Search your branded hashtags, go through testimonials, read emails, and collect all the content that your customers have created. Once you have it all in one place, you can begin to sort and prioritize it based on relevance and impact.
You’re looking for:
- Positive online reviews
- Images of your customers using your products
- Relevant content posted under your branded hashtag
- Blog posts that mention your company
- Any content that your customers have actively tagged you in
It’s best to collect and organize your UGC on an ongoing basis. This way, nothing gets lost, and you can roll out the posts as they come in. This will also keep your UGC fresh and relevant! Plus, doing it all at once after avoiding it for long stretches at a time can be a daunting task. It’s much simpler if it’s done often.
If you want a specific type of UGC, such as for an event, release or product, consider asking your followers for it in the form of a contest. For example, if you want to share a newly released product, ask your followers to post a picture featuring your product with an event hashtag for the chance of getting featured or winning a product.
Regardless of the context, you still need to ensure that everyone involved is okay with you sharing their content. Not everyone thinks it’s an honour to be featured on your social media. Ask your UGC creators for permission to use their content and likeness in your marketing efforts, especially when other people are depicted in the content. This will ensure you don’t violate any privacy policies and customers aren’t ever taken by surprise.
“Your UGC efforts will go a lot more smoothly if you treat creators with respect and care… Never assume that users have made content solely for you to take and reuse for marketing purposes. Make sure you ask for permission to repost content and/or images on your accounts even if you feel like the IP is already yours – it’s just good practice!” – Like A Voss
You can also aim to offer the same, fair compensation that you would to any other micro-influencer. Whether it’s a free product, an @-mention, or some other form of compensation, find a way to show your appreciation to clients who have made content. They’ve done work for you! Appreciate it!
Repurpose Your Reviews & Mentions
One of the easiest and most effective ways to get more mileage out of your UGC is to turn positive reviews and blog posts into testimonial cards and infographics. Sharing reviews and showing that you care about your clients opinions helps to build an immense amount of trust between you and them.
“If you’ve been on the internet before, you’ve definitely seen an infographic. They are a fun and highly visual way of communicating information. The use of graphics, images, and minimal text allows infographics to convey complex ideas in a digestible manner.” – Like A Voss
To get you started, check out our post on how to transform text-based content into infographics now!
Share & Tag!
Share user-generated content with your audience and tag the creators.
Tagging the creators of your user-generated content is a great way to show appreciation. It’s also a way to encourage your other customers to share their content as well.
User-generated content is social media gold. Clients are turning away from flashy, overly-edited images in favour of content that is more relatable. In these authentic times, make sure you are making the most of your user-generated content and being respectful of your clients – they’re your greatest asset!
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This blog post was originally published in November 2019 and has been edited to improve accuracy and readability.