User generated content (UGC) is defined as any type of content that has been created and put out by an unpaid contributor. It's when your clients and customers promote your brand instead of you.
Every small business should include UGC as a part of a social media strategy.
"92% of people are more likely to trust a recommendation from another person, even people they don't know, over branded content." (AdWeek)
I polled my followers on Instagram using some simple questions related to UGC. Check out what they had to say:
Out of 50 responses, 11 said they had not.
Out of 38 responses, 3 said they had been paid.
Out of 38 responses, 2 said they didn't care.
Out of 42 responses, 2 said it does not affect.
User generated content is authentic.
"With user-generated content, your customers can take note of how people use your products and share their passion for the brand." (AMA)
People trust people. You can tell me how great you are all day, but if you come highly recommended I'm more likely to give you a shot. As consumers, we crave authenticity, personal stories, and something we can connect with. There are now limitless options at our fingertips when it comes to choosing who we do (or don't do) business with so consumers will choose those brands that mirror their values and "get them".
UGC makes your customer feel good.
- and it will encourage others to do the same, giving you a larger audience, and creating a positive community vibe. One of my favorite reasons for implementing user generated content in a businesses social media strategy is because it is mutually beneficial. When a customer posts a photo or review to their social media sites it reaches all of their friends and followers, all potential new clients and people that may not have heard of you otherwise. When you share something your clients posted, not only does it show them that you appreciate the shout out but you open them up to a new audience as well (hey, who doesn't like more followers?).
And honestly, it makes your job easier
As long as your providing a stellar product and experience, user generated content should be the easiest no-brainer. It's cost effective. Most people on social media will promote your business and their experience without asking or wanting any sort of compensation. It's a time saver. Don't have anything to post on Saturday afternoon? Use a photo your customer posted along with their text and give them a big thank you! If you're not earning enough UGC to use every week, don't be afraid to tell your "users" what type of content you'll share (think business specific hashtags, "show us how...", etc)
Instagram is testing a 'regram' button! This is great news. Using a 3rd party app for regramming looks clunky and we already know that IG doesn't like 3rd party apps. My go-to is to just take a screenshot of the photo, rewrite the caption and include a shoutout!
How can you implement UGC into your social media strategy?