User-generated content aka “UGC” is the social equivalent of word of mouth and an invaluable marketing tool. For that reason, we’ve created a series of blog posts to better explain the purpose of UGC, how to inspire your audience to give you more and how to properly track these efforts. In this post, the first of our CCxUGC Series, we’re focusing on WHY user-generated content is such an important part of one’s social strategy.
Let us start by saying that you don’t need Kim Kardashian on payroll to see the benefits of user posts—unless you have a spare half million laying around then by all means call Kimmy. Powerful UGC is created everyday by @averagejoeconsumer, and you’d be crazy not to start leveraging it asap!
Here’s What UGC Does to Your Social Strategy
IT INSTILLS TRUST
Consumers are increasingly wary of advertisements. Not surprisingly, the average consumer is less likely to trust what a brand says about their own product than what another consumer has to say. At it’s essence, organic user-generated content (ie content created by an influencer) is essentially a stamp of approval to that person’s network.
IT IS FREE
Creating content is time consuming and usually has a price tag. So why not leverage all the free content you can get? And when they’re inspired, it’s amazing what the “average” Instagram user can come up with. When you really keep an eye on brand mentions (tags, hashtags, locations), you will be surprised at how many people post about their business/brand/product interactions.
IT STRENGTHENS BONDS
Sharing someone’s post is essentially a public shout out and validation of them as an Instagrammer. For better or worse, people love to see their images shared on professional profiles (cough, cough ego). Even without a #repost, commenting on posts that mention your brand can give customers the warm and fuzzies. While it’s a small act, it creates a closer bond and builds the all-important brand loyalty.
IT IS UNIQUE TO YOU
For the most part, each user post is a piece of branded content that is unique to your brand. Competitors can’t directly replicate it and it can’t be manufactured in a studio.
Stay tuned for our next CCxUGC topic on how to get/inspire more user-generated photos on social media.