How to use Instagram User Generated Content to be a social media success

How to Use Instagram User Generated Content to Be a Social Media Success

Instagram user generated content seems to be gathering a lot of attention these days. If you are still not on board with the idea, this post is all about giving you a few solid reasons why UGC needs to be part of your Instagram marketing strategy.

Instagram User Generated Content boosts brand credibility

Consumers are more likely to view UGC as authentic content and, as a result, trust this Instagram content more as compared to content created by a brand. This boosts brand credibility as people increasingly are of the opinion that they are not going to get any authentic content right off the bat from brands. That’s to say UGC instantly puts your brand in a better light. People don’t trust what they see on Instagram ads and that distrust seeps into purchase behaviors too. Want your brand to feel more credible? Use UGC.

Be it any product or brand—authentic images regularly pick up more likes, shares and engagements including pointed visitor action than branded content, especially from brands you are not familiar with.

Instagram User Generated Content helps generate trust

Nothing gets better at creating trust than UGC. No matter what the product or service is, people want to know what they stand to gain when they order something.

Research points out that over 30 percent of millennials won’t visit a restaurant if the particular restaurant didn’t have a good Instagram presence. What does an Instagram presence mean? It doesn’t mean having an account. It means regularly adding photos and keeping its customers updated about its latest products and news.

An inactive Instagram account is tantamount to a bad food experience.

That’s not to say reviews and ratings are not essential. Your customers are always checking your restaurant reviews before they order anything.

Sharing customer testimonials as part of a UGC campaign is something you should try.

Under every UGC post Burt’s Bees shares guidelines that encourages people to share Burt’s products on social media channels like Instagram with their preset hashtag and have a go at being featured.

The requirements state that a participant must follow the channel. Next, they should post a photo while tagging @burtsbees and using the hashtag #myburtsbees.

Instagram User Generated Content gets people engaging with your brand

If someone posts a photo of an experience or of a product they’re using on social media, other people desire to have the same kind of experience. Think of the last thing you bought or the movie you went to? Chances are you took the action because someone recommended it to you. It’s part of human nature to have what others have. Travel and lifestyle brands frequently use images to evoke this same emotion by parading what other people using their platform are doing and get more people to jump on the bandwagon.

UGC is a powerful way to describe what the other person saw and felt when doing something and can propel others to desire the same kind of experience.

You might remember reviews of services and customer quotes about about deals and offers finding their ways to newspaper advertisements or radio ads. UGC is something similar, except that the effect is far more pronounced and much more real-time.

Social media posts are updated in real-time. Unlike ads, the testimonials are live and happening before visitors and not something regurgitated from several years ago.

Encourage User Generated Content through a contest

The Starbucks RedCup contest rule is simple. Submit photos of coffees for a shot at the fight card.

This always encourages fans to participate. There are over 30,000 photos of red cups that have been submitted in total since the contest began.

UGC is not only about asking customers to post product photos. As a company for instance you can encourage customers to do an act of kindness and tag the brand with a picture of the same when they have done so. All such acts get featured on the Instagram channel. This generates a lot of UGC and goodwill for the brand.

Starbucks #RedCupContest Instagram User Generated Content

To encourage more and more people creating and uploading UGC here’s what to do:

Find out why people want to share Instagram User Generated Content

If you find out the reason behind why people do something, it becomes easier to encourage that particular action.

For most people, sharing photos of products is a reward unto itself. But don’t take my word for it. A research claims that 60% of people shared UGC to get more likes for themselves but also for the fact that their content will get featured by a major brand.

The psychological satisfaction of their work generating appreciation is often enough.

That means as a brand you can generate as much UGC as you want, as long as you properly credit those behind-the-scenes.

Also, the more UGC that’s featured on your social media channel the more people are going to send content thinking of all the positive reception you are showing.

Maintain clarity on content you want

People want to share content. That much is obvious. As a brand it’s your job to specify guidelines for the same. Only very few brands offer clarity on the kind of user generated content they want to post.

Don’t be like those brands and leave users guessing.

With guidelines you are making it easy for users to fill in the exact kind of content the social media page needs.

But these guidelines don’t start on a Word document. Foremost you need a clear understanding of what’s your strategy around user generated content and what goals you want to achieve with the same.

Travelex, for instance, turned each day of the 365 days available into a campaign day by using unique hashtags for each month. With these hashtags like say for example #Travelxwow they gave guidelines on the kind of content they were expecting. They simply set a different theme each month they got participants to participate again and again.

This helped them gather useful data on the audience and drive much more engagement.

The idea that Travelex used by introducing new themes to followers each month and asking them to send their best photos covering this theme is something you too can do just as easily.

Once participants tagged the photos, these photos were then posted to Travelex’s social channels like Instagram.

UGC can also be a way to channel multiple avenues of creativity. Use UGC to get fans to share photos of the best things they did or their best memories using your product. You can also allow a special page on your site where users can share content directly along with their contact information and have it featured.

Finally, here’s what to do to ensure you remain on the right side of the law when using UGC.

Always make sure you mention the rightful owner

It’s important that when sharing UGC you ought to tag the owner of the picture. This is called credit giving and by tagging them you’re indicating that you are using their photos and words.

What if you want to share the content across Twitter, Facebook and any other channel? You might need to find out how the creator wants his or her work credited, so you need to ask them how they need to be tagged.

Credit giving is a great way to recognize the work of content creators and makes sure that the next time there’s a similar opportunity your audience is excited as ever. It’s easy for followers of your brand on social media and potential customers to see and check if the content was posted by someone outside your brand. A real user of the products posting a visual in the form of a video or photo speaks volumes about the quality of the product. Such acts elicit trust. If you want to be very careful with this, have social media users agree to a simple contract to utilize their content.

Ultimately User Generated Content should support and guide your brand’s revenue goals

So brainstorm with the team and find out how User Generated Content can be incorporated to fuel current marketing goals. And then create a simple set of guidelines that tell users the kind of content they need to send.

Once you have that make it part of your Instagram branding, consider featuring it before anything else. You can also include it inside product packaging. This is an obvious place and will attract and encourage the audience.

Always run social listening tools to get and assign the source of every mention of your product or brand. Chances are you might find UGC in these places. Get in touch with the poster and ask their permission. Since they used the products there’s always the chance they would be honored for you to use the photo on your social media channels as well.

The worse they can say is no, but now you’ve at least engaged with a real fan!

The thing is to keep trying.

UGC also presents a lot of useful data on customer behavior. You can understand customer opinion and their feedback and gather valuable understanding around products and services.

With all of these benefits of Instagram User Generated Content, what are you waiting for?

Photo by Kalos Skincare on Unsplash

Leveraging Instagram user generated content is the key to success for Instagram marketing. Learn how to properly use UGC with examples in this post.

Actionable advice for your digital / content / influencer / social media marketing.

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George Mathew
George Mathew

George Mathew is an expert on Instagram Marketing. George is an SaaS marketer who's worked with several brands like CrazyEgg. He's contributed to dozens of blogs and has been writing for the web for more than 9 years now.

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