4 Ways user-generated content can transform your social media strategy

Khoros Staff

Does your brand’s social media strategy need an upgrade? Consider user-generated content!

User-generated content (UGC) refers to original, brand-related content created by the brand’s audience and can be images, videos, comments or any other digital asset. Social media users are 2.4 times more likely to view UGC as authentic than content created professionally by brands, which is why brands showcase UGC on their social media channels to foster loyalty and build more significant connections with their community.

A widely-known example of UGC usage by brands is Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign. The brand added common names to their bottles to encourage people to share their Coke with someone of that name – and, crucially, on social media. Social media channels are flooded with UGC around this campaign, which Coca-Cola engages with, and reuses for its brand channels.

Interested in leveraging UGC for your brand? Below, you’ll find four key steps to boost your social media strategy with UGC.

1. Set clear goals

If you’re new to using UGC in your social media strategy, set clear and realistic objectives. Having clear goals to work towards enables you to collect content for your campaigns that you can repurpose in the long term. Your goals could address anything from boosting engagement levels to attracting new followers.

If your goal is to boost engagement by creating a new social account, such as TikTok, you could search for pre-existing short-form video content that positively mentions your brand and repost it on your brand channel.

If your goal is to attract new followers, use UGC that praises your brand and how it has positively impacted a customer’s life. Such testimonials can create impactful marketing materials such as case studies or social media posts. They help associate your brand with positive public opinion, which could encourage new members to purchase your product or service.

2. Find content with your social media channels

One source for finding relevant UGC is your brand’s social channels. Brand’s social media channels are often the highest-volume place brands engage with their customers where most engagements aren’t customer support-related, meaning that interactions tend to be positive. Another advantage of gathering UGC from social media is that your social media team should already be monitoring incoming engagement, making it easy to select valuable material to repurpose.

Important: Always obtain consent before using UGC to avoid legal issues and maintain your community’s trust. Repurposing a particular piece of UGC for brand social media channels requires engaging with the user and asking permission to use their content in future campaigns.

The below example shows a comment by Post Office, engaging positively with UGC and requesting to reuse the content on its brand channels with a clear call-to-action for the user.

Another way to find UGC using your social media channels is by monitoring comments and tagged posts of your brand. For example, you can easily repost Instagram stories to your account. 

3. Find content with social listening

Social listening platforms like Talkwalker are the most effective way to find the right UGC. With social listening, you can track conversations around your brand by searching for mentions that do not tag you specifically. UGC like this is often the most honest and unbiased about your brand, making it even more effective.

Additionally, you can use social listening to tap into existing earned and trending content. Earned content refers to material such as comments and reviews about your brand that you didn’t pay for or created yourself. Awareness of trending content helps inform how to source UGC that matches current trends, creating more buzz around your brand. In brief, building social listening into your UGC strategy enables you to save time by quickly finding the most relevant content.

For example, using Talkwalker’s AI-powered image recognition, you can find some of the most

engaged with UGC based on the “cottage core” aesthetic. Some top-performing posts featured objects such as vintage chairs, clocks, and bowls.

Source: Talkwalker

4. Develop moderation tactics

The final step to inform your UGC strategy means implementing clearly defined moderation tactics to encourage positive interactions with community members and spark excitement about the brand.

If a customer uses their time to share a positive comment on your social media account, that person is likely open to a conversation. In a Khoros survey of more than 1,000 US customers, customers who could ask questions and interact with brands directly reported a stronger sense of loyalty and connection to the brand.

Moderation allows you to shift sentiment and control the conversations around your social media channels. Positively engaging with members nurtures the community surrounding your brand and creates additional UGC via back-and-forth interactions between the brand and the customer. In the below example, Sony offers a response to a user question that not only elicits a positive response from that user but also becomes UGC by spreading information that could be helpful to other users about the release date of a video.

Key takeaways

Setting clear goals, finding content with your social media channels and social listening, and developing moderation tactics are the four steps you need to reach your goals with UGC.

But UGC is only one of several vital ways to boost your social media channel’s success. Get your comprehensive guide to surviving and thriving in turbulent social media landscapes today.

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