How do I Collect User-Generated Content?

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As per statistics, about 92 percent of customers search for recommendations and reviews from available customers, and around 87 percent of brands use User-Generated Content (UGC) to offer authentic content to their customers. Again, about 72 percent of brands trust that UGC lets them engage consumers and develop brand trust to have a suitable link to their customers. The statistics here scream about the vitality of UGC. Are you tensed-” how do I collect User-generated content?”

Just put an end to your thinking and read my blog to get your answer.

How do You Gather User-Generated Content?

It’s quite obvious that you’ll rely upon a UGC rather than brand-generated content because a UGC contains a raw and personal touch. Apart from this, there are several reasons why UGC is important. A brand can’t recreate the unique effect of a UGC anyhow. Now, let’s focus on how to find user-generated content. The ways are as follows:

  1. Go through Available Fan Photos.
  2. Request Feedback From Your Users.
  3. Generate a Special Hashtag.
  4. Plan a Contest.
  5. Listen to the Social Conversations of Your Users.
  6. Work with Influencers who are Your Customers too.
  7. Develop an Employee Involvement Program.
  8. Develop an Exciting Challenge.
  9. Arrange an Ambassador Program.
  10. Display Your UGC.

Let’s explain these ways thoroughly.

Recommended Reading: How to Create User-Generated Content?

1. Go through Available Fan Photos:

Before you start developing your UGC strategy, do your research by going through available fan photos. You can do it by searching on Instagram. You can do it in these ways:

  • Find by locations: Consider using geography tags of Instagram to pull in each image shared in any of your physical locations. This can be a restaurant, a brick-and-mortar store, a boutique, and so on. Try searching for the headquarters of your company for employee-produced content. 
  • Find by hashtags: Begin with your company’s name, an ad campaign hashtag, or just a renowned product that’s going strong now. Anything that will create conversation quite easily. For instance, a simple search on “#dove” will show you 2M posts.

By following the above ways you’ll get plenty of user-generated content. Get ideas on how you can arrange your UGC from your customers for your brand.

2. Request Feedback From Your Users:

It’s one of the simplest and easiest ways to apply. Sometimes, it might happen that you aren’t having a thing, just because you didn’t ask for it. Never feel shy to ask for your customer’s opinions. You can ask for their feedback by following any of these ways:

  • Sending Emails: Send emails to your customers asking them to review your content, products, or services. 
  • Including a Review Form below of Your Content: Visit review sites like Amazon, and Walmart to get the idea. They include a review form at the end of their content for their customers to fill up those forms. 

3. Generate a Special Hashtag:

You’ll get several UGCs if you simply create a special or branded hashtag. For instance, if you search by “#cokeboys” it will come up with 229K posts. It will show you the posts involving boys having fun and drinking Coke. You can similarly create any type of unique hashtag including your brand name. 

This sort of hashtag will promote your business and brand on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Use tools for social media management like Hootsuite, Agorapulse, Buffer, SocialPilot, Sprout Social, and the like to get better results in social media marketing. It will also help you get your customer-published posts in their related accounts. 

Ensure that your hashtag is easy to remember and easy to spell. Keep encouraging your clients to share your branded hashtag with their photos and videos on social media.

4. Plan a Contest:

Planning any type of online contest can help you get more traffic, engagement, social media following, and more. Especially, if you plan a photo contest it will help you attain all of the mentioned goals along with lots of UGCs. Two of the famous user-generated content examples in this context of photo contests are Starbucks’ Red Cup and White Cup Contest.

If you plan an online giveaway program, your customers will be in a hurry to submit their photos with the hope of winning an attractive prize.

5. Listen to the Social Conversations of Your Users:

Keep track of the conversations of your customers on social media. It might happen that your satisfied customers will recommend your service or product on social platforms. Just pay heed to that and don’t forget to thank them for their sweet words. Then ask them to work with you to generate content for your company with their satisfaction speech with their photos or videos.

Use the aforementioned social media management tools to keep track of these UGC. These tools will also offer you analytics. So, you can measure the performance of these UGCs and ask them to continue their good work with those whose content is performing well.

6. Work with Influencers who are Your Customers too:

This will help your business in these two ways:

  • They know well which kind of content will match your target audience. So, there is a high probability that their content will perform well.
  • They already have a remarkable position and fame within their field and it will be beneficial for your brand.

In the case of influencer marketing, all types of strategies don’t apply to all types of campaigns. So, before you involve these influences in generating UGC, consider the following:

  • Credibility: If you think that an influencer has a large fan following and that’s why s/he will be a lucky mascot for your business, you are wrong. Realize where the influencer is coming from and how her/his background will match your campaign purpose. 
  • Audience Alignment: Consider your influencer’s appeal to which demographic factors and their content attracts which audience type. 
  • Digital Presence: Ensure that your influencer works on the same social media platform on which you are running your campaign. For instance, if your influencer is famous on Twitter and your ad campaign is for Instagram, it will become a complete mismatch then.

7. Develop an Employee Involvement Program:

Employees can be the best asset for your business and brand because of the following reasons:

  • They are the ones who are keeping your business running. 
  • People believe your employees in what they say about your business and brand over any high-ranking officials like managing directors or CEO.
  • Your employee engagement rate has a direct relation to the brand reputation of your business or even to your income. 

You can do it by developing a social media account where your employees will be able to publish posts. Hubspot Life Instagram of Hubspot can be a good example here. Again, the LinkedIn accounts of your employees can also serve this purpose. Your employees can create various posts based on your brand and the celebration of different special days at your office.

8. Develop an Exciting Challenge:

Developing challenges that are exciting and interesting helps you get more traffic, and customer engagement, and if those excite the customers more there is the probability of increased brand recognition and retention. Weight management programs by various gyms create these sorts of challenges like reducing certain kilos within a mentioned time. Customers are asked to post their photos and videos showing the progress of their weight reduction. 

9. Arrange an Ambassador Program:

Under this ambassador program, your brand ambassadors generate content for your brands. Generally, brand ambassadors are famous personalities and it’s quite obvious that if they develop any content about your product or brand and services, people will rely upon those content more and the engagement rates will also be higher. Set some guidelines for your brand ambassadors that what they need to mention in their content and what they need not so that they are always on the right track. 

10. Display Your UGC:

One simple way to collect UGC is to just display your UGCs once you’ve got them. You can tag the UGC of your customer to her/him after sharing it on the social platform. It will be displayed on her/his profile, and on the social platform, it will let other users know both about the brand and content. They will also feel encouraged to create their UGC because most people need some exposure.

Some Bonus Tips

  • Give Your Customers Incentives.

Give your customers some gifts or incentives for creating UGCs and it will encourage them to create more UGCs in the future. 

  • Give Credit Whenever You Repost.

Whenever you repost the UGC on social media or on your website mention the user or tag her/him and thank her/him. S/he will feel good because of this sweet and thankful gesture. Using social media management tools as mentioned before can help you in this regard. 

  • Ask for Permission When Using Videos or Photos.

If you need to use your customer-generated videos or photos in any of your marketing campaigns, or brand materials, please ask for their permission. Also, settle with them about the payment or what you’ll like to offer them for using their content. 

  • Make Complete Disclosures.

Ensure to make complete disclosures and disclaimers about your intention to use the UGC for your brand. State clearly that your business will use this content across social media channels and you’re not going to compensate for reposting that.

  •  Respect Boundaries.

Respect your users’ privacy and boundaries. If you see that you are mentioned, tagged, or your hashtag is used, only then select and repost any branded content.

  • Recognize Customer Trends.

You can recognize your main audience’s culture when you check all your customers’ images I aggregate. Consider these things when evaluating the image types that your customers share:

  • Who is mostly sharing your brand’s content- fashion bloggers, animal lovers, moms, teens, or DIYers?
  • They are sharing photos of what-certain style, collection, department, or product dominates the conversation.
  • From where customers are sharing your brand-based photos- in the store, with friends, on the run, or at the beach.
  • When your customers are prone to share images- holidays, seasons, events, and the like.
  • The reason to tag your products.
  • How? Do your customers tag your brand naturally? Do they use your geo-tag? Is UGC more prevalent on Instagram?

When you can reply to some of these questions, you can generate a data-based UGC strategy confidently.

  • Promote Powerful CTAs in Key Places.

Promote powerful CTAs or calls to action in key locations where your clients are prone to be engaged with your content. If you’re on Instagram, these places can be your location tag, bio, or image caption. Other such important places are on your site, all over your social media channels, throughout the catalogs (digital or printed), and within the blog. 

  •  Include Signage in the Stores.

Keep your customers engaged by including signage in your shops or stores. For instance, when you are in the entertainment niche, include messaging around the venues or on the tickets. When you are a retailer, shoe hashtags near your register, outside the dressing room, and the like.

  • Arrange an Event.

If you host or arrange events, your customer’s trust will increase in your brand. There you can encourage them to create UGC by arranging contests and gifting your customers bags with hashtags on them, and your social media details or interesting offers.

  •  Review New Content Using the Exact Tools. 

Last but not least, make your UGC selection and monitoring easier and smoother by applying the best and right curation tools available on the market like Buzzsumo, ShareIt, SocialPilot, and the like.

By now, you must have got your answers to the following questions:

  • How do I get UGC for social media?
  • Where can I get UGC?
  • What are the benefits of collecting user-generated content?
  •  What are the types of user-generated content?

To get better replies to the last two questions please read- “What is User-Generated Content in Social Media? Why is It Important?

Final Words:

Now, you must have got the answer to your question–” how do I collect User-generated content?” If you need any assistance regarding content writing, SEO services, local SEO services, social media marketing, Google Ads services, and app store optimization, please contact digiSocial.

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