What UGC Is and How To Get More Of It

How can I get more people to post about my business📱

The more people that post positively on social media about your business, the better. Not only does it increase brand awareness, it also drives social proof – a concept built on the premise that humans copy other humans and influence one another. Enter, UGC: user generated content.

What is user generated content (UGC)?

Any content created by social media users that showcases your business, branding or product can be classified as user generated content. The acronym is UGC. This is not the same as influencer or creator content, which is paid for. This is free content curated by regular people simply because they like (or dislike!) your business or your product and they want to shout about it. 📣

How is user-generated content different in 2024?

UGC is no longer simply static photos on stories and grids. It’s reel replies, remixes, stitches, and TikTok duos, such as Tesco voice of the checkout which washed out the platform back in 2023.

This is less like traditional UGC, and is more aligned with community nourishment, community management, community engagement and amplification – but as the user is still generating content off the back of your brand for free, it still has roots in UGC, and the lines between UGC and other forms of content have become blurred.

Everyone is a creator now – virality, content creation and collaborations are no longer limited to influencers and celebrity profiles.

So, what is a UGC creator? 💅

Ok, this is where it gets more confusing. Anyone can post their own content about your business (UGC) but some brands pay content creators to create said content and then post it in a manner that makes it look like classic UGC. This is different to influencers who post content themselves on their own accounts or in collaboration, as an influencer partnership is meant to look obvious.

How can I get more user generated content?

Why should a social media user go out of their way to create a TikTok video or an Instagram story? Aside from paying content creators specifically, if you want organic UGC, you need to give your customers or brand fans a positive reason to post about you. This means that as a business, or with a product, you really have got to impress them! 💪

Start with your product and your service. How can you go above and beyond to encourage social media users to post about you?

Look at ways you can improve the user shopping experience, the packaging, and the personalisation of the product to give customers a reason to want to share your business with their friends.

If you’re a service-based business, ensure you’re asking happy customers to review you and post about you on social media – explaining how it really benefits your business will help.

Another method, which isn’t so much UGC, but more aligned with brand social media marketing, is to take videos and photos of projects you have finished and use them on social media to generate brand trust and social proof.

User-generated content incentives

The big brands like to give social media users a reason beyond product or service to post about them – an incentive.

Let’s take Converse’s #CreateAtHome campaign. This was a nationwide competition that invited students to create a bespoke design of their own for Converse, which was kicked off by 10 carefully briefed micro-influencers.

Participants had to then upload their creation to social and nominate three friends to join in, which fuelled an ever-growing loop of awareness and engagement around the brand.

It worked because –

  1. It gave the brand’s audience a reason to do something fun and
  2. There was a prize to be won and
  3. It made the participants feel part of a community.

How could this work for a smaller-scale company? 🤷‍♀️

Carry out a campaign that focuses on your local area and residents – incentivising offline communities online, or encouraging users to design, make or do something, and for extra persuasion power, throw in a prize. Campaigns and activations centred around social good and charity also are a good driver for UGC.

Shareable content 🤳

As well as getting your customers to post about you, it’s also effective for a business if their content is shared. Creating content that is funny, inspiring, relatable, insightful, moving or motivating is the foundation for this. How many memes do you see shared on Instagram? It’s about creating posts that users would want to share with their friends.

Of course, social media competitions, where users share your post to win, are great for creating a buzz but that buzz is temporary. Follower growth attained through competitions is not 100% sustainable as some are only following for a chance to win.

How to use UGC

Firstly, never ignore UGC when a customer has gone out of their way to create content around your business, even if it doesn’t align with your aesthetic. Engage back with the creator and always say thanks! 🤝

Secondly, use it for memes, reels, reel replies, TikTok videos and remixes, and story highlights. Having a catalogue of happy customers looks very persuasive to a newbie that lands on your account.

How much UGC should I be posting?

As much as you like – brands tend to stick to 3 UGC stories per week, but there is no harm in showcasing more than this. If you have a lot of UGC, a good tactic is to collate it all into one carousel, reel or video post to keep your content output streamlined and organised.

Need help with managing your social media and UGC? Get in touch here

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