All businesses want it, fans generate it, Google embraces it and Facebook absolutely loves it. User Generated Content (UGC) is considered the hardest thing to achieve in social media and content marketing and it is the key to cracking Facebook’s elusive fan feed, as well as getting well-thought out, intelligent posts seen by the rest of the world. The big question is how does a business get more of it without breaking the bank? This will be outlined below in 8 points.
1) Make it personal/emotional
The City of Reno was fed up of being knocked down by people who most likely had never set foot in the Biggest Little City in the World. Consequently, they came up with a campaign that encouraged people to share the reasons that they love Reno and tie it back to a BIG reason for a LITTLE challenge.
As a result, there were hundreds of videos, images and stories uploaded to a microsite that was created. All this content was then in turn shared on the group’s Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter pages. All the people sharing content were advised to use the tag #biggestlittlecity so the organisers could easily search for the social conversation. This hashtag was used over 2,000 times in just over a month and resulted in the message that Reno was in the middle of a cultural and technological revolution. This resulted in an authentic, grassroots movement supported almost entirely by UGC. It even lead to a TEDx video being made because of it.
2) Show some love
People love competitions and when a business offers the right reward, users will share just about anything. Competitions are one of the best ways to get users to share content and more importantly, spread the desired message. The best type of competitions should be engaging and by offering deals, offers and even quizzes, these should give fans a good enough incentive to share content.
3) Engage and acknowledge
All businesses like when people comment on their latest blogs, like/share their Facebook posts and retweet their Twitter posts. All good social media managers will keep an eye out for any of these thing happening on their social media platforms and will ensure that they respond back with a comment, a retweet or a ‘like’. In regard to comments, all businesses should ask questions, provide more information or just check in once in a while with people who have already engaged with the brand. By doing this, the business is further enhancing the relationship with the customer.
4) Look to others for Blog content
Everyone who writes, suffers from writers block at some stage. However, this is probably a good thing, as people do not want to hear from the same person over and over again when reading blogs. One way to combat this problem is by creating a blogger ambassador program which involves encourages friends, fans and cohorts to submit content that they have created. In America, food producer Nature’s Bakery created an entire blog ambassador campaign, which involved working with athletes that have values that the company embraces. These athlete ambassadors provided images, videos and stories for the blog’s as well as tagging Nature’s Bakery in their pictures from all around the world, thereby connecting their own healthy audience with Nature’s Bakery and their fan base.
5) Look for Retweets
Have you ever tried asking for a RT from your fans or asked them to add a comment, photo or to tag a friend? It is a very simple thing to do. The next time that you are posting a Tweet, ask you fans to retweet it and add their own comment or photo! While you are at it, you should get them to use Twitters new tagging feature and ask them to tag 20 of their friends who might want to be “entered to win.” This shows that UGC doesn’t have to be difficult; it just has to be interesting.
6) Make it easy
It is imperative that when a business is running a competition, that it is made easy for the users. Do not have a long process to enter a competition involving taking a photo, e-mailing the photo in, having to sign a photo release form and then fill out a survey as this will basically guarantee very few entrants. The easiest way for fans to get content to a business on social media websites is by using a #hashtag!
There is even a way to collect all these images and display them on a single page on the businesses Facebook page or website, using “Offer’s Hashtag Gallery”. Displaying the content altogether shows momentum and results in more fans entering the contest. When the majority of businesses are doing it, it is essential not to be left behind rivals.
7) Be thankful
If a business gets a very good response from fans sending in videos, photos, memes and blog content without parting with any cash, it is important to give fans an award. This reward will be chosen by the business and given to one lucky fan. This fan will then be tagged in a status or picture. By doing this, it will give fans an incentive to send in more content in future. Moreover, it means giving a little but getting a lot more in return.
8) Connect it to the customers
The majority of people like to share content on social media platforms. When Barack Obama was running his presidential campaign, his social media team ran a “share your stories” campaign which encouraged people to share stories about themselves and gave other users the opportunity to like and share their favourite stories. This in turn gave Obama’s campaign lots of quality, emotionally driven UGC for his other networks and created thousands of “messengers” on social media. When businesses connect their content back to customers experiences and emotions, brands have a much better chance of having their message shared.
If you have any queries about Social media marketing, contact Jef Media in Galway today. We are experts in all things digital and we strive to Help Businesses Get More Business!
Phone: (091) 396441