Mar 10, 2021
On our March Facebook Live talk, DMI tutor Sean Kenny looked at User Generated Content (UGC) - what is it, how can it help you, key tips, and how to think about using it for St Patrick's Day! Sean helps our students every day, across all our courses, including the Social Media Marketing Course and Advanced Course in Digital Marketing.
User-generated content (UGC) is a very broad term, but it just refers any type of content created by people, rather than companies - usually brand fans.
One example is the viral video of a man skateboarding to work, synching to Fleetwood Mac, and drinking Ocean Spray - it earned a total of 35.5 million views, with just 6.3 million on TikTok alone. There was no brand involvement in this, just the one guy and his video. But sales of the drink went through the roof, Ocean Spray bought him his own truck, and it was the feel-good story of 2020.
The Starbuck's Red Cup contest is an example of UCC led by a company, with a specific strategy. This campaign ran for a few years each Christmas, using the hashtag #RedCupContest. It was centered around their red coffee cups and encouraged users to send their content in to Starbucks' channels.
Sharing user-generated content in your social media - or general digital marketing - strategy, will allow you to:
1. Promote authenticity - Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to content created by brands.
2. Create trust between the content and the company - A full 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know, and 70 percent trust online consumer opinions.
3. Drive purchasing decisions - Nearly 80% of people say UGC has a high impact on their purchasing decisions.
UGC can work in the following ways:
Here are some other benefits:
Be clear about what kind of content you're looking for. There are some things you need to think about. UGC can be unpredictable and might not always be a positive. Set the context and framework - in the Starbucks example, they asked people exactly what they wanted to do. UGC creators want you to share their content. Create a social media strategy document and look for ways that UGC aligns with your existing marketing goals. Use a # to go with it.
Use search streams to find user-generated content you might have missed. Searching tags only will see you missing out on tons of potential content. Create a social listening program, keeping an eye out for all mentions of your brand or your products on social media, even if you’re not tagged. Useful tools include BuzzSumo, Hootsuite, Sprout Social.
Learn from all the submitted content, whether you share it or not. Fans are using your products or services in ways you hadn’t considered. See your products in combination with another product. Also take a look at the hashtags people use in combination with your branded hashtag. What kinds of words are they using when they talk about your products or services? It might be a different style of language to what you would use.
We have used St Patrick's Day - the global celebration of all things Irish - as an example of how to use UGC. But that's just one of so many days in the calendar - many of which you can find in our extensive social media holiday calendar.
Like any large international holiday, it gives you a chance to involve yourself or your company in the conversation. But we also see, generally across social media, that holidays like this cause a spike in traffic anyway - people can't resist sharing their St Patrick's Day experiences!
We can look at how a few big brands have used the holiday. M&M's selfie campaign encouraged users to send in a kiss to with the chance of winning prizes - this was an effective brand awareness campaign and generated a lot of interest and content that M&Ms could then share across all this content across their platforms and capitalizing on the general St Patrick's Day traffic already out there.
One of the real pros at making full use of St Patrick's Day is, of course, Irish brewer Guinness. Their clever campaign, #StaceForCharity, asked people to take a selfie of themselves with the iconic Guinness moustache run in the US.
There are lots of ways you can use UGC and you don't have to go for selfies and TikTok videos.
Join us for our next Facebook Live event!