User Generated Content: Get your followers to work for you

As Marketeers in a content marketing world, we all have one big dream – an endless stream of free, high-quality, engaging and inspiring content at our fingertips. We have all been there – hours searching the web, coffee in hand, bags under eyes, seeking inspiration. Sharing poor content is boring to create and adds no value to your followers, making your brand look dull and is a sure fire way to lose engagement. Well put down your coffee cup and breathe – user generated content could be the answer. User generated content is 35% more memorable than other forms of media and you only need to get the ball rolling then let your followers do the legwork.

As a huge believer in the power of influence I can see why UGC is 50% more trusted than self generated content. You have to admit you pay more attention to what your friends and family are sharing on Facebook than what your favourite brands are posting, right? UGC is the perfect way to work this to your advantage. But the question is how do you get your followers to dedicate their time and energy to promoting your brand?

We have gathered our top tips to help you to start a user generated content campaign and get your followers working for you – to not only save you valuable time and money, but to also build trust and increase brand awareness.

1 – Check where you stand legally

Before unleashing your campaign clarify what rights you have to your followers content and ensure that they know you will be using it. Last thing you want is to be faced with a lawsuit from a disgruntled customer, complaining that you featured their image without their consent. To discover the options read this article discussing “explicit” and “implicit” permissions and how to get them – it’s easier than you think.

2 – Promote on your website and social

In order to get your loyal fans involved they need to know about your campaign. By using your website and social media to generate some awareness, you can pre-warn your followers that on a certain date, you will be looking for the best selfie in your store or the best holiday snap they took at your resort. If you give them time to prepare and talk about it with their friends, they’ll have more time to find or create better content for you.

3 – Ask your audience for the right media

You are probably already aware that videos generate the best engagement but not everyone has the time or skills to create them, especially if your target audience are the older generation. You need to discover what form of media your followers are already creating and sharing. Try thinking from your customers point of view and find a form of media that would add value to your brand’s marketing, whilst not being too hard or unfamiliar for your followers to create.

4 – Give them motivation

No matter how loyal your social followers are they still need motivating to take time out of their day to promote and engage with your brand. The trick with user generated content is to give your followers a reason to join in. It could be by using emotional triggers – which work especially well for charities or it could be a material benefit for them such as a prize or a discount code.

5 – Harvest your content

With UGC it’s important that you have a way to detect and gather the content. If your followers haven’t tagged your Twitter handle then you could run the risk of missing out on some free content. If you introduce a simple, easy to spell and relevant hashtag, you can easily sort their activity into one place whilst adding in the possibility of starting a trend. A more accurate way to harvest your content would be to use a social media management platform and be able to sort through their activity based upon multiple variables such as media type, time and more.

When done right user generated content is the perfect way to create better relationships with your customers, find some free content and create more awareness around your brand. Now that you have the tips to get your followers talking do you have the tools? Get a demo today and ask how we can make your UGC campaigns more successful.

Rhiannon BirchAbout the Writer:
Rhiannon Birch is PR & Marketing Coordinator at SocialSignIn. She is passionate about all aspects of writing and enjoys discussing the real-life stories behind social media. With two young children and three dogs, Rhiannon spends her (very little) spare time exploring new places and watching Star Wars.

If you’d like to connect on LinkedIn click here or follow her on Twitter @RhiSkywalker