How to Get More UGC

Nearly half of brands say integrating social media with online shopping is a top priority this year. Why? Because UGC marketing is like having thousands of brand ambassadors put money in your pocket – for free.

According to research released this month, brands that incorporate user-generated content see a 137% lift in conversions and 157% boost in revenue per visitor. With data pulled from 500 global brands, as well as 2,000 consumers in the US, UK, France, and Germany, the study proclaims a universal truth. Nobody is more convincing to shoppers than other shoppers.

As AdWeek reports, 85% of users say visual UGC from actual consumers is more influential in decisions than brand-generated photos and videos. While UGC can be any form of content created by users about a brand or product, popular examples include unboxing videos on YouTube, customer testimonials, social media posts and pictures, blogger reviews, and hashtagged contest entries.

UGC works because it’s fun. It’s trustworthy. And best of all, it has multiple applications for increasing sales and brand awareness.

Eager to fill your brand’s UGC bucket? Here are a few simple, yet highly effective tips.

Host a UGC Contest

    Sometimes UGC grows organically, but for faster results, consider hosting a hashtag campaign. Camera manufacturer GoPro nailed this strategy by inviting adrenaline junkies to upload their best, jaw-dropping feats to social media networks with the #GoPro hashtag. The company’s reach instantly expanded and more than doubled its net income!

    So, go ahead. Ask a question, launch a contest, and watch the magic unfold. Hashtag marketing is a hugely successful way to collect valuable UGC and inspire others to participate in your brand story.

    Show Fans You’re Listening

      The world’s most sophisticated marketers don’t just leave UGC on social networks. That’s because, even with a successful hashtag campaign, digital activity is inherently fragmented between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and the billions of users active on social media networks. While fans are singing the brand’s praises together, they’re also doing it separately. With billions of users active online, valuable content quickly fades out of view – buried under an avalanche of new posts and shares.

      So how can you capture the conversation and show fans you’re listening?

      With a powerful aggregation engine like TwineSocial, brand managers can easily pull relevant UGC into a customized dashboard, filtering and routing specific content to attractive social hubs. Since research indicates that including user photos or customer reviews on a company’s website increases shopper confidence by 73 percent, social galleries really are a must-do in today’s marketplace.

      Create Share-Worthy Experiences

        Successful marketing is not just about creating transactions. It’s about meeting expectations. As consumers increasingly seek emotional value from brands, this is no small task.

        Smart brands succeed by offering all-inclusive, seamless shopping experiences.

        Want to see how those sunglasses look on your face? No problem. Upload a quick pic. Have a question about your order? Ping the company. Unsure about accommodations? See what other guests have to say.

        The end result may be a purchase, but modern consumers care more about the experience of getting there. Shopping is now entertainment, and good service more important than selection and loyalty programs. This means it’s essential for brands to be plugged in and attentive – to become not just a place to buy products, but an event consumers crave.

        To better understand what’s involved in creating share-worthy experiences, we examined how nine leading companies are getting people talking. If you’d like to see the kind of customer-centricity that inspires UGC, take a look at these “9 Explosive Examples of Omni-Channel Marketing”.

        Capitalize on Social Influence

          We humans have a fundamental desire to belong, and social media helps create a sense of community around a brand, product, or idea. “We take our cues from  our environment, especially other people, on how to act,” Psychology Today confirms. “Most of us do not have time to increase our knowledge of all merchandise and research every advertised item to measure its usefulness. Instead, we rely on signals like popularity. If everyone else is buying something, the reasoning goes, there is a good chance the item is worth our attention.”

          This phenomenon is why influencer marketing is now one of the hottest trends on social media. But it’s no longer just the rich and famous plugging products with sponsored posts. Influencers come in all shapes and sizes, and many brands are finding it more affordable and effective to pursue “ordinary” superfans. While these niche users may reach fewer people, their recommendations convey an intimacy that resonates better with peers.

          Locating these loyal customers isn’t difficult. The best way to start is by aggregating existing UGC into admin-friendly hubs, so brand managers can see who the superfans are, promote valuable content, track engagement, and ultimately inspire contagious enthusiasm among others.

          Involve Fans in Brand Decisions

            Spending money on private data or costly studies can provide organizations with helpful insights, but so, too, can asking existing customers what they think. Fans love to be part of brand conversations – more than passive viewers of press releases and ads – and one of the best ways to cultivate deeper relationships is by inviting them to participate in product development and brand decisions.

            Not only do companies benefit from creative input – like how Lay’s received millions of submissions during its new potato chip flavor contest – but millennials say they are 62 percent more likely to become loyal customers of brands that engage them online!

            Creating new opportunities for consumers to come together online is incredibly important in a competitive marketplace. But chances are you will find plenty of UGC already available and relevant to your brand through a quick setup of TwineSocial’s aggregation and display engine. To join the world’s most sophisticated marketers in harnessing UGC, request a complimentary demo or enjoy a free trial today.

            For more ideas on how to promote shared enthusiasm around an idea, product, or community, check out our solutions gallery. Then, kick off your own success story with a free 7-day trial of TwineSocial. Let us know how we can help!

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