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  • Lauren Patterson

User-generated Content is Social Media Gold—Here’s Why.

When considering a purchase, are you more likely to be persuaded by a promotional ad or a casual recommendation from a friend that piques your interest? If you’re like a lot of consumers, you prefer tried-and-true picks from someone you know.


So how do you harness the authenticity of a personal recommendation for your company’s social media content? Three little words (or...two words, since one is hyphenated?): User-generated content.


What is UGC? In the context of social media marketing, user-generated content (UGC) is content posted by individual people on social media rather than a brand or business account.


Note: UGC is NOT the same as influencer marketing. While they involve similar strategies and influencers are becoming more and more, uh, influential, paid endorsements don’t quite hit the same as organic recommendations from people that your followers know IRL.


UGC usually takes the form of reposting or retweeting your customers. It might also look like recycling positive reviews as content or reformatting posts for other platforms or mediums. Here are a few examples from AMC client, Kolache Factory:

This triumphant post-Kolache 5K selfie. This heartfelt thank you tweet. This fond five-star review.


What does using UGC in your content accomplish?

  • It solidifies customer loyalty. It’s flattering when your favorite brand reposts you!

  • It offers more credibility in the eyes of many consumers than a paid celebrity spokesperson’s endorsement. Who better to brag on your product or services than happy customers?

  • It allows you to leverage the social reach of your current customers to grow your audience.

  • It encourages more people to engage and interact with your account on social media in hopes of having their content shared. This ultimately makes you more accessible and fosters connections with current and potential customers.

  • It produces quality, genuine photography. (Those iPhone pics tho!)

One caveat: ALWAYS ask permission before reposting on Instagram. The rules of retweeting and sharing to your Instagram story are slightly different as the original content is automatically linked back to the original poster. But you should only repost an Instagram photo to your feed if you have the green light from the person who posted the photo.


Not sure how to ask? Try something like, “Hi there, thanks for giving us a shoutout! Would you mind if we shared your photo to our account and tagged you with credits?”


UGC 4EVA

The moral of the story is that consumers want to feel like they’re gathering objective research and making an informed decision to use your product or services, not like you’re shoving it down their throat. So sit back, relax, and let your customers do the promoting for you through user-generated content.

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