Updated: Dec 28, 2020
In the past three years, platform algorithms have created substantial obstacles for marketers. So much so that social media planners have seen marked dips in their organic reach.
Naturally, this has resulted in an increase in paid content. Finding ways to get in front of an audience has actually become more challenging, as of late.
One way that marketers are able to drive organic reach and maintain genuine engagement is through user-generated content -- otherwise referred to as consumer advocacy.
Let's break this down through a few easy steps.
Step 1: Choose The Right Social Network
Picking the right social network to share and engage on is the foundation to this whole process working. It's all about meeting your consumers where they're at. Beyond that, and perhaps a more challenging task, is to determine what type of content will be best to share.
Let's go through some options.
Facebook: This network is great for video content and stories about your brand. It's true that Facebook is one of the most difficult algorithms to win with, but don't let that push you away from sharing some killer content with an ad. Reach may be hard to get, but engagement is still great on this platform.
Twitter: There are obvious character limitations on Twitter. That's why you should let a picture do the talking. Highly visual content does well here and will often win you that coveted retweet.
Instagram: This platform is certainly the holy land of user-generated content. It was specifically built for visual communications. Through each of its various streams, Instagram is a great place to search for content to share and re-share.
Step 2: Set The Right Goals
As with any strategy, you have to have the right goals in place. That begins by understanding exactly what user-generated content can win you.
Research has found that the most likely results from these campaigns are:
Higher Brand Engagement
Increased Conversion Rates
Building Brand Trust
Step 3: Tell Your Audience What Content You Want.
Don't be subtle. You're not here to simply steal random posts you see from a user. In fact, you'll want to be very specific. This is all about engaging the consumer and crowd-sourcing content. It's a win-win situation.
So tell your audience what you're looking for. Let them know what kind of content you want, where it might be shared, and what will work best for your brand. This will give you the best outcome.
Step 4: Choose A Type of User-Generated Content
There are numerous options for user-generated content.
Some popular features include things like social media contests or campaign hashtags. This allows the user to get engaged, creates organic reach, and benefits the user all while working to build brand visibility and trust.
*Avoid using consumer content without asking. Even if they're participating in your contest and it was very clear, make sure you get their permission before benefitting from their art.