Social media brings online conversations to life.
According to a research study, 74% of all Internet users use social media. So, whether you strive to connect with a few customers or millions, it’s time to move your marketing efforts to platforms, like Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat.
And with social media, content emerges. Consumers are sharing photos, gifs, and countless stories about everything from their favorite movies to the latest product trends.
Harness the power of user-generated content (UGC) to rejuvenate your social media strategy. Train your team to build marketing campaigns geared toward online customer engagement.
Here are five ways UGC can amplify your social media success.
1. Attract customers
User-generated content builds interest around your brand. It can generate buzz about your new services or upcoming product features.
Engage social influencers to bring in new followers. Create a win-win-win situation. Consider what the influencer needs, develop content for the new audience, and set up strategies that will meet your company’s goals.
In order to attract consumers in the global market, learn how to localize UGC. It’s all about catering to that specific niche. Make sure your business speaks in a familiar tone, respects cultural differences, and expands the conversation.
When grabbing your audience’s attention, focus on uniting people with a common theme. A brand with a global community creates lasting relationships.
Set up a UGC contest. Ask customers for content. And inspire your fans to retweet or tag a friend in the comments.
Sophie Turton, Content Marketing Specialist at Bozboz, says, “Instead of creating content, we should be creating opportunities for content creation: instagrammable moments, inspiring experiences.”
Think socially, and your brand may attract a new global audience.
2. Build brand engagement
A Livefyre study found that “88% of companies that implemented real-time, social applications onto their sites increased user engagement as a result.”
UGC works two-fold. Customers learn about your brand. And your team gets the opportunity to engage directly with shoppers.
Nick Steeves, Chief Product Officer, at Wishpond, writes:
“User-generated content can provide a trustworthy and personal source of information. Allowing users to share their opinion on your site can enrich their online experience and make it more interesting for visitors to browse your site. Keeping new content continually appearing on your site can also help you increase your rankings in the search engines.”
Engagement is one of the basic elements of social media; however, brands normally ignore it. Your team must actively interact with followers by sharing their content, liking their posts, and commenting on their thoughts.
To earn more UGC, start conversations with your customers. Ask for a response using Twitter polls. Or suggest they write an honest product review.
British clothing company Burberry launched The Art of the Trench. It’s a mini-site where users upload and comment on pictures of everyday people wearing Burberry trench coats.
This UGC-led campaign “increased Burberry’s e-commerce sales by 50 percent year-on-year after the site was launched.”
Giving customers the opportunity to engage is a cost-effective, yet powerful way to build consumer trust.
3. Gain Customer Feedback
Find out what makes your customer happy, angry, and sad. With UGC, companies see their products through the eyes of the consumers.
Nielsen research notes that “92% of consumers trust word of mouth over other forms of advertising.” So, it’s important for your team to intertwine UGC into your content.
To gain more positive reviews, inform customers that their feedback is welcomed. For instance, tell the customer during a service call or pin a tweet on your Twitter timeline.
Also, remind the customer after the purchase. That means sending a reminder email or sharing a post on your Facebook page.
“A quick ‘[brand name] + reviews’ search in Google will reveal where people are already talking about your business or product. It may be easier to encourage more activity from an existing source than to ask people to review information on your site. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to review you, so focus on the platforms your customers are already using.”
eCommerce store Coffee For Less asked customers for reviews about their products. And in three years, they received more than 6,000 new comments. In return, their website generated a 10% increase in organic traffic.
4. Enhance product descriptions
Offerpop’s research revealed that “UGC is 20% more influential than any other type of media.” It’s even possible for UGC to drive more sales.
Most purchases involve the shopper trusting your brand. They want sincere feedback about your products.
And the best way to confirm your validity is with customer content from social media. These stories give potential buyers a candid assessment, which is priceless to the shopper.
For more conversions, couple UGC with your product descriptions. That upfront social proof will influence buyers and support their decision to make a purchase.
Here’s an example from GlamGlow. Customers submit images using their beauty products. The photo is then paired with the product and accompanied by a call-to-action to purchase.
5. Mold brand ambassadors
UGC cultivates brand loyalty.
Customers enjoy telling stories to family and friends. So, the goal is to influence shoppers to talk about your company.
Creating memorable experiences is one of the best ways to get people excited about your services. It also humanizes your brand.
For instance, rather than spending money on TV ads, try hosting a customer appreciation day. Let real customers model your products or demonstrate your services.
To achieve greater impact, take advantage of social media networks.
“Instagram is one of the best platforms for brand marketing and engaging customers as it is unlike any other in the social space,” states Celia Brown, Senior Director of Content Strategy at SAP.
“The visually driven community eliminates language barriers and enables users to communicate in the universal language of photos and videos, opening the world to the possibility of more ‘humanized’ content.”
American Eagle Outfitters encourages customers to use the hashtag #AEOstyle on Instagram. The best images are featured on the company’s website. Brand ambassadors receive a thank you note and sometimes a store gift card.
Amplify the Experience
UGC and social media go hand in hand. They magnify each other to offer marketing teams the best campaign results.
Attract new customers by localizing content. Gain customer feedback to learn your consumers’ behaviors. And build brand loyalty with ambassadors.
UGC is possible. Elevate your social media strategy.