The benefit of user-generated content is its reality-based viewpoint. For customers, finding an unbiased review can help them decide whether or not to purchase a product or service. But it’s not only valid for customers
Trust is one of the most important assets a business has. But gaining it isn’t always so easy. In a world of fake news, it can be hard to know what content can be trusted online, making user-generated content (UGC) so useful.
UGC is any content that has been made by fans, reviewers, customers or otherwise and shared across social media or online. Think try-on hauls, online reviews, images of customers using the products– essentially any content in which someone has shared their use of a product or service.
The benefit of UGC content is its reality-based viewpoint. For customers, finding an unbiased review can help them decide whether or not to purchase a product or service. But it’s not only valid for customers.
Understanding the unprovoked thoughts of audiences can give businesses valuable insights into what people think of your brand and how they use your offering.
While finding and utilising UGC can be time-consuming, the rewards of gaining invaluable insights which can guide your future decisions are worth the effort. That’s why it is time for businesses to jump on board and invest in UGC.
Searching for useful UGC
When gathering UGC, the internet (and social media specifically) is your friend. Community management — monitoring and responding on branded social media accounts— is the best way to find quality UGC.
Checking tagged mentions and direct messages across socials such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or Twitter (to name a few) can direct you towards finding the right reviews.
It can also be helpful to track relevant campaign hashtags or search on third-party review sites to find useful insights.
While this can be a time consuming (and often manual) process, there are tools you can use to help minimise time spent combing through your preferred social feeds. And despite its timely nature, you can often find the best insights while building key customer relationships.
Turning UGC from insights to solutions
There are many benefits to UGC. The first is that UGC can become a great asset to promote the ins and outs. Re-sharing user content can show your potential customers what real-life customers think of your brand and simultaneously support current customers.
UGC could also be leveraged to become a very real campaign for your business. If you recognise that particular UGC is creating high levels of engagement or positive responses, it may be time to get in touch and see whether they would be interested in partnering with your brand! Moving a customer from a user and lover of your product to a brand ambassador is a great way to connect to your community and show support.
Singapore brand PRISM+ has toyed with UGC on its Instagram account and is a great example of how it can build customer loyalty. Through its branded account, prismplusdisplays, the local tech brand often re-posts customers who have tagged the products in their gaming and tech set-ups (with permission and proper attribution).
While this may seem simple, re-sharing not only encourages other customers to post images of their products and tag the brand but shows customers they are paying attention to them, making them feel like VIPs.
Knowing how your products and services are perceived is invaluable knowledge and should be treated as such. It is also a by-product of harnessing UGC. Measuring your reviews after campaigns can give you insights on how to better perform during your next campaign.
Your customers can also inspire the next big idea and let you know exactly what product will most benefit your customers and resonate with your audience.
Building suggestions into your brand also helps build community. If your customers see user-generated initiatives, the mutual respect is clear and can help them turn from simply first-time buyers into repeat customers.
Building your community with UGC
By investing time and energy into UGC, you can gain invaluable insight into the most important element of any business – your customers.
UGC can help build trust, loyalty and the overall authenticity of your brand, ultimately strengthening your business. In acknowledging your customers and making their input into your business, you show mutual respect and support, facilitating long-lasting relationships for a long-lasting business.